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piracy update

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message 1: by Varmint (new)

Varmint | 208 comments as i write, the pentagon is saying that the crew has regained control of the Maersk Alabama. the company spokesman is in neither confirm nor deny mode. good news if true.
don't know if the crew rose up, or if navy seals got involved. have heard rumors of shipping companies employing blackwater type mercenaries while sailing in dangerous waters.

Servius  Heiner  | 360 comments Mod
I was just watching the conference, and the Company CEO stated that no security forces were employed on that vessel. It appears the Crew overpowered the pirates. Good on them.

You know these ships keep getting taken over by small skiffs... those are not what one would call a robust sea craft. A .50 cal weapon system should be able to sink it on approach. If I were a shipping company I would outfit my cargo ships with a weapons crew. A single machine gun should be able to sink any skiff.

message 3: by Varmint (new)

Varmint | 208 comments it is always better to be armed than unarmed. but really not that simple to defend something the size of two city blocks with twenty guys, most of whom are below decks in the engine room or sleeping.

also heard that they were better than 200 miles from shore at the time. probably thought they were safe from small boat attack. the pirates probably had a mother ship nearby.

a couple .50s would be a good start. personal weapons for each crew man. and maybe fortifying the bridge and engine rooms to buy time.

message 4: by Not Bill (last edited Apr 08, 2009 10:19AM) (new)

Not Bill | 467 comments Outstanding! Thanks for the update Varmint. oooh-rah!

This is why the softly-softly approach of the EUroweenies is utlimately a failure. However, we too have our problems in that the Obama administration have rescinded the options for airline pilots to carry firearms.

message 5: by Varmint (new)

Varmint | 208 comments have been reading a little. arming merchant ships creates all manner of headaches. many countries simply will not allow one in their ports. in a way i see their point. would we allow an armed yemeni flagged ship into new york harbor?

think mercenary/privateer escort might be the best solution.

this would all make a great movie. but since muslims would be the villains, hollywood will not have the stones. maybe if they could invent some plot where an evil white corporate CEO was secretly behind it all...

message 6: by Not Bill (new)

Not Bill | 467 comments Two words: Marine gunnies. A couple is all that is needed. Seems that this was their original role.

ha ha - true Varmint. You can bet any movie would have the evil Sith Lord Cheney as the villain.

Servius  Heiner  | 360 comments Mod
I didn't think about the armed crew problem...

I can see why the companies don't want to hire security companies, that would get expensive really fast. Armed guards authorized deadly force come at a very hefty price tag. And in the event they are actually used in the capacity they are hired at there are huge legal liabilities. Think about all the progressive countries and legal systems that would go after any company responsible for defending itself. "Oh my god! How could you kill that poor misunderstood pirate! CRETIN!"

message 8: by Varmint (new)

Varmint | 208 comments exactly,

imagine shooting some pirate in indonesian waters. you're suddenly on trial before an indonesian court with a jury full of the pirate's cousins.

i think private armed escort vessels are one potential answer.

piracy is a symptom of empires in decline. as europe swirls down the drain, and america turns inwards, no one is left to protect the sea lanes. this sort of crime is going to crop up all over the world.

Servius  Heiner  | 360 comments Mod
I think it would have to be a military protection. Lets see them sue the government...

well shit they just might. Something is nagging in the back of my mind about spain wanting to charge advisers to President Bush with war crimes.

message 10: by Varmint (new)

Varmint | 208 comments part of the problem we're having in the war on terror is the internal debate between those who think it's a war, and those who want to treat it as a criminal matter. most in our government can't seem to get their heads around dealing with stateless actors killing our citizens. they don't see any precedent telling them what to do.

but there is a precedent. piracy has many parallels with terrorism. hang them from the yard arm/radar mast whatever.

the situation is still developing. i will say i'm proud of the crew for acting on their own, and not waiting for the sate department to write a strongly worded letter.

message 11: by Varmint (new)

Varmint | 208 comments it's well into day two. i'm at a loss to understand why a guided missile destroyer is having to negotiate with four guys in a dinghy.

message 12: by Not Bill (new)

Not Bill | 467 comments Our hands are tied at this point. Get the man home alive whatever it takes. Afteward, declare war on the pirates and destroy their bases. Jefferson did the same to the Barbary Pirates. We can do so now. It only takes leadership. Obama has yet to show he has what it takes. With luck, he'll get the f#ck out of the way and let the navy do what is necessary.

message 13: by Varmint (new)

Varmint | 208 comments the captain tried to escape?

too many bizarre and contradictory stories coming out. hostage negotiators and psychologists are rushing to the scene. i would give anything to listen to a tape of a psychiatrist trying to talk to a pirate.

message 14: by Servius Heiner (last edited Apr 10, 2009 01:53PM) (new)

Servius  Heiner  | 360 comments Mod
At some point Obama is going to have to admit he is out of his league and in over his head. It is beyond obvious that he has no idea what he is suppose to do as President. From diplomatic gaffs, to continuing to do nothing about everything.

