Administration says killing of bin Laden was done legally

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration initially said Osama bin Laden was armed or even firing a weapon when he was killed, but later said he was unarmed. Still, officials are defending the legality of the shooting.

Attorney General Eric Holder told senators today that the operation was "lawful" and "justified as an act of national self-defense" against a "lawful military target." White House Spokesman Jay Carney says the SEAL team that raided the compound where bin Laden was living in Pakistan had the authority to kill him unless he offered to surrender. In that case, he says, the team was required to accept the surrender.

Officials have said bin Laden resisted, though they have not offered further details.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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