Some find it offensive that enemy leaders would be targeted for death. While war involves destroying objects and people, direct action against selected individuals is usually not part of the plans.
Yet there were exceptions made when the target individual is one deemed to be of very high value. An effort was made to kill Edwin Rommel by a British team. The “Desert Fox” may have been given too much credit for his military genius and was eventually killed through a forced suicide. His writings from World War I reveal him to be a person of decency with a respect for human life, even of his enemies.
In Japan, the Imperial Palace was never attacked by U. S. bombers. The Emperor was to be immune from harm because of the reverence shown the person by the Japanese public. Yet Admiral Yamamoto was intentionally assassinated in a well-coordinated operation. His schedule for an inspection tour was obtained by American codebreakers and his plane was shot down. The Admiral was never part of the military clique that favored war with the United States but his death was expected to deprive the enemy of a brilliant leader and harm Japanese morale. Details of this mission were kept very secret by the Americans for fear of massive retaliation against allied POWs. News of this operation were reported by Japanese authorities and not by the American military.
An earlier assassination effort against Reichsprotektor Heydrich did succeed and the massacre at Lidice followed. The Nazi thug (commonly known as the Hangman) was deemed to be far less than an officer and a gentleman by the German Navy earlier in his career but his lack of integrity made him a natural candidate for a high role in the Nazi apparatus.
The leaders of Al Queda do not measure up to the decency of a Rommel or Yamamoto and are more of the Heydrich type. Their elimination by any means should have been a prime military imperative and remain so. Details of any such operation should never have been revealed as long as such monsters are in a position to do harm to innocent persons.
What is the objective of those who wish to reveal details of such operations? Is it an infantile voyeurism or a vile attempt to weaken our ability to protect American lives that goes beyond vicious partisanship into the realm of treason?