That being said I think the crew is acting courageously, I have high hopes that this merchant Capt. will prevail for no other reason then, he and his crew have displayed a high level of self preservation traits. I think they will be fine, with or without empty suits coming to the "rescue"

message 15: by Not Bill (new)

Not Bill | 467 comments Did anyone catch Hillary Clinton LAUGHING about fighting piracy? Holy shit! Right in the middle of giving a statement regarding this situation, she just starts busting up for no reason. Good Lord, we are at the mercy of frikkin' clowns, psychotic clowns who now refer to terrorism as manmade disasters and laugh while one of our merchant seaman is having his life ransomed. Unbelievable. What kind of depravity does it take these days to be a Democrat?

message 16: by Varmint (new)

Varmint | 208 comments

Pirates seize U.S.-owned, Italy-flagged tugboat
11 Apr 2009 14:39:44 GMT
Source: Reuters
(Adds quote, NATO)
By Duncan Miriri
NAIROBI, April 11 (Reuters) - Pirates seized a U.S.-owned and Italian-flagged tugboat with 16 crew on Saturday in the latest hijacking in the busy Gulf of Aden waterway, a regional maritime group said.
Andrew Mwangura, of the Mombasa-based East African Seafarers' Assistance Programme, said the crew were believed to be unharmed on the tugboat, which he added was operated from the United Arab Emirates.
He said the tugboat was towing two barges at the time of capture but there were no details on their cargo.
"This incident shows the pirates are becoming more daring and violent," Mwangura told Reuters by phone.
NATO alliance officials on board the Portuguese warship NRB Corte-Real, which is patrolling the Gulf of Aden, said a distress call came from the MV Buccaneer tugboat but communications were lost six minutes later.
They said 10 of the tugboat's crew were Italian citizens.
Somali pirates have stepped up attacks in March after a lull at the start of 2009.
International interest has focused this week on the plight of an American hostage, Richard Phillips, held by four pirates on a lifeboat flanked by U.S. naval warships in a high seas standoff since Wednesday. (Additional reporting by Andrew Cawthorne in Nairobi and Alison Bevege on the NRB Corte-Real)

just gets better.

message 17: by Varmint (new)

Varmint | 208 comments captain phillips made a break for it again. this time the navy was ready, and greased three of the bad guys. details are still sketchy.

one pirate is in custody. the question becomes, what to do with him? guantanamo? some regular american court? shark bait?

message 18: by Not Bill (new)

Not Bill | 467 comments Yes! Navy Seals 3, Pirates 0.

Piracy should be dealth with in extreme measures. There needs to be a clear message to anyone even considering such action. A quick and fair hearing, then execution.

message 19: by Varmint (new)

Varmint | 208 comments i try to think like a pirate warlord. it's actually quite fun.

my next step would be to start recruiting out of the local madrassas. jihadi warriors are harder fighters, and cheaper than regular pirates. then i go out and capture a few more ships. americans preferred, but any westerner will do. from that point, any interference will be met with the execution of hostages.

i know that there are problems with arming merchantmen, but it's increasingly looking like the only solution. even if we were to somehow go back to the days of a 500 ship navy, we couldn't protect the entire world.

message 20: by Not Bill (last edited Apr 14, 2009 10:55AM) (new)

Not Bill | 467 comments The solution takes on several layers, don't arm merchant marines, station armed Marines on the ships. Next, and most importantly, go after their support bases. This is how it's always been done, and pretty darn effective if I recall. The idea is to not "protect" but to destroy and defeat. The problem? It takes good leadership at the political level to craft and order such action. That's where we get screwed.

Obama handled this hostage situation correctly by letting the military handle what was a localized event and by staying the hell out. It was pretty much a no brainer, which he's well equipped for. It's what comes next that is of great conern.

