"There has been a drift away from civilization," is the first sentence in an Oct. 22 article entitled, "Trial, Thank You - Also for Mass Murderers," by David Rehling. "The New Yorker has since been able to reveal that U.S. Special Forces were instructed not to try to capture bin Laden, but only to murder him. A trial would be too bothersome, thought the Obama administration." As for Qaddafi, "In accepting of the killing, lies a betrayal."
The author argues that after World War II, the victors decided to hold people accountable for their crimes in what became the Nuremberg and Japanese war crimes trials. This showed the difference how the accused had acted when in power, as opposed to war crimes trials with full defense rights. This "undoubtedly contributed to the spiritual regeneration of Germany and Japan after 1945."
It also served as a purification process, as in the case of the former Yugoslavia war crimes tribunals. The International Criminal Court had issued an arrest warrant for Qaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and the Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi in June. "When the West increasingly accepts the murder of people who have committed genocide, like bin Laden and Qaddafi, is it because these criminals, at times in their careers, had been protégés of Western governments?
"During a trial, Qaddafi could have told about the secret military agreements he signed with British Prime Minister Tony Blair during the latter's visit in 2007.
"Likewise, bin Laden could have told about American sponsorship of his warfare against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s. They were prevented from doing so."
Rehling, now a journalist for Information, was formerly the head of a leading environmental organization in Denmark.