Against that backdrop, permit me to share a panel from Batman #283 and the story "Omega Bomb Target: Gotham City" by writer David Vern and artist Ernie Chan, released October of 1976.
This panel taken out-of-context raises many questions. Perhaps first and foremost: why is Batman flying over Angola's airspace? The short answer is: he was headed back to Gotham City from Burundi. But that only raises further questions...
This tale was a three-parter, with #283 being the finale. It began in issue #281 when three Interpol agents were found dead in Gotham. Investigating these deaths led Batman on an international quest, first to Hungary, then Burundi, then back to Gotham, all to foil a terrorist plot to build and detonate an atomic weapon. During his flight from Burundi, Batman was ambushed by two terrorists who had stolen aboard his airplane. After besting them in combat, Batman fastened parachutes to the men and ejected them from his plane. The following panel is the beginning and end of Angola's involvement in the story.
Batman has a code against killing; most super heroes who were published during the Silver Age did, but Batman's code was especially well-known and has been frequently trotted out over the years. After all, if Batman were comfortable with murdering his foes, surely Arkham Asylum wouldn't be such a lousy revolving door facility. Batman's refusal to murder can be seen as part of the character's optimistic spirit - that on some level he believes criminals can be reformed and redeemed (which has happened from time-to-time in his adventures). Therefore, Batman's refusal to claim lives adds complexity to his character; no matter how grim or vengeance-driven he might seem, he has a moral compass and there are lines he will not cross.
So what's going on in this panel?
I cannot claim to hold any experience in skydiving, but it's my understanding that if you're unconscious when you hit the ground, it does not end well for you. Hurling two men from his plane in parachutes seems like a good way to get both men killed, regardless of where in the world they're being dropped off.
But Batman doesn't simply let these men fall into an open field - he drops them into a war zone which neither man has anything to do with. "They'll know how to deal with these two unidentified parachutists," Batman muses to himself. But who is "they"? The government? FNLA? UNITA? The Angolan Civil War was a bitter affair and I have to think that if two foreigners fell from the sky and were - miraculously - still alive, they would be considered enemy agents by whichever of the three armies found them. Perhaps they would be interrogated, placed in confinement and eventually repatriated to their homelands; then again, perhaps they'd be summarily executed.
Batman knows all of this. He is dropping these men into a war zone. And why? Why indeed? We soon discover that Batman's plane is so ridiculously fast that he gets from Angolan airspace back to Gotham in only two hours. If Batman had moved a little slower in his fight with the terrorists, he would have been over the Atlantic Ocean by the time they were defeated. Surely he wouldn't have ejected the unconscious men into the ocean? And if not that fate, then why drop them into the Angolan Civil War?
At this point, Batman has uncovered a major terrorist plot, but he has precious little in the way of evidence. Upon his return to Gotham, he has to convince the authorities that he knows what the plot is about and how to stop the bomb. Considering that, why not simply tie up his opponents and present them to the authorities as proof of the terrorist plot and potentially useful subjects for interrogation by the law?
The only conclusion I can come to about Batman dropping these men over Angola is this: he's lazy. Perhaps he isn't being cold-blooded, but simply... lackadaisical. He can't be bothered to do the work of keeping his prisoners tied up and transferring them to the authorities, so for expediency's sake he throws them out of his plane. Dead on impact? Executed on sight? Incarcerated for the duration of the war? None of those options would bother Batman if his only true concern was the most convenient course of action.
I don't know why Batman did this, but I don't think he's lazy, a killer, or someone who places others into situations where they would be killed (jokes about Robin's bright red chest aside). I can only conclude: Batman is not callous about human life -- but comic book creators are.