Captain Phillips Freed, Three Pirates Killed

Hooray for the Captain! He jumped overboard and was rescued. Navy Seals shot and killed three of the pirates. The fourth was taken into custody.

Capt. Richard Phillips was helped out of the water off the Somali coast and is uninjured and in good condition, the official said. He was taken aboard the USS Bainbridge, a nearby naval warship.

It's regrettable there was any loss of life but the Captain had to be freed.

< Negotiations Resume for Captain's Release, Lifeboat Surrounded | Easter Dinner Open Thread >
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    I hope that the food on the ship (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by Cream City on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 01:50:20 PM EST
    that Phillips and his crew were taking to feed three countries also will be on its way soon.

    And I hope that this sad incident will have some impact in curtailing the piracy, so that more aid ships can get safely to their destinations to feed more of the suffering, starving people of Africa.

    It should (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 10:16:08 PM EST
    ...And I hope that this sad incident will have some impact in curtailing the piracy

    This is more or less the tried and true method that the Royal Navy used to stamp out piracy in the 19th century.  President Obama has just made all American seafarers safer by making piracy much more risky than it was heretofore.


    Well Yay for him and his family (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Jen M on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 02:01:19 PM EST
    sorry about the pirates though.  Would have been better if the whole thing had ended without loss of life.

    And, it should have (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 02:04:19 PM EST
    ended without any loss of life based on what information we were allowed to have.

    The pirates were asking for no arrest, that's all. Unless we haven't been told the truth.


    An example... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by kdog on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 02:09:14 PM EST
    had to be made, or so they say, the glee I'm hearing at the news of the retribution is most unsavory.

    I'm not gonna judge until I've lived in Somalia, watching all that money float past day after day after day.


    With all due respect (4.77 / 9) (#18)
    by dissenter on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 02:54:10 PM EST
    Why should these pirates not face arrest? They hijacked a ship and threatened to kill an American citizen. That is in fact terrorism, exhortation and what they did is against international law.

    For those that think these incidents are not reported on should try reading the news. Try google. Ships are being seized every day. The French have conducted numerous operations to free their citizens. Ships containing military grade cargo have been seized.

    The situation in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean is out of control. If this continues it will bring shipping to an abrupt halt and raise the price of goods across the globe....including humanitarian aid which is what the Alabama was carrying.

    These people aren't Jack Sparrow. They are the same vicious nuts that murdered our special forces in Somalia back in the 90's and SEAL operations should not be in the news unless you would like the pirates to change their tactics and hold more ships for ransom.

    Some of the comments in this thread are shockingly naive to me. And for those of you that want to save Somalia...go volunteer. And you better hope the SEALs will come help you when you are captured and paraded through the streets of Mogadishu.


    All due respect.... (none / 0) (#23)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 03:33:25 PM EST
    I'm not the one who sees these men as fictional Jack Sparrows. They were real people who have real people grieving for their loss right now. They didn't hurt anyone.

    They steal food from their own people (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by Cream City on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 04:48:26 PM EST
    with every attack on ships like the one captained by Phillips carrying humanitarian aid for three countries.

    So pirates are harming their own starving people.  There is talk of stopping the aid owing to piracy.  I would prefer that the pirates be stopped, and the starving people be fed.  (Btw, as we provide a lot of the aid, pirates also are stealing from us.  In this economy, watch for the calls to stop donating it elsewhere and feed our own starving people.)


    To the Somali's (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 07:55:37 PM EST
    Indeed, they are often regaled for bringing wads of cash into impoverished communities.

    A local elder in Gaan, Haji Muqtar Ahmed, said "being a pirate is not shame ... it is believed to be a noble profession."


    I absolutely believe this piracy needs to end. I just think there are ways to accomplish that which were not displayed today.

    I remember a good decade ago when Geraldo Rivera was sailing around the world and laughed at the chase he outran from pirates in pursuit of his sailboat. And, I know people who work on cruise ships that said around the world. Insurance companies will not insure cruise ships that enter waters that are known to have pirates.

    The piracy should have been ended before it got to the level it has reached now.


