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Killing Bin Laden: Examining the Ethics of the Operation

In the week after the killing of Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama laid a wreath at Ground Zero and expressed his hope that bin Laden’s death would bring a small measure of comfort to survivors. That same week, groups of Americans broke out in spontaneous displays of jubilation, and some Middle Eastern Muslims staged protests at which vows of revenge were issued. In an eight-minute news video prepared for Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, correspondent Bob Abernethy discussed the ethical and moral dimensions of the mission and the public’s reactions with the show’s  Kim Lawton and former Pakistani Ambassador Akbar Ahmed.  In a related video, David Cortright, director of policy studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, offered his views. In a written commentary, Andrew Finstuen, director of the Honors College at Boise State University and author of Original Sin and Everyday Protestants, expressed his concerns about citizens who “take satisfaction in America’s proficient killing units,” saying he prefers “an America that experiences moments of unity without waving a bloody shirt.”

 

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