Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone “Appalled” by Osama bin Laden Assassination
A former London mayor running for the office again raised eyebrows in Britain and beyond by expressing his disgust at the US assassination of the late al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
According to the Telegraph, Ken Livingstone, London’s first mayor and the current Labour Party candidate for mayor, was answering questions from journalists in Westminster when he opined that defending the principles of justice and democracy were an essential element of Western civilization. Livingstone said that those principles ought to have applied to bin Laden, who was assassinated in a US Navy SEAL raid on his Abbottabad, Pakistan compound last May.
“I was appalled to see Osama bin Laden in his pyjamas shot dead in front of his kid,” Livingstone said. “The best way to demonstrate the values of a western democracy is you put Osama bin Laden on trial, you challenge what he says. My parents’ generation gave the best years of their lives to establish these values. We should never erode them.”
Livingstone, who considers himself a socialist, is no stranger to controversy with the United States. After Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, the brutal invasion of Gaza, in December, 2008, he called on the UK and European Union to recall their ambassadors from Israel and slammed the offensive as the “slaughter and systematic murder of innocent Arabs.”
In 2005, US ambassador Robert Tuttle decided not to pay the London Congestion Charge, a toll levied on vehicles entering the city. In response, Livingstone called Tuttle “one of George Bush’s closest cronies and a big funder of his election campaign” who was trying to “skive out of [paying] like some chiselling little crook”.
Livingstone was the first person ever elected Mayor of London. He served from 2000- 2008.
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