    They do? (none / 0) (#87)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 10:26:36 PM EST
    They pilot these freighters to shore and unload the cargo? They neither want, nor take the ship and its cargo.

    The ransom gets paid, and the freight goes on to its original destination from all I've read.


    They are quite literally scum. (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Salo on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 05:48:06 PM EST
    You don't belong in the bounds of civilization if you hijack shipping.

    Well, they got the death penalty (none / 0) (#65)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 07:34:19 PM EST
    You should really do yourself a favor and research both sides of these pirates. You can believe whichever stories you want. I abhor the death penalty in all circumstances.

    They threatened to kill the pilot (none / 0) (#97)
    by andrys on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:34:31 AM EST
    That threat hung over the pilot, his crew, and many just reading about it here.

      That threat could be meaningful only if they were willing to follow through with killing him if there was no ransom coming their way.  Once they were at a disadvantage, they wanted to be able to escape and said they'd not harm the pilot.

      Much of the harm is in the ransoms with accompanying threats of death.  Easy money, and I have to place myself in the minds of his wife and close ones.  A careless plan to get the pilot safe while still discouraging further actions of the kind that have been going on would surely have seen him killed.  

      I briefly did want them to just take the deal and fight them another day, but it would have sent the wrong message, long-term.  The kidnappers are not innocents.  They used threats and terror.  How did they expect it would end when they said they needed money to ensure his safety or else?


    Prove your (none / 0) (#45)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 05:22:07 PM EST
    last statement.

    They are responsible for their own deaths (4.75 / 8) (#34)
    by Michael Masinter on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 04:20:59 PM EST
    The pirates threatened to kill Phillips; they trained guns on him; they bear full responsibility for their own deaths.  The SEALS used deadly force in circumstances we have always deemed proper -- to save someone else from imminent peril of death.  I am as fierce an opponent of capital punishment as anyone, but I believe just as strongly that deadly force, whether employed in self defense or to save the life of another threatened with imminent death or serious bodily harm, has a legitimate place, and this was one such place.  Good job, done well.

    Threatened (none / 0) (#66)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 07:36:13 PM EST
    Well, then, you're right....the death penalty was just exactly what they deserved.

    Not the death penalty (4.00 / 4) (#68)
    by Michael Masinter on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 08:27:48 PM EST
    As I posted elsewhere in this thread, don't confuse using deadly force to prevent the imminent loss of life with capital punishment.  I have fought the death penalty since I was old enough to understand why it can never be justified, but here nobody administered the death penalty as punishment for a crime; the SEALS used deadly force to save a life in imminent peril.  My hat's off to them.

    I'm sure surrounded carjackers would (4.71 / 7) (#21)
    by connecticut yankee on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 03:14:44 PM EST
    want a similar deal.  But the point is to discourage carjacking, no?  

    It reports are accurate, there (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 02:02:12 PM EST
    are many more hostage situations to be completed over there.

    Personally, I'm getting tired of:

    The U.S. official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. A Pentagon spokesman had no immediate comment.

    my emphasis

    Does this mean we are getting all we are going to get and that the gov't would not willingly or officially speak of this incident?

    This is beginning to look like the norm for this administration. I don't care if it is what GWB may have done, I expect better from a democratic administration.

    I don't understand this ire. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Addison on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 02:14:40 PM EST
    I feel that you answer your own question. There are many other unresolved situations over there, with dozens of innocent folks in peril. The policy of not speaking about ongoing operations is a useful one and I would rather the Obama administration follow it than aggrandize events for their own benefit at tactical cost.

    This particular recovery was a success, so the administration has no reason not to speak about it except concern for other on-going operations. So attacking the Obama administration for being tight-lipped about this incident is pretty weak tea, in my opinion. I don't understand what the larger issue with it is.


    Perhaps if those other situations were (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 02:18:47 PM EST
    given the same attention, they, too, would get resolved.

    I think we have a right to know what's happening in that part of the world when our country is involved. You don't. We can disagree.


    Many of the previous pirate attacks... (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Addison on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 02:29:28 PM EST
    ...have involved other countries' vessels. Besides that, we do know what's happening in that part of the world. There is a live piracy map. Many news reports on each hijacking.