Servius  Heiner  | 360 comments Mod
I'm not so sure Obama did anything. I was involved in an interesting conversation last night with our legal adviser; He stated that Obama had no choice but to authorize lethal force. He was legally obligated to respond the way he did. So who knows maybe we will see a change in the laws, and next time He will try bowing to them instead of popping their heads.

message 22: by Not Bill (new)

Not Bill | 467 comments You are most correct - he did nothing which at the time was best. However, what has he done since? Are we attacking their support bases, or pursuing the mother ships? No. That's Obama. He's voting "present" on the whole pirate issue.

oh but hey....puppy!

Servius  Heiner  | 360 comments Mod
why are we the only ones seeing this? I don't get it. I feel like I'm in a dream and nobody sees the giant ass monster oozing down the street preparing to unleash the breath of toxic ass.

message 24: by Jerrod (new)

Jerrod (liquidazrael) I blame it on distraction. The media has most Americans so distracted with things that mean little or nothing that many Americans have forgotten how to use critical thinking skills.

message 25: by Not Bill (last edited Apr 15, 2009 08:30AM) (new)

Not Bill | 467 comments Take heart SHS - people are waking up. Look at the sales of Atlas Shrugged and even Liberty and Tyranny. It's a start and we need to continue feeding this awakening - keep talking it up. Talk to anyone who'll listen and even the folks who won't. All the Left has to offer is "we won so shutup". Hell NO, that's not gonna fly.

message 26: by Varmint (last edited Apr 15, 2009 08:40AM) (new)

Varmint | 208 comments i've spent a fair amount of time criticizing crazy uncle paul, but when he does something right, i have to acknowledge it...

Ron Paul's plan to fend off pirates

Buzz UpSendSharePrint
Featured Topics: Barack Obama Presidential Transition
Erika Lovley – Wed Apr 15, 5:16 am ET
A little-known congressional power could help the federal government keep the Somali pirates in check — and possibly do it for a discount price.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and a growing number of national security experts are calling on Congress to consider using letters of marque and reprisal, a power written into the Constitution that allows the United States to hire private citizens to keep international waters safe.
Used heavily during the Revolution and the War of 1812, letters of marque serve as official warrants from the government, allowing privateers to seize or destroy enemies, their loot and their vessels in exchange for bounty money.

i'd mount bofors cannon along the lido deck. call it a "fun ship cruise".

message 27: by Not Bill (new)

Not Bill | 467 comments Now THAT is a funship cruise I can believe in!

message 28: by Varmint (new)

Varmint | 208 comments the beauty is that it really is constitutional. there is nothing beyond pure craven liberal pussyfication to stop us from doing this.

message 29: by Not Bill (new)

Not Bill | 467 comments Yep - both US castrati and the EUnuchs have done much damage in this regard.

Servius  Heiner  | 360 comments Mod

::shudders with delight::

message 31: by Varmint (new)

Varmint | 208 comments i'm picturing kathy lee gifford doing the commercials.

now the little bastards are vowing to single out american ships and kill the crews. i doubt we'll ever see the return of the 500 ship navy, and the europeans are too far gone to defend themselves. i like this solution.

message 32: by Varmint (new)

Varmint | 208 comments WASHINGTON (AP) — The captured Somali pirate who held a merchant ship captain hostage will be brought to New York to face trial, a U.S. official said Thursday.
The suspect, identified as Abduhl Wal-i-Musi, was taken aboard a U.S. Navy ship shortly before Navy SEAL snipers killed the three remaining pirates holding Capt. Richard Phillips hostage on a lifeboat launched from his cargo vessel, the Maersk Alabama.

the little shit stain is supposedly a juvenile as well. he is about to make our legal system his "cabin boy". he will get the best lawyers, fawning media, and dim women will write him long letters hinting of marriage.

i expect him to come out of this with a reality tv deal.

message 33: by Not Bill (new)

Not Bill | 467 comments Here we go - looks like the true story of the rescue may be coming to light. I don't post this link lightly. Most of the folks at Rantburg are either retired or current Military / Government. They most definitely have their intel together. They're gonna stay on this and it doens't look pretty for Obama. Capt of the Bainbridge could be in for disciplinary action.

Bottom line: Bainbridge Capt had to disobey orders to take action. Obama claims credit after receiving word of success.

Servius  Heiner  | 360 comments Mod
Jeebus! NB if that were to be released in any other group you would see half of GR giving birth to kittens right now.

