Forget the U.S. version of the Bin Laden raid. Any adult male found in the compound was a dead man.
By William Saletan
U.S. officials provided new details on bin Laden’s final moments, saying the al-Qaeda leader was first spotted by U.S. forces in the doorway of his room on the compound’s third floor. Bin Laden then turned and retreated into the room before being shot twice — in the head and in the chest.
“He was retreating,” a move that was regarded as resistance, a U.S. official briefed on the operation said. “You don’t know why he’s retreating, what he’s doing when he goes back in there. Is he getting a weapon? Does he have a [suicide] vest?”
It sounds like they shot him in the back. In the Wild West, that was supposedly considered unsporting. I recall asking my cousin around 1966 about the plot of some cowboy show episode (Gunsmoke? The Rifle Man?) that turned on whether or not a reward would be paid for a desperado wanted dead or alive who, it turns out, was shot in the back. Saloon sentiment in the show was against paying. (As a rather pragmatic and bloodthirsty seven-year-old, shooting bad guys in the back sounded fine to me.) I don't know what feelings are like in the Wild East.
This could explain dumping bin Laden's body into the sea.