    What we don't know are the specifics of tactical efforts taken by the US Navy to resolve the incidents. That is as it should be given the value of surprise.

    Your reply that I don't think we have a "right to know what is happening in that part of the world when our country is involved," is unfortunate invective that avoids the point on purpose.


    Sorta Success (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 02:19:27 PM EST
    Three people are dead.

    If any one of them had been left alive... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Addison on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 02:23:28 PM EST
    ...perhaps the one innocent one -- from all accounts at that point swimming in the ocean -- would have been shot to death in the water.

    I think noting those three deaths in the calculation of "sorta success" takes things a bit too far. The deaths were regrettable, but that is the fate of unsuccessful hostage-takers if they are to be made unsuccessful.

    It was an absolute success.


    OK (none / 0) (#15)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 02:31:17 PM EST
    We have a different measure of "absolute success".

    Certainly it has been great entertainment for the American public, and I will be expecting a Somali Pirate teevee series next season.


    So you don't agree... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Addison on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 02:36:28 PM EST
    ...with "Inspector Gadget" that the lack of coverage, information, and detail in reporting was a problem? With two people giving such diametrically opposed criticisms of my comment I have to say that I'm feeling pretty good about it.

    No (none / 0) (#17)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 02:51:10 PM EST
    Your point is well taken. I am unhappy that there were deaths and that there will be no witnesses to give another view of the story.

    Apart from that, the media blitz and sensationalizing of the story could have easily generated the money for the ransom with no deaths.


    And if we had paid the ransom? (5.00 / 5) (#20)
    by nycstray on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 03:03:37 PM EST
    Don't you think that would just encourage more kidnappings? And not just on ships . . . .

    No (none / 0) (#22)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 03:28:09 PM EST
    Out of 25,000 ships/year in the area 42 were pirated and held for ransom last year. There are other numbers suggesting that 150 ships were targeted, but according to this 42 were actually held for ransom totaling $30-80 mil.

    I do not think that there is any concern that this will be escalating into numbers greater than the chances of getting mugged or robbed.  

    .2% chance or so.  That is about one out of six hundred. Less than the chance of being a victim of crime in east harlem.


    And if someone is carjacked (5.00 / 5) (#24)
    by Cream City on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 03:38:02 PM EST
    and kidnapped in Harlem, rare as that might be, what would you have the feds do?  Agree to pay a ransom and let the carjackers go do it again?  Agree to not arrest them and let the carjackers do it again -- and encourage even one more -- rare -- carjacking?  Let the carjackers take the hostage to another country, where police and feds cannot follow, and where there effectively is no foreign government to take action to protect and free the hostage?  The Navy refrained from action for five days, and this was a situation about to get a lot worse, if the pirates had made it to shore.  

    Btw, the Navy followed orders from Obama.  It just reported, in answer to a press question as to whether orders came from the president, they the orders did come from the top.  The reaction from right-wingers ought to be interesting.  


    Huh? (none / 0) (#27)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 03:49:21 PM EST
    I do not believe that paying the ransom would have caused an increase in Somali piracy. I mentioned being a victim of crime on the streets of NY as a comparison to show that the chances of being attacked by pirates are less than getting attacked in NYC.

    I did not mention anything about hostage situations in NYC. Nor do I believe that paying or not paying hostages have a significant effect on the numbers of hostages taken.

    Not sure what you are going on about.    


    Okay, you created the parallel (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Cream City on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 04:03:07 PM EST
    hypothesis of Harlem.  As it is not open water, I attempted to answer with a parallel, if rare situation that could occur there.  Offer your own parallel and answer with what you would have the government -- local police or the president -- do.

    As for what the chances are of getting taken hostage by pirates, I have no idea why that is relevant, as that was not a hypothetical case.  

    As for your belief that paying ransoms and letting pirates go is not encouraging more piracy, that is counter to the evidence at the Horn of Africa, where the piracy began with only a few cases but has grown to hundreds of cases, including many just this week.  I suppose it's possible that the increase is not correlated with the success of piracy but instead that the causation is the astronomical alignment of the stars, but such other explanations would seem unlikely.  This piracy requires a huge investment in ships, weaponry, and more that adds up to millions of dollars, and the powers behind it would not be doing it if they were losing money.


