It was very strange to be away on the cruise when we got bin Laden. Let’s just say that the celebrations were muted in Paris. I was an optimist on getting bin Laden going way back, although my faith we’d get him began to wane somewhat. I’m delighted we finally tracked him down. All things considered, though, I think it would have been better to take him alive, at least if we had a system capable of dealing with these kind of top-level detainees rationally and expeditiously. I write on this theme today:
In an ideal world, the Navy SEALs would have been given the order to take bin Laden alive, if possible. He would have been taken to a secret location for interrogation and waterboarded if necessary to break him quickly. Every possible lead would have been wrung from him and hunted down. When he was no longer of use, he’d have been put before a military commission and executed.