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U.S. sea captain freed from pirates in swift firefight

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This is good news. but the united nation will be upset as they have hand cuffed ships from protecting them selfs from the pirates.maybe this will send a message to the pirates they will be delt with from now on.

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Indeed it is good news but in the future don't expect the pirates to hold hostages as long as they did in this case. The danger increases for the hostages as the navies start attacking. But there really are not that many alternatives.

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George Bush's Navy kicked ass. Good on Obama for not being a pansy.

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I would say to throw out a few dummy ships loaded with spec ops on board. Let the pirates board and then arrest them right there. Just troll back and forth until they fill the ships, then bring them to justice.

All this has done was save one captain and put the lives of 200 people at risk. Remember he was not the only one being held.

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VOR - Right. You keep telling yourself that.

Remember how it's now Obama's Iraq now. It's Obama's Navy now. < :-)

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Now let's go to the meat of the article. The US can be proud of the intestional fortitude of Capt Richard Phillips and his crew. They fought off pirates, the Capt put himself in harms way and diverted the pirates away from the ship and weathered out the wait and rescue.

I for one am very proud of these Maritime Sailors.

Then we have to say our thanks and good shooting to the US Navy.

I salute these heros. < :-)

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The hero is the captain of the ship. The SEALs aren't heroes, just did thier job properly, as well-trained troops do, day in and day out. I'm sure they'd be the first to disclaim hero status.

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Obama's probably taking time out from the Easter egg hunt to personally write letters of condolence to the pirates' families:

http://cdn.picapp.com/ftp/Images/1/5/5/5/PicImg_President_Obama_Signs_7d2a.JPG

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The U.S. now holding a Pirate for ransom. -I bet the Liberals are outraged.

Send U.S. the money or it's G-Mo !!

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Good new???

Interesting to see news reports from different parts of the globe on this one.. maybe telling of the stereotypical proud physche or short term gun ho intellect( read iraq war).. but basically some pirate experts were pleased to hear the first bit of breaking news that the captain was free.. but then when a few minutes later hearing at that time the unconfirmed news that some of the pirates were shot.. they were gravely concerned as this changed the picture of what is happing now, the up shot being worry of tit for tat, the other 200 hostages being killed and possible great decrease in world trade - seuz canal an easy target (a decrease in trade just what the world doesn't need now). The point being that the story is maybe bigger than the few headline stories cherry picked finishing with this problem started 20 years ago by ignoring the solami problem and lack of access or hope of commerce.

Of course a job presumably executed well and one that will give the guy in charge of what ever country some good pride air time with the home audience.. but part part of the bigger picture is it the right strategy for the good of the world.

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I only wish more pirtes were killed. No mercy or compassion for them whatsoever. They all deserve to die. I know this sounds extreme to some, but so be it.

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VOR at 07:33 AM JST - 13th April George Bush's Navy kicked ass. Good on Obama for not being a pansy.

George Bush is still President? I think that was an oppsy on your part VOR.

What you meant to say was ,"President Obama's Navy kicked ass!"....

Barvo Zulu to the Navy and Bravo Zulu to the President for doing it right!

TexasAggie at 08:41 AM JST - 13th April Obama's probably taking time out from the Easter egg hunt to personally write letters of condolence to the pirates' families:

Love you far right wingers, try and try again, you just can not get it right!LOL

Shhhhhh do not tell anyone but President Obama gave the green light to ice these pirates if the Captain's life was in danger. Good to have a Commander in Chief that knows when to use force.

Article II, Section 2, Clause I of the United States Constitution provides that the President: shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.

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...and Bravo Zulu to George Bush for handing Obama a well equipped and highly trained Navy.

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JoeBigs

Nothing against President Obama, but you're kidding yourself if you think the POTUS was actually consulted on this one. He may have issued a blanket order beforehand to take whatever action deemed appropriate by the local commander but I guarantee you he wasn't the one that ordered a resolution by SEAL snipers or issued the actual batteries release order. It's silly to even mention GHB in any way on this thread but the same goes for BHO. No credit is due either of them and they are both completely irrelevent.