    No Parallel (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 05:07:06 PM EST
    My analogy was only to point out the relative rarity of the event in the waters off Somalia. According to the sensationalism and bedwetting regarding the surge in Somali Piracy, it seems prudent to compare it to things that are of little concern to NYers while walking on the streets. If ships were concerned about the chances of being pirated they would hire security firms like blackwater to offset the risk. They don't, because the risk is extremely low.

    The chance of getting taken hostage by pirates is germane because NYstray posed a question about increasing or reducing the risks of hostage taking by paying a ransom.

    Your belief that this incident will curtail piracy in any way is baseless wishful thinking, but very mainstream American. We are a country of prisons, that has not stopped the frequency of crime in the US.

    The death penalty has zero effect on murder. But according to your logic the specter of the death penalty should have ended murder.


    Definition of analogy: (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Cream City on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 06:04:49 PM EST
    "Reasoning or explaining from parallel cases."



    Oblique (none / 0) (#58)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 06:13:05 PM EST
    You took the analogy I used for the sake of perspective and retooled it into a parallel of your own which was no longer parallel to my point of making the analogy.

    Yeh, I took your analogy (none / 0) (#61)
    by Cream City on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 06:21:16 PM EST
    to its next step and asked that you address it.  Instead, the usual attempt to go off on another spin.  Transparent.

    That is inaccurate (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Spamlet on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 07:32:25 PM EST
    If ships were concerned about the chances of being pirated they would hire security firms like blackwater to offset the risk. They don't, because the risk is extremely low.


    The bean counters at the insurance companies have calculated that it's cheaper to put ships at risk and pay the ransom than it would be to arm them. Then there's the question of legal complications involving armed ships in various countries' coastal waters. And if Blackwater were on board, many incidents could be expected to escalate very quickly to violent outcomes.

    Those are the issues, not that "the risk is extremely low."


    There Are Firms (none / 0) (#77)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 09:56:24 PM EST
    That do this work. Business is not booming for them because the chance is about one in six hundred that they will be attacked by pirates. If it were not worth the risk of traveling without security, corps and ins cos would be hiring armed security specialists at the drop of a hat.


    Donald said he did not see any "systematic" push to hire armed escorts for merchant vessels, especially tankers. "At the moment, tanker vessels absolutely will not carry armed escorts on board; they will not carry any firearms; they don't like armed sailors -- naval personnel -- on board, let alone private security operators. And the downstream legal implications of hiring private security are really pretty substantial," he said.


    Do statistics support an increase in Somali piracy activity? Commander Patch says, "Are the numbers up, numbers down? That's kind of debatable. The data behind the actual seizures is very varied.


    My sense is, with the naval task force in the Gulf of Aden escorting daily many, many ships with safe passages, you've got to compare the number of piracy incidents to the actual safe passages and you'll see that the instances are still very low."



    Yeah, uh huh. (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by connecticut yankee on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 10:17:34 PM EST
    20 nations have sent ships to the region and the UN says that somali piracy is "out of control".

    You act like you are arguing against ufos or bigfoot while they are actually holding 250 people hostage.


    How many of that 250 will the US Navy (none / 0) (#85)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 10:21:44 PM EST
    be involved in getting released in your estimation?

    Why did piracy reach a point where it is finally considered "out of control"? Seems this could have been nipped in the bud over a decade ago rather than encouraging its expansion by paying out ransom after ransom.


    well (none / 0) (#88)
    by connecticut yankee on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 10:30:00 PM EST
    Whatever has been done is done.  This is now.

    If the US had stayed to try and nation-build in somalia then maybe they wouldnt have pirates today. But Clinton was hit from the left and right and we left.  It's done, people didnt care.

    But today it isnt just the US who is tired of it. Both the Chinese and Japanese are sending ships. When was the last time they participated in joint operations? Ever?


    Your reasoning (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by The Addams Family on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 10:20:14 PM EST
    is circular. Here is an interesting, and informed, discussion of the topic.