I will say that this point of view holds a lot of weight with me, it seems plausible, and right in line with how politics always seem to intervene with military operations (I can not think of a single positive outcome when that happens either).

I hope they are able to substantiate this and release the story mainstream. It would be a good day of watching the talking heads trying to back peddle and make OHB seem good even though that 'allegedly' might have happened.

message 35: by Not Bill (last edited Apr 19, 2009 04:48PM) (new)

Not Bill | 467 comments It would be a good day indeed. I'm hopeful, but we'll see. Perhaps you can comment on military personnel and their ability to comment on ops after action. I'm of a mind it is difficult to do. Also, this is explosive. Look at the treatment that citizens who turned out for the tea parties were treated to. It went beyond disgusting. It would be an all time journalistic low if journalism were even involved. Thiank of the scorched earth tactics the left would bring. It's a difficult call. At the very least, watch for a large exoodus from our military.

Something else that rings true with this story - notice the complete lack of follow up. Nothing. NOTHING! You know the Navy is ready to go. We should have been hitting their bases big time. Pirates need logistic support. We're not even doing that! The Obama administration hadn't even prepared themselves for such an event because they decreed it to NOT TAKE PLACE. FOKKERS!.

message 36: by Varmint (new)

Varmint | 208 comments i've been will ing to credit obama for at least not screwing the rescue up. not screwing up is sometimes more of an accomplishment than you'd think.

but i've been hearing speculation along these lines since before the shoot. nothing first hand. SEALS don't talk. and unless the bainbridge captain wants to commit career suicide by making a sitting president look bad, we'll probably never know.

message 37: by Not Bill (new)

Not Bill | 467 comments Yep, it's hard to pick through what may be just sour grapes.

Obama is still in his honeymoon period. Few people want to be the one who brings that to an end.

message 38: by Varmint (new)

Varmint | 208 comments South Park tonight....

Cartman is a pirate.

message 39: by Varmint (new)

Varmint | 208 comments Somali piracy: A seagoing anamoly in maritime law


We have all read about the seagoing hijacking of the U.S. container ship “Maersk Alabaman” by Somali pirates, the hostage taking of Capt. Richard Phillips and his rescue by the United States Navy and Navy Seals killing three of the pirates with one being captured.

As a former Marine officer, this saga brings back into mind the successful attack by United States Marines on the Barbary pirates ordered by President Thomas Jefferson in 1804. It is memorized in the opening words of the Marine Corps hymn in the words “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripolin.” The first Navy warship to carry Marines was the U.S.S. Enterprise which took part in the Barbary Pirate invasion. I was privileged to be given a scale model of the Enterprise by the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute.

I have been asked to comment on the aspects of the current Somali pirate situation from a maritime law aspect. The fourth pirate, Abduwali Muse, in the “Maersk Alabaman” attack and attempted hijacking is subject to U.S. law because it is an American flagged and owned vessel with an American crew. Piracy is a crime under 18 United States Code, Section 1651, entitled Piracy Under Law of Nations and provides: “Whoever, on the high seas, commits the crime of piracy as defined by the law of nations, and is afterwards brought into or found in the United States, shall be imprisoned for life.”

As to ships engaged in piracy, the United States Courts in the early 1800s were presented cases seeking forfeiture of vessels used in piracy. In the first case the vessel was Spanish owned, and operating as a privateer under a Spanish Royal Commission. The U.S. Circuit Court held that the vessel was not subject to forfeiture under the piracy statute because of the Spanish royal commission.

The case went to the Supreme Court which divided evenly on the piracy issue and the vessel went free.

In the next case (The Brief Malek Adhel 43 U.S. 210, 1844), the vessel was seized for “piratical aggressions and condemned, with the owners protesting and claiming they had no knowledge the acts of piracy; there was no royal commission to justify the acts of the vessel.”

The Supreme Court through Justice Story held: “The vessel which commits the aggression is treated as the offender, as the guilty instrument or thing to which the forfeiture attaches, without any reference whatsoever to the character or conduct of the owner. It is not an uncommon course in the admiralty, acting under the law of nations, to treat the vessel in which or by which, or by the master or crew thereof, a wrong or offense has been done as the offender, without any regard whatsoever to the personal misconduct or responsibility of the owner thereof.”

