Sunday, April 12, 2009

ACLU to defend pirates



Somali House, a former Palm Beach luxury resort,
has been refitted to accommodate alleged Pirates awaiting trial.

Mark Steyn writes:
Once upon a time we killed and captured pirates. Today, it's all more complicated. Attorney General Eric Holder has declined to say whether the kidnappers of the American captain will be "brought to justice" by the U.S. "I'm not sure exactly what would happen next," declares the chief law-enforcement official of the world's superpower. But some things we can say for certain. Obviously, if the United States Navy hanged some eye-patched, peg-legged blackguard from the yardarm or made him walk the plank, pious senators would rise to denounce an America that no longer lived up to its highest ideals, and the network talking-heads would argue that Plankgate was recruiting more and more young men to the pirates' cause, and judges would rule that pirates were entitled to the protections of the U.S. Constitution and that their peg legs had to be replaced by high-tech prosthetic limbs at taxpayer expense.
He probably thought he was joking. The FBI, however, has obligingly turned itself into CSI: Somalia.

FBI Begins Building Criminal Case Against Somali Pirates

WASHINGTON — FBI agents planned to interview the crew of a U.S. cargo ship Saturday as the bureau began building a criminal case against Somali pirates who attacked the ship and took the captain hostage. ...

"The FBI has informed us that this ship is a crime scene," John Reinhart, president of Maersk Shipping Line said Saturday, explaining why crew members cannot immediately leave the ship.

I can't wait for tomorrow's announcement from President for Life Obama.

"I'm here to tell the world: the United States of today is not the arrogant United States that committed aggression against the Barbary Pirates back in, er, er, the days of Abraham Lincoln. Under My administration, we recognize our obligations to international opinion, including that of the Pirate community.

"I regret that it may be necessary to take action against a few Pirates who are alleged to have taken premature possession of the international cargo ship Maersk Chicago and detained its captain for negotiations. My press secretary will issue a strongly actioned statement later this afternoon.

"In view of the difficult situation allegedly caused by the actions of a few extremist Pirates, who have hijacked the profession of the vast majority of moderate Pirates, I have ordered -- uh, consulted with My Director of Immigration to fast-track the transfer of the entire nation of Somalia to the United States, and place them on a path to citizenship. The mayor of Minneapolis has strongly backed the move, which will assure all moderate Pirates that we seek their safety first and foremost.

"Meanwhile, the alleged perpetrators will enjoy the fullest protection guaranteed them by the Emancipation Proclamation and the U.N. Declamation of the Rights of Persons."

Lawyer up, everybody.


It turns out that Obama & Co. did what needed to be done — whether out of conviction, or because various parties told him in no uncertain terms that if he didn't the country would turn decisively against him, who knows? Nevertheless, I'm happy about the outcome, glad to give credit where it's due, and am a little embarrassed about the tone of the posting above.

But once everyone is no longer basking in the afterglow, let's see how long it takes before the usual mopes start worrying about a dangerous precedent having been set, how the rescue's tactics will only fuel a cycle of violence, and how Obama caved in to the "extreme right wing."

[A few minutes later] Not long at all. The Telegraph, which passes for a conservative paper in the U.K., already Views With Alarm, saying: "The dramatic rescue of an American cargo ship captain kidnapped by Somali pirates may have put the lives of hundreds of other hostages in danger and raised the stakes for future hijacks, experts have warned."

Look, once the captain was taken hostage, there was no course without current and future risks. Prolonged negotiations and an eventual payoff for his release would almost guarantee more piracy and raise the price of future demands, while further making the U.S. look like a weak, supplicating opponent.

U.S. merchant vessels should at least be permitted to carry defensive weapons and counterterrorism crewmembers, and the Navy should maintain a very visible presence in the waters where piracy is a problem. And if we don't already have it, we should gather intelligence posthaste about the pirates' bases, supply sources and financing. Then arrange a little surprise for them.

Yes, the pirates may bluster and vow revenge to save face. But watching a few more of their lot taking bullets in the brain pan or finding a smart bomb in their Wheaties could encourage them to switch careers.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An earlier item - before the captain was freed - concerning the disconcerting growth of swashbucklaphobia in our time.

- Bill in Maryland