    How about this for a parallel... (none / 0) (#75)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 09:44:19 PM EST
    Natalie Holloway goes missing in Aruba. Not much military or gov't intervention there. In fact, the high profile US attorney who gets involved does so by defending the Dutch man considered to be the prime suspect.

    If you're going to use a domestic analogy (none / 0) (#74)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 09:31:14 PM EST
    use one closer to this scenario. I'd say the men who hold wives/girlfriends hostage through violence get pretty light treatment. They need to actually hurt the woman before the police can step in for an arrest. Nothing illegal there about threatening to kill, or terrorizing.

    I'm not the one who attempted (none / 0) (#79)
    by Cream City on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 10:06:41 PM EST
    a domestic analogy; I attempted to show it doesn't apply well.  As for your analogy, I agree that the laws still are not what they ought to be about domestic violence.

    But two wrongs do not make a right.  Threatening an unarmed person is wrong, whether a hostage in the home or a hostage on the open seas.


    So shooting rocket launchers at ships is just (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by nycstray on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 03:50:36 PM EST
    fine because they don't shoot at all the ships? What about the other people they are holding hostage right now? Have you looked at how their numbers have increased over seven yrs? Why wouldn't that continue? Sounds like they have quite the racket going there. Seems to me crime is going down in NYC because we prevent/prosecute vs rewarding the criminals. If we start paying off ransoms, you don't think that could pose an increased danger for our citizens in other regions? Many who are walking around unarmed just as those on the ships are . . .

    Disagree (none / 0) (#46)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 05:23:59 PM EST
    Crime is more closely tied to demographics than police work, despite whatever Giuliani has told you.

     btw- Murder is up in NYC 8%,  rape up 6.2% and robberies up 4.4%.


    My point is (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by nycstray on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 06:01:39 PM EST
    it would not be trending down if we started rewarding East Harlem muggers with generous ransoms. Why bother to be legit when you have a glorious opportunity to bring in the big haul, what with unemployment rising and opportunities slim in East Harlem?

    And I have no clue as to what Rudy says. My only lasting verbal memory of him is his Hamster Rant. I thought I just heard it was down 20% or something? Oh yeah, I did

    But in the bigger picture of the world, I worry about people who go into certain higher risk regions becoming even less safe if they have a price on their head . . . .


    Piracy has to be met with equal force. (none / 0) (#51)
    by Salo on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 05:50:47 PM EST
    The history of the Carribean Sea demonstrates it.  The suppression of the Atlantic Slave trade also shows how it is to be done.  In the old days you'd steam into the ports the pirates come from and shell the city 'til they surrender.  

    Why isn't there a blockade of Somalian ports? (4.00 / 1) (#62)
    by jerry on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 07:02:35 PM EST
    In the old days you'd steam into the ports the pirates come from and shell the city 'til they surrender

    I am curious why no nation(s) have simply blockaded Somalian ports inspecting all ships that try to enter or leave.

    A blockade is an act of war, but what is piracy, chopped liver?


    I wondered that, too (none / 0) (#80)
    by Cream City on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 10:08:06 PM EST
    as that's how it was dealt with in the olden days -- as long as the aid ships can get through.

    Perhaps a blockade is not possible because it requires the government of the pirates to take steps, and there really is no Somali government now.


    They had guns aimed at Phillips (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Cream City on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 02:24:43 PM EST
    in the water, as he was attempting escape again.

    Again, the pirates' action sadly brought on themselves the Navy's reaction.  I wish that the pirates had let their hostage go.  I wish that they had been arrested, unharmed.  But they were about to commit harm -- again.  

    Perhaps the Navy's action will bring a reaction, too, as a warning to the other pirates to not aim guns at the almost 270 other men, women, and children who still are held hostage.


    There is now some question (none / 0) (#25)
    by Cream City on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 03:38:47 PM EST
    as to these details released earlier.  Just for the record.

    This sort of operation... (none / 0) (#54)
    by Salo on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 05:57:56 PM EST
    ...is exactly what the military is for.  The details will be lied about by the military but overall the mission looks sound. Keeping citizens and shipping safe from foreign threats.  Yeah, foreign pirates are a threat.