Now, to the anomalies presented in the current acts of piracy off the coast of Somalia. The case of the “Maersk Alabaman” involved citizens of Somalia attacking a U.S. flagged, owned and operated cargo vessel in international waters of the Indian Ocean. A legal anomaly arises because Somali has no real operating government and presumably has no anti-piracy treaty with the United States. If a country has an anti-piracy treaty with the United States, its citizens or subjects conducting piracy are subject to the same life imprisonment penalty under 18 United States Code Section 1653.

In recent reports of piracy attempts of the coast of Somalia where the piracy has been thwarted the vessel has been saved and the crew members/hostages have been freed. But, then paradoxically the pirates are released. This seems to fly in the face of the Law of Nations and universal condemnation of the Somali pirates.

On April 18, Dutch commandos from a Dutch frigate with NATO forces rescued 20 Yeminni fishermen whose boat had been seized by pirates. Then the Dutch released the Somali hijackers “because they had no authority to arrest them. Recently a Belgian flagged vessel was seized by pirates near the Seychelles Islands, a NATO patrolling warship came to the rescue, freed the foreign crew, disarmed the pirates and then released them because they had “no jurisdiction to try them. The NATO reports patrolling forces do so because “NATO does not have any detainment policy. In the case of the Dutch frigate the Dutch authorities stated they could not arrest the pirates because none of the hijack victims or the vessel or the pirates were Dutch.

On April 19, a similar result occurred when U.S. and Canadian warships and helicopters thwarted the attack on a Norwegian tanker by Somali pirates. The Canadian ship a part of the NATO force interrogated, disarmed, and then released the pirates “because they could not be prosecuted under Canadian law.”

Obviously the problem of the current Somali pirates is complicated by NATO policy. It is further complicated by the fact of multiple jurisdictional aspect of international shipping. It is common for vessels to be flagged by countries where the licensing is easy, cheap and taxes are low, such a Liberia, Cyprus, Panama, Togo, etc. The vessel is normally owned by a corporation headquartered in another country, it is chartered by a company from another country, and the crew is made of other foreign nationals.

Many vessels have their officer staffs from one country (for example England, Greece, Norway, etc.) and the remainder of the crew are from other countries, such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Croatia, Romania, Greece, etc. The jurisdictional aspects are mind boggling, and most of the countries either have no piracy laws or conflicting laws. The shipping company elects to negotiate and pay the ransom for the vessel and crew. Last year reportedly $1 million was paid for the release of a Saudi supertanker.

As a result, the piracy is rewarded, the pirates become rich and the hijacking goes on. The government of Somalia, if any, does nothing, and the pirates are local heroes. This, of course, encourages the pirates, and in Somali it is reported that pirates are on the highly favored list of Somali women for marriage, because of the easy money and their rich life style. Until there is some agreement and enforceable international policy and law against piracy the paradoxical situation of interception of hijacking, rescue of the vessel and crew and subsequent release of the pirates will simply go on.

There are exceptions, the French have an absolute policy of deterring piracy and eliminating pirates by force. They board the hijacked vessels when they approach the coast of Somalia, a red line status. French commando units board the vessels and attack the pirates. This has of course lead to loss of life for hostages as well as the pirates. In one case the pirates escaped ashore in Somalia, and the French pursued them into the desert. There are currently 12 captured pirates in French custody being returned to France for prosecution.

The U.S. policy was defined when the order came to permit the Navy seal snipers to fire when Capt. Phillips’ life was in imminent danger from a pirate aiming an AK-47 at his back. Before that the U.S. negotiation terms were no ransom, surrender by the four pirates, they be arrested and tried in a U.S. court. Of course theywould not agree to these terms, and three of them paid the ultimate price.

On the subject, President Barack Obama has stated: “We are resolved to halt the rise of piracy in that region. We’re going to have to continue to work with our partners to prevent future attacks. We have to continue to be prepared to confront them when they arise.”

message 40: by Not Bill (last edited Apr 28, 2009 07:58AM) (new)

Not Bill | 467 comments Obama isn't saying anything - the teleprompter is broken.

message 41: by Not Bill (new)

Not Bill | 467 comments Missed that on the Russians. Yeah, best not to tweak Ivan's nose or even give the slightest cause. Good on the Russers. Compare that with NATOs catch and release. Vodka it is tonight!

message 42: by Varmint (new)

Varmint | 208 comments post a link to the russian story. i'm too lazy to search it out.

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