Justice Stevens: Killing Bin Laden was lawful

“It was not merely to do justice and avenge Sept. 11,” but “to remove an enemy who had been trying every day to attack the United States,” Justice Stevens said at a dinner in Chicago, according to former Stevens law clerk Diane Amann, a University of Georgia professor who attended the dinner, which capped a Northwestern University symposium on the justice’s jurisprudence…

But on Thursday, Justice Stevens indicated that those same laws of war permit the armed forces to kill an enemy commander who remains engaged in active hostilities against the U.S., as Navy SEALs did on their May 2 operation inside Pakistan. “I have not the slightest doubt that it was entirely appropriate for U.S. forces to do,” Justice Stevens said, according to Ms. Amann’s account.