    Wonder If The Pirate Captain (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 02:04:20 PM EST
    Is off to Bagram. Doub't that we will ever hear another version of what happened.

    That's a bit weird. (none / 0) (#53)
    by Salo on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 05:55:03 PM EST
    Sadly, Piracy and the pirates who commit the crime have to be stamped out with brute force.What does a debrief have to do with that?

    Well Done US Navy! (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by john horse on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 02:30:22 PM EST

    I'm glad that (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 03:02:34 PM EST
    the Captain is alive and well.

    "Regrettable loss of life"? Really? (2.66 / 3) (#26)
    by JoeCHI on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 03:47:32 PM EST
    Sorry, but the world is better off without people like these pirates.

    Just my opinion.

    Kill Em All (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 03:53:59 PM EST
    Guess you are big on the death penalty for robbery, wars of vengeance etc.  Some think that Sharia law is bad, which would only result in a loss of a limb. Guess that they did not get the red blooded american version of how criminals should be punished.

    My philosophy regarding the death penalty... (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by JoeCHI on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 04:44:51 PM EST
    ...wars of vengeance, sharia law, et al. are neither your concern, nor are they germane to the topic at hand.  

    Further, unless there is some DNA test that may exonerate these three dead thugs by proving that they were NOT the same thugs who were holding Captain Phillips hostage, then I stand by my statement.

    In fact, my only regret about the Navy Seals operation is that the Navy is only using three of the four body bags that were available!


    Barbarian Mentality (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 04:50:59 PM EST
    It is a free country, and many are as bloodthirsty as you as we have just seen over the last years of carnage in Iraq.

    Cheering on the death of anyone is pretty low in my book.


    Everysingle priated vessel should... (3.50 / 2) (#48)
    by Salo on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 05:45:41 PM EST
    ...be immediately boarded by spec op teams SAS, Delta, GSG9, FFL etc and every single pirate should be shot if they do not immediately surrender. Piracy should be violently discouraged.

    Send The Corporations (none / 0) (#60)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 06:19:05 PM EST
    Your credit card ## so that they can send you their blackwater bills.

    Deadly force properly employed (4.85 / 7) (#31)
    by Michael Masinter on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 04:03:46 PM EST
    Don't confuse capital punishment with the proper use of deadly force.  Capital punishment is wrong; it should be forbidden no matter the underlying offense.  But that doesn't mean police (or the military carrying out a law enforcement operation) cannot use deadly force to rescue someone whose life is in imminent danger.  To the contrary, deadly force has a proper place; it is permissible in self defense, and to save the life of someone else in imminent peril of death or serious bodily harm.

    The SEALS did exactly what they should have done -- they shot to death three armed men who were holding and threatening to kill a hostage.  We should congratulate them for their professionalism.


    Exactly (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by SOS on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 04:13:26 PM EST
    some people want to believe these pirates are stealing and killing so they can give to charity or something. Their cold blooded killers.

    Vengeance (none / 0) (#33)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 04:13:29 PM EST
    Is not the cool and calculated necessity of using deadly force when appropriate.

    The commenter above is suggesting that we should kill all pirates so that life would be better off. The Saudis are seen as brutal, many Americans should look in the mirror.


    Every pirate on those vessels ought... (2.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Salo on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 05:46:58 PM EST
    ...should must be asked to surrender if they refuse kill them.

    Same Goes For (none / 0) (#59)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 06:15:52 PM EST
    The criminals on our urban streets? Loudspeakers calling for all to give up in an hour and then a predator bomb?

    That is what we did in Iraq. Guess these crimes are so vile for you that you not only would kill suspects but write off collateral damage.

    So much for law.


    Link (none / 0) (#95)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:40:12 AM EST

    Not Predator but F16 Smart Bomb etc (none / 0) (#98)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:08:06 PM EST
    In this case the US military admitted that the house flattened to rubble on January 8 by a 500 pound bomb in the town of Aitha, 30 miles south of Mosul, "was not the intended target for the airstrike. The intended target was another location nearby".

