In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said bin Laden’s actions have justified capital punishment.
“If he was captured alive, then we would make a decision to bring the full weight of not only U.S. justice, but world justice down on him,” Obama said during the interview, the entirety of which is set to air Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
“I am not a cheerleader for the death penalty — I think it has to be reserved for only the most heinous crimes,” Obama also said. “But I certainly think plotting and engineering the death of 3,000 Americans justifies such an approach.”
In the wide-ranging interview, the Illinois senator also criticized Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai for failing to bring order to his country.
“I think the Karzai government has not gotten out of the bunker, and helped to organize Afghanistan — the government, the judiciary, police forces — in ways that would give people confidence,” he said. “So there are a lot of problems there. But a big chunk of the issue is that we allowed the Taliban and al Qaeda to regenerate itself when we had them on the ropes. That was a big mistake, and it’s one I’m going to correct when I’m president.”