Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Laden Was Not "Assassinated"

With apologies to Chris Rock, who used similar words about Tupac in a stand-up routine years ago:

Osama Bin Laden was not assassinated.

John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated.

Benazir Bhutto was assassinated.

That al-quaeda bastard was shot.

Seriously, do we say that John Dillinger was assassinated?  Or Bonnie and Clyde?

9 comments:

Tim Morrissey said...

I understand exactly where you're coming from on this post, but assassination has long been a political AND military tool...as far back as Sun Tzu, circa 500BC.

I struggle with deciding if Dr. King was murdered or assassinated.

Regardless, in the case of bin Laden, a double-tap - one through the skull, one through the chest - did the trick nicely.

Ordinary Jill said...

An important difference is that Bin Laden could have given himself up and been taken alive. Assassination targets do not have that option.

Jesse said...

He was assassinated by the dictionary definition of the word: "to murder (a usually prominent person) by a sudden and/or secret attack"

Ordinary Jill said...

Was John Dillinger murdered by the FBI? I know I'm arguing semantics, but the connotation of the word conveys as much meaning as the dictionary definition. Also, "murder" has a specific legal meaning that may or may not apply. He was certainly killed, but was it murder or manslaughter? "Executed" is another term that could be used, but that has connotations of judiciary procedure (except when used to describe a mob hit).

James L. Greenlee said...

I've struggled with the word to use myself, and I've avoided the word "assassinated" for the reasons you mention. I've settled on "executed."

Anonymous said...

I'm going with "done away with."

Dale said...

When I think of assassinated, I think of a person in the open, free to move about, that was killed by a secretive figure.
When a person is in hiding because of heinous acts he committed, I call it justice when he is killed.
Execution implies the executioner has physical control of the victim and this was not true in Bin Laden's case.

Jesse said...

If you do want to argue semantics a simple Google search shows 1934 newspapers said Dillinger was assassinated.

Anonymous said...

I can see u smart asses were at Abbottabad when this happened...The fate of the world...read a few headline...connect the pieces together...arrive at a conclusion...make it a judgement...invoke ur free speech right...and unleash ur stupidity...CHEERS PLANET EARTH!