    But in the house that was "not the intended target" were people who had nothing to do with the Iraqis' guerrilla war against US occupation forces. The owner stated that the bomb killed 14 people. An Associated Press photographer confirmed that four women, three men, and seven children were killed. Naturally, the US military said different. They said five people had been killed. Whom do you believe?


    here, here, here, here and here...


    I looked through them (none / 0) (#99)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 06:25:14 PM EST
    and did not find:
    Loudspeakers calling for all to give up in an hour and then a predator bomb?

    Or Loudspeakers calling for all to give up in an hour and then a F16 bomb? One link was about Sadam sightings though.  

    OK (none / 0) (#100)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 07:27:55 PM EST
    Or they forgot to warn the civilians before the bombing in falluja. Oversight no doubt.

    LOL (none / 0) (#101)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Apr 14, 2009 at 06:27:18 AM EST
    that is like the exact opposite of your first post.  You are a reason why this is a humor site.

    Obama should have done (none / 0) (#7)
    by SOS on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 02:09:33 PM EST
    Hilarious seeing the righties trying to spin this one.

    Spin? (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 10:22:39 PM EST

    Congrats to Obama and the SEALS.

    Obama ordered the action (none / 0) (#43)
    by Cream City on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 05:03:21 PM EST
    taken by the Navy -- to shoot if Phillips was in imminent danger.  And shooting Somalis is shooting Muslims.  Yeh, the righties will be weirding out about this.  But I cannot bring myself to go look and see even worse illogic on their side. . . .

    UPDATE 1-Somali pirates vow revenge (none / 0) (#35)
    by SOS on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 04:21:28 PM EST
    over comrades' killings.

    Nice guys

    Of course they do (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by sj on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 04:53:55 PM EST
    What did you expect?  It's their livelihood and it's just been threatened.

    With no coast guard to defend its shores, Somalis began complaining that vessels from Asia and Europe were dumping toxic waste in their waters and illegally scooping up red snapper, barracuda and tuna. The rampant illegal fishing began destroying the livelihoods of local fishermen.

    Not justifying, just saying that things aren't so simple.


    Moreover (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by sj on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 05:52:54 PM EST
    They were someone's sons, brothers, fathers and comrades.  

    Grief is grief.  


    Everysingle ship that (2.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Salo on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 05:43:47 PM EST
    is being held should be boarded by the SAS Delta GSG9 etc.  Kill every last Pirate. And do it now.

    The other option... (none / 0) (#41)
    by Addison on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 04:56:04 PM EST
    ...was that the pirates would still do their pirate thing but without Captain Phillips being freed. Being held hostage by the pre-determined reactions of thugs is not the way to ultimately resolve this issue.

    The fact is without hostages the pirates are just targets for the world's navies. They can vow revenge all they want but they know if they escalate too much they will simply die en masse.


    Idiots. (none / 0) (#42)
    by connecticut yankee on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 05:02:33 PM EST
    Even the mafia wouldnt be so stupid.  You take your losses and hope things die down, you don't declare war on the navy and further damage your business model.

    I think they are confusing our defensive patrols with an active response.  THey might have a lesson coming.


    A shore bombardment by a Monitor... (none / 0) (#55)
    by Salo on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 06:00:07 PM EST
    ...was the 19th century answer to such criminal behavior as Piracy and Slave Trading. Re-boarding every vessel is a sound answer though.

    How dare they!!! (none / 0) (#76)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 09:54:02 PM EST
    Only Americans are entitled to seek revenge!!

    Had this gone the way of the pirates, they would have gotten their ransom payment and the ship would have gone on its way. They had no intentions of stealing the aid on board, or sinking the ship.

    It's wrong, and it needs to be stopped, but the world has let it continue and escalate for over a decade. Hardly constructive to simply demand all pirates must face deadly force.


    You do understand (5.00 / 3) (#78)
    by Cream City on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 10:03:46 PM EST
    that Captain Phillips was the one facing deadly force -- an AK-47 aimed at him by a Somali?

    I certainly do understand (none / 0) (#81)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 10:12:14 PM EST
    I think this was handled badly...starting with all the years we paid the ransoms and allowed it to escalate to this level.

