Extending the rules of engagement for domestic law enforcement to overseas military operations is unreasonable. We can’t ethically ask our soldiers to expose themselves to unnecessary risk to take resisting enemy combatants alive.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Conspiracies unravel remarkably fast. We had strong evidence in hand for bin Laden’s culpability in 9/11 years before his death. From hiding, bin Laden communicated fairly regularly through Al Jazeera and other media; presumably, if he had felt falsely accused, then he would have followed his customary early denials with consistent protestations of innocence over the ensuing decade. He did not.

I encourage you to update your understanding of the Gulf of Tonkin incident and resolution. It was not a premeditated conspiracy, but a snafu stemming from initially honest confusion followed by simple CYA calculus. LBJ had been looking for a pretext to authorize the use of force and defend himself from GOP accusations of being soft on Communism. The first attack gave him that pretext; after an apparent second attack seemingly gilded the lily, LBJ publicly asked Congress for the resolution. By the time he knew the “second attack” may not have happened, it would have been politically difficult for him to relent. LBJ’s handling of Tonkin resembled FDR’s activism in the Atlantic before US entry into World War II, but fell far short of Bush’s deceptive case for war in 2003.

History, politics, education, music, culture. Award-winning high school teacher, former principal. College instructor. Seahawks Diehard. Twitter: @brian_mrbmkz

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