Bin Laden Memos Distort the Laws of War

Four lawyers who approved mission weren't in a position to say no to president.

The story behind the story.

Photographer: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

I realize no American much cares whether the U.S. acted lawfully in planning to shoot Osama bin Laden on sight during the 2011 raid on his Pakistan compound. But new details of the legal game plan to get him, excerpted in the New York Times from reporter Charlie Savage’s forthcoming book, are nevertheless troubling.

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