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As the pirates shot in the air, Phillips told his crew to lock themselves in a cabin and surrendered himself to safeguard his men, crew members said.

THAT is a leader. I'd sail with Capt. Phillips any day.

Taka

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Jamac Habeb, a 30-year-old pirate, said that the killing of the three pirates was “a painful experience.

Well those who play with fire......

Just a couple of comments. It is good to see that Obama had the stones to make the call. He appears to know where to draw the line between words and action - bravo. I would also like to know a few more technical details. Making (what I assume were) head shots from a big grey war canoe or from the water must have been interesting. Furthermore, what was the role of the army, god forbid those horrible seaman actually did this themselves (laughing).

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toquro

Are you willing to exchange your life for the other 200 being held??

Didnt think so

So whats your plan B

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Plan B:

The U.S. will take over Somalia, turn the populace against itself, and steal all natural resources.

-well at least it worked in Iraq, but for now we are Pirate hunting. How many Pirates do you need to sell to pay off the national debt anyway?

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DXXJP: Since you know me so well, at least well enough to answer your own question to me, you tell me what plan b is, as I stand by what I said earlier, and to answer your question, I would have to be in the situation personally to be able to give you an answer. The pirates are worthless, and not contributing to society in possitive way, therefore they should be exterminted, if that opinion ruffles your sensibilities, oh well.

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Anyone still think a .50cal is to big for pirate hunting? Sounds like it was just right. Good shooting boys.

Now the ships should hire a few good men and set them in the crows nest and screw the UN's objections. "but the united nation will be upset as they have hand cuffed ships from protecting them selfs "

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Normally I don't have much good to say about Obama, but you have to give credit where credit is due. This was a good call on his part - and better execution by the Navy guys. It's too bad that it comes down to having to kill these guys but when you threaten violence, you must face the consequences when your victims (in this case, those who depend on the freedom of the seas) defend themselves. This is a small matter though. I still think Obama is the second coming of Jimmy Carter on national security.

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Obama must have called Bush (probably at 3 a.m.) and asked him what he'd do if he were in the same situation.

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Just another day 'In the Office' Folks, for the U.S Navy.

BZ for a job well done USS Bainbridge to her crew and to her Seal and Air Detachment on board. A big BZ indeed.

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prevention is better than cure - I heard about one case (less publicised) in which a merchant ship was carrying armed guards and when an approaching pirate boat refused to heed clear warnings, a sniper shot one of the pirates in the head. They turned around pretty quickly after that...

As for the locals in Eyl and other pirate bases, tough luck if there are reprisals I suppose. Anyone running a clothes shop there will have done very well out of ill-gotten gains made by the "Somali Coast Guard". Too bad.

I have said all along - what they should do is simply let it be known that unless piracy ceases immediately (including the release of all current ships held hostage), all the nice big houses and fancy cars in Northern Somalia are going up in smoke. In such case, I think common sense may prevail

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“From now on, if we capture foreign ships and their respective countries try to attack us, we will kill them (the hostages).”

Yeah, probably not. What happened here isn't going to change your plans much. You need the hostages alive to keep your men alive. That's hasn't changed. If you give your men an order to kill the hostages your next order should be for them to kill themselves since that will be the end result anyway.

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Navy captain made the call. Not Obama.

The lifeboat was approx. 25 m behind the Bainbridge when snipers on the fantail observed one of the pirates in the pilot house of the lifeboat pointing an AK-47 at the back of a tied up Phillips and the other two pirates on board were visible (at least shoulders and heads). The standing authority gave them clearance to engage the pirates if the life of the captain was in imminent danger. The on scene commander deemed this to be true and gave the order to fire. http://www.blackfive.net/main/2009/04/how-the-rescue-happened.html

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teleprompter - while I'm sure the basic details are correct, how much credibility should we give to a right-wing military blogger who uses such sophisticated phrases as "uninformed ass clown" in his posts?

Not much, as far as I'm concerned. The end result is what matters, and your President is not trying to take credit for this

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Obama. Really looking like Dubya.

Continues to fund the war effort in Iraq, declares victory there and gives our expertly- trained forces the go ahead to do their jobs cleaning up after the mess Europe's colonial powers also made in Somalia.

Hoooooooooaaaaaaaaaaah - gissomeMrPresident!!!!!

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Just a quick question, up above somebody has made reference to a Navy captain making the call (the rank of Colonel in real people's language). The question I have is are US tin cans really that top-heavy? I thought the CO of a tin can was traditionally a Lt. Commander or Commander.

Furthermore, although the senior officer onsite probably gave the orders to execute, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that the rules of engagement were established somewhere way up the command chain.

US Navy 1 - Pirates O. However, this ain't over by a long stretch. Let's hope the US navy and others are rigorous in the prosecution of operations against these clowns. No more shots across the bows. As my grandfather used to say when shooting rabbits "Don't lead them so much."

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Well Done US Navy. Let's not get too scared by the threats of the pirates. He who lives by crime alone should be prepared for the consequences. No pity for these pirates. I'm with toguro on sinking them all and letting them become shark bait.

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teleprompter - Yes, "Uncle Jimbo," the fine author of the piece you so generously provided has clearly unimpeachable credentials, cemented by his deft and professional use of the term "lefty Kossack wanker" in response to a dissenting opinion. Obvious a man in the know.

In the meantime, congratulations to everyone who worked together to secure the safe release of the good Captain Phillips.

BTW, It's not Bush's Navy. It's not even Obama's Navy. It's the United States' Navy.*

Now, can we all stop spraying down the deck with testosterone and move on?

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Wow, didn't expect this to end like this. Didn't expect the good captain to come back to the shores alive. Glad that a good deed doesn't go unrewarded in the end.

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has anyone from the Somali community in the US or elsewhere come out yet publicly about any of this?

It might be time for Miami style politics to end this!

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timorborder

The commanding officer of a US Navy guided missile destroyer (DDG) is indeed not an O-6 but an O-5, a Commander (LCOL equiv.). However, in the USN and USCG, the CO of a vessel is referred to as 'Captain' regardless of his/her rank. So a Lieutenant Commander (O-4) or even a Lieutenant (O-3) who skippers a ship is called 'Captain So-and-so' and not by their rank. Also FYI, 'tin can' was the nickname used for WWII era destroyers which were literally not much more than floating tin cans. The modern Arleigh Burke class destroyers have nothing in common with their 'tin can' predecessors and are referred to as 'Burkes' by Sailors. Calling a Burke a 'tin can' is akin to calling an M1 Abrams a Sherman.

The decision to act if deemed necessary was made well in advance much much higher up the chain of command, possibly as high as the CinC, and was provided in the form of ROE/ROUOF to the units on station. By all accounts the standing order was to take appropriate action IF it is confirmed that the hostage's life was in imminent danger. The SEALs saw what looked like an execution of the hostage about to take place and had clear shots at three of the pirates so the CO of the USS Bainbridge (most likely) gave the order to fire.

Hope that helps...

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About time the precedent was set on dealing with piracy. Well done.

I can't believe some people are claiming this will make matters worse.

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That is some awesome shooting, from one ship in movement to a life raft in movement, real good shooting. Hat's off to the US Navy! To those of you not familiar with the seas, when 2 objects are in differing and often unpredictable motion caused by the waves and swells, you can only describe this sniper shot as awesome! I'm of the mind that a surprise invasion of the coastal villages where the ships are is justified.

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I can't believe some people are claiming this will make matters worse.

Well, you know... the killing of pirates is going to boost the recruiting of further pirates.

/sarc

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USN

So a Lieutenant Commander (O-4) or even a Lieutenant (O-3) who skippers a ship is called 'Captain So-and-so' and not by their rank.

Oh, not only that but we called some of the Skippers I had not only Captain So-and-so but quite a few other colorful terms of endearment down on the mess-decks and berthing compartments......:)

I have to tell you and Taka both as veterans of the J.T discussion wars, on Navy folk in the past. It's pretty darn nice to actually have some people on this thread acknowledge the awesome job our Navy really does on a day to day basis, while out at sea. Both of you know this really was 'just another day in the office' for us.

Really good to see this on J.T and if I was a Somali pirate, I'd be looking for another line of work real quick instead of this one. The United States Navy isn't playing around anymore.

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USNinJapan Tin cans or big grey war canoes, it is all the same for this retired infantry officer. By the way, when did the navy learn to shoot so good? Are you sure inside every SEAL there is not a grunt trying to fight their way out.

OK, I suppose the navy should be commended on this performance (just this once).

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"Well, you know... the killing of pirates is going to boost the recruiting of further pirates."

Heh, you may have switchted the sarc on - but one wild eyed radical on JT was making the case only the other day that the pirates are actually in it to fund support for al-Qaida.

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timorborder

It wasn't just the shooting that was badass. The SEALs evidently parachuted into the ocean a good distance from the USS Bainbridge and swam to the ship so that the pirates would have no clue that they were there. Then they waited for the perfect moment to take out three of the pirates with simultaneous head shots fired from the pitching/rolling deck of a ship. Not bad at all...

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Sharky, I was thinking the same thing regarding the marksmenship shown by the Navy Seals. I just took a look at some weather charts and it looks like the shot was taken in 4 to 6 feet seas. As you stated, the two ships did not rise and fall with the seas in sync making the timing even more difficult. I wonder how far away the two ships were when the Seal took the shot. Anyone know?

Anyway, this could have fared far worse than it did. I think the President, the Navy Capt and the Seals did a heck of a job here but the true hero is the MSC Master who volunteered to be a hostage so that his crew would be safe. I just cannot say enough his courage and sense of honor.

Taka

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Taka,

Talk about class.

“I’m just the byline. The real heroes are the Navy, the Seals, those who have brought me home,” Phillips said by phone to Maersk Line Limited President and CEO John Reinhart, the company head told reporters

Captain Phillips defines the word.

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Sail,

Yep.

Timorborder,

it is all the same for this retired infantry officer

I did not know that. We Navy types will type slower for you in the future. ;-)

Taka

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only one rescue successful, the French tried and killed the captain they were rescuing...the pirates are winning 300 to 1. Killing them will make them jihad recruits, and instead of AKs, they might pack bombs and not bother with ransoms. US is starting a dangerous game...

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How many thousands and thousands of dollars has the USN spent on rescuing one man from death? Sure it sends a signal but this is in no way going to make the North Eastern coast of Africa any safer. The ransom just went up on any hostages still held captive and the whole world knows the US will never go back to Blackhawk Down land in a hurry. Happy for the American captain and props to all involved in the rescue but it will probably come back and bite them in the rear. All that money could have saved a hundred times that many on the streets of America by providing food and shelter and medicine for the homeless.

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[ US is starting a dangerous game...]

I think the pirates are starting a dangerous game. One they should be losing pretty quickly with all the world against them. Would we want to see an increase in slavery again? No! So the same for piracy. Paying up teaches that this game is profitable. Lets not send the wrong message.

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Den Den How is it that the US started this so called game, if the pirates as you say, already have 300 plus hostages. Your crying and whining is amusing.

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No drama obama comes through. If bush were still president we would have invaded africa now but Tunisia and not Somalia. And the captain would be dead of course. Cost of invasion at $300 billion.

Is is to great to have a smart president finally.

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Let's look at the reaction of Prez Obama's administration and the pentagon to the first act of piracy by the Somalis on a US ship. They kill the pirates. This is followed up by a statement from the Prez; 'I want to be very clear that we are resolved to halt the rise of piracy in that region and to achieve that goal. ... We have to continue to be prepared to confront them when they arise.'

This is surrounded by veritable applause for the letting of pirate blood by the US mainstream media. WSJ had this; 'With all the world watching, the US Navy couldn’t afford to be long stymied by sea-faring kidnappers. No doubt Mr. Obama would have been criticized in some quarters though not by us had Captain Phillips been killed once the order was given to shoot the pirates.'

US News & World Report called the episode 'a defining moment' for Obama, showing that 'the new commander in chief will apply American muscle in a crunch.' Yes, a defining moment, almost like the snapshot moment when Prez Bush stepped onto the deck of the US aircraft carrier to proclaim victory, or the moment he stared into the TV screens of the world and proclaimed that any country not with the US is against them.

At this point in time there are at least 200 sailors kidnapped by Somali pirates, the majority are from South East Asia, including the Philipinnes. Just how the Somali pirate overlords who reacted by saying they will retaliate to the killings is anyone's guess. But one thing is for certain, the brutality of the US president's actions will likely lead to the loss of life of many who venture into those waters, let alone those who are being held hostage right now.

Pentagon officials are asserting that a land attack by US forces is a strong possibility. That would be a convenient direction to move the US led new world order. Wasn't so long ago that Prez Bush moved 30,000 troops into Somalia on the pretext of a 'humanitarian intervention'. Just prior to that happening (1992) the US had been backing Mohammed Siad Barre, that guy was another corrupt dictator but at the time 1970's to 1980's he managed the US's cold war client state effectively if not efficiently. It became a base for US military. When the US decided they no longer wanted the place, following the end of the Cold War, they let the place slide. Somalia turned into a chaotic catastrophe that had been gutted out by two decades of US supported corrupt governance. That got us to where we are now.

And now what's in Somalia for the US ruling elite, fronted by Prez Obama's team. Quite a lot as it turns out. Potentially Somalia has been pegged as a potential source for oil. Quite apart from the oil deposits beneath the ground, there's the fact it has the longest coastline of any country in Africa, all along the route taken by 12% of the world's oil carrying tankers. The same coastline that following the impoverishment of Somali, a direct result of US support of the dictatorship over two decades, became a toxic dumping ground for waste (including radioactive), even while foreign fishing boats plundered the fish from the waters.

It's a cynical game being played with Somalia. Pity no one remembers more than 12 months back and relies on the US mass media for information.

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Well played. I am glad that Obama decided to wait, rather than go storming in like some people wanted.

Hopefully the remaining pirates will get the message that their buddies died for one simple mistake: pointing a weapon at their hostage. If they do not threaten their hostages so overtly, they will most likely live yet.

But, if they get the idea that this was a planned rescue utilizing lethal force, then woe to all current and future hostages. Their treatment could well become worse, maybe even fatally so.

It is interesting to note that the lifeboat with Philips and the pirates was being towed by the Bainbridge when the shooting was ordered. I can't quite make heads or tails of that one. But surely that means the pirates were not all that far away from the snipers who shot them.

It sounds like the snipers and also Philips himself are heroes in their own ways. Even Obama gets some credit. The commander of the Bainbridge would seem to be a hero as well, but I need just a tiny bit more evidence that he did not give that order rashly before I can say that will 100 percent certainty.

So is Obama still weak? He did not order the shootings, but it certainly could not have happened if he had not laid conditions. Seems to me he is neither weak, but he is not strong like some people imagine strong. What he is is smart. He may also be lucky.

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USNinJapan2 - You are 100% on target! No pun intended. Hat's off to the SEALs!

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Taniwha I didn't realize there was such a conspiracy going on by the evil USA. Thanks for enlightening us into understanding these poor pirates who so desperately try to make a living as the official navy of Somalia, defender of their warlord, making profit from the evil companies of the world including the shipping companies. These companies obviously deserve to be stolen from at gunpoint. It's all so clear now. True Robin Hoods!!

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taniwha: So what about the people that the cargo on the US flagged ships were meant for? Does your heart go out to them as well, or just your pirate buddies? And I also ssume that if you were slapped in the face, you would just take it, and blame the US for that as well?

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