    They'd kill him in NYC for the same thing. (5.00 / 3) (#89)
    by connecticut yankee on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 10:38:31 PM EST
    YOu can't pull a gun on someone and threaten them. If a SWAT sniper lines you up, you are done. They won't care why you did it.

    And theyve had plenty of time to wise up.  The Indian navy blew up a somali mothership last year and british commandos killed some as well. Now the French have killed some and finally us.  

    Theyve had months to see this was coming.


    Not just in NYC . . . . (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by nycstray on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 12:12:43 AM EST
    MANY places in the  good ol' US of A would have pulled out their best SWAT shooters.

    Ok, so I'm starting to get tired of the NYC comparisons! It's beginning to look like we are the only other place of crimes!


    I'm trying to understand this logic (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Cream City on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 12:23:49 AM EST
    Let's see:

    1.  The world ought to stop the piracy.

    1.  The world -- several countries now -- has stepped in to stop the piracy.

    2.  The world has not stopped the piracy yet.

    3.  Therefore, the world ought not to have tried to stop the piracy today.

    Oh, and it's the world's fault.

    Nope, I still don't understand it.


    Maybe we should have handled it like the French (none / 0) (#63)
    by FreakyBeaky on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 07:31:17 PM EST
    Oh wait, we did. :-)

    It appears that the pirates know where the (none / 0) (#69)
    by JSN on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 08:34:51 PM EST
    warships are. Having the crew disable the ship was a good tactic because it gave the warships more time to reach them. Will that tactic work again?

    In response to a NYT article there were a number of comments by shipping industry experts opposing the use of convoys and armed crews. FWIW I thought they made good points.

    I am concerned about the failure of both the French and US negotiations with the pirates because I fear that more hostages will die in future incidents. It appears that the Somali tribal justice system is incompatible with international law. If that is in fact the case we can expect future negotiation failures.

    This is what needed to be done. (none / 0) (#70)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 08:55:41 PM EST
    I don't really blame the Somalis - they are desperately poor, and those conditions will make people see things differently. But that's exactly why they need to be given powerful reasons to stay away from piracy. Establishing a precedent of paying ransoms would be bad for international shipping, and bad for crews as well. It was worth taking some risks with the captain's well being to avoid doing that. I assume Obama signed off on this, and if so, I approve.

    Yes, Obama ordered it -- twice (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by Cream City on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 09:13:24 PM EST
    The White House confirmed that Obama twice (with an earlier attempt) ordered that the military shoot to kill if the hostage was in imminent danger.  And with AK-47s aimed at him, he was.

    Obama did the right thing, (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 11:55:06 PM EST
    And so did our amazing Navy Seals.  They had to take out all three of the pirates at the same time and they did.  Kudos to our fine military men and to the President.  

    CNN is reporting the story differently (none / 0) (#71)
    by ding7777 on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 08:59:02 PM EST
    The on-scene commander gave the shooters approval to open fire after seeing that "one of the pirates had an AK-47 leveled at the captain's back," Gortney said.

    Seas in the area were getting rough at the time of the rescue, Gortney said, and the Bainbridge was towing the lifeboat presumably to calmer waters with a towline about 82 feet long.

    A senior defense official told CNN that each pirate was shot in the head.

    After the shooting, special operations personnel shimmied along the tow rope to ensure the pirates were dead and freed Phillips, the official said.


    Yeh. "Lightly armed" pirates (none / 0) (#72)
    by Cream City on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 09:12:10 PM EST
    according to a comment here . . . although from what I read, AK-47s are "light arms" in the pirate arsenal compared to some of what they have.

    They threatened the life of a hostage in full view of warships from his country.  Wouldn't arrests have been a better option for them to choose?  Maybe they have orders from their -- whatever they are, warlords? -- to never be taken hostage themselves.


    Three head shots, at the same time, (none / 0) (#92)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 11:59:36 PM EST
    In rough water, from 82 feet away.   Very impressive.  Our special forces are amazing.  

    Two versions (none / 0) (#96)
    by Andreas on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 04:44:00 AM EST
    We now have two completely different and incompatible versions of the events. Maybe none of them is true?