Spanish Lawyer: Obama’s bin Laden “War Crime”

President Barack Obama at work.<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/5680710466/">The White House</a>/Flickr

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Some lawyers earn their juicy headlines by representing pop-culture-icons-turned-murderers.

Others beef-up their brand name by defending the rich and infamous.

And some lawyers simply accuse Barack Obama of perpetrating unspeakable war crimes.

Little-known Spanish lawyer Daniel Fiol has lodged a complaint with the International Criminal Court accusing Obama of crimes against humanity, according to the UK’s The Daily Telegraph.

The complaint alleges that the May assassination of Osama bin Laden was a violation of both the Geneva Conventions and Pakistani sovereignty. Fiol clarified his position by stating bin Laden should have instead stood trial for “some terrible and appalling atrocities,” and then went on to awkwardly joke about definitely not being on Al Qaeda’s payroll.

It’s not unheard of for Spanish legal figures to take on top officials of other countries through the framework of universal jurisdiction, but this attempt is quite a reach. There is none of the kind of damning evidence that characterizes, for instance, Bush-era torture and abuses of power, and the complaint comes off more like an ideological publicity stunt than the product of sound reasoning.

Fiol’s argument is a weak legal charge on par with quickly forgotten “Obama is a war criminal” nuggets like those made by Ralph Nader (over Iraq) or the African National Congress Youth League (over Libya).

If Fiol really wanted his claims to snag a lot of attention, he should have just written that Obama was acting like a very specific war criminal.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate