The United States military derived the name Geronimo from referring to the operation to kill Osama bin Laden, a wanted terrorist and founder of the Islamist military group, Al-Qaeda (Langman, 2021). The code was used in action to denote bin Laden and was overseen by President Barrack Obama. Subsequently, Geronimo ended an almost ten-year search for the criminal due to joint efforts from the CIA, US Navy, and other security forces. Most United States citizens, NATO, the United Nations, governments across the globe, and the European Union supported this action. President Obama sent the navy to capture and kill bin Laden. Although some critics claimed that the President did not have the legal right to call for the capture and murder of Osama, it was his legal duty as the head of the country.
As the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, President Barrack Obama had the inherent right to protect his country. According to the American Constitution Article II, Section 2, President Obama was the military Commander-in-Chief. For this reason, he was tasked with the legal obligation and power to defend and safeguard Americans as their topmost military leader. Osama bin Laden participated in dangerous terrorist operations that led to the loss of a lot of property and the death of many people in the world. He was in charge of Al-Qaeda terrorist operations, ensuring they succeeded. Therefore, to protect his people, the president was responsible for that critical operation to reduce terrorism in the nation. Thus, being the highest power, President Obama had the legal right to instruct the military to conduct this operation as acceptable pursuant to self-protection.
Secondly, President Obama acted in the best interest of the American people to defend them against acts of aggression. According to chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, a country has the right to protect itself against acts of aggression that threaten and breach the peace of its citizens. The United Nations Charter, Article 51, “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security” (U.N. Charter art. 51, para. 1). The statement gives the president of the United States of America the power to defend his nation against further attacks by parties responsible for past terrorist actions. Osama bin Laden had claimed to have initiated the 9/11 attack that killed about 3000 people; it was the first time Osama had accepted cheerleading an invasion (Katoch, 2019). By ordering the execution of bin Laden, Obama was employing the United Nations charter. Therefore, the president had the backing of the government to defend the nation legally and in the UN’s good graces. Consequently, this resulted in peace in the country as the killing of innocent people by Al-Qaeda ended and the families that had been affected by the 9/11 attacks were settled.
Thirdly, by ordering Operation Geronimo, the United States acted in the likely last opportunity window to defend itself against imminent attacks. Law-enforcement officials are permitted to kill criminals on urgent preventive grounds, prevent the escape of a dangerous suspect, or avoid an impending legal threat to the country or others. The assassination of bin Laden can be justified based on a reasonable impression that he would invade America. Osama was in charge of a dangerous terrorist group that was still operable at the time of his killing. The individual was considered to pose an imminent threat of violent attack as he had admitted responsibility for a previous invasion that cost the lives of over 3000 Americans (Katoch, 2019). Osama had become an enemy and a priority target of the United States President Obama had a sensible explanation to claim that Al-Qaeda would attempt to murder innocent citizens in the future (Katoch, 2019). Additionally, his followers would try to rescue him from prison if he was not eliminated. Therefore, bin Laden’s death played both precautionary and disciplinary roles. First, Operation Geronimo was a punishment for his past terrorist acts that killed many people. On the other hand, this would prevent such crimes by deliberating the command structure of Al-Qaeda. Since bin Laden was a dangerous individual who led various mass atrocities, trying him would be complicated and risk criminal escape, yet it took about ten years to capture him (Katoch, 2019). Therefore, President Obama acted in the possible opportunity window to defend America against imminent attacks.
To conclude, Barrack Obama, as the president of the United States of America, was responsible for executing laws written by Congress and interpreted by the judiciary. By ordering the killing of Osama bin Laden, he was acting within his legal right to defend and protect Americans. Osama was a high-target terrorist the military had hunted for over ten years. Although he had conducted various attacks on innocent people, bin Laden officially claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attack, which led to the loss of property and over 3000 lives. The order to kill Osama was to defend America against the imminent threat of attacks and restore peace in the country in its best interest. Government administrative lawyers had sealed all gaps to ensure that Operation Geronimo was fulfilled without any legal obstacles. Based on this analysis, the order to capture and kill Osama bin Laden was Obama’s legal duty as the president of America.
Katoch, L. G. P. (2019). Special operations case studies. Lancer Publishers LLC.
Langman, P. (2021). Osama bin Laden: humble megalomaniac. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 60, 101519.
U.N. Charter art. 51, para. 1.