Captain Phillips freed, 3 pirates killed

posted at 1:45 pm on April 12, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Here’s a happy ending on Easter Sunday for Hot Air readers.  Captain Richard Phillips is now free from the pirates holding him hostage, and three of the four captors are now free of oxygen use as a result:

U.S. intelligence official tells the Associated Press Sunday that an American sea captain held hostage by Somali pirates has been freed and was safe aboard a Navy ship. Three of the pirates were killed and one was in custody, according to the official.

U.S. warships and helicopters had been stalking the lifeboat holding Capt. Richard Phillips and his four Somali captors as a Somali official and others reported earlier that negotiations for his release had broken down. …

“The negotiations between the elders and American officials have broken down. The reason is American officials wanted to arrest the pirates in Puntland and elders refused the arrest of the pirates,” said the commissioner, Abdi Aziz Aw Yusuf. He said he organized initial contacts between the elders and the Americans.

Two other Somalis, one involved in the negotiations and another in contact with the pirates, also said the talks collapsed because of the U.S. insistence that the pirates be arrested and brought to justice.

Looks like we brought three of them to justice.  The fourth will get more protection than he deserves, but at least we’ve freed the captain and delivered something of a message.  We’re not going to let pirates run free, and if “elders” think we will, they found out differently today.

From now on, though, the “negotiations” should be us telling the pirates and their envoys that if they surrender, we’ll let them live.  If not, no quarter.  That should be our first and last offer.  If we keep dancing around with Somali “elders” and treat pirates like bank robbers, we’re going to be doing a lot more of these negotiations in the future.

Update: Second time’s the charm.  Phillips jumped overboard again, and this time, the Navy was ready to take out the pirates.  Great work, Navy!

Update II: Looks like the initial reports were incorrect.  After being authorized to use force by President Obama, Navy SEALs took their shots when it appeared the pirates were about to shoot Phillips.  Kudos to the SEALs, and kudos to Obama for making the right call.  If this had gone badly, he would have taken the blame, so it’s fair to credit him with taking the steps necessary to finally bring this to a happy conclusion.


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Comment pages: 1 14 15 16

Gee, does anyone else have all the money? Did they achieve all their money during the first 70 days of the Obama administration. Just how did China become so “rich”

Monkei on April 13, 2009 at 12:33 PM

When in hole dig deeper? Smart power!sarc/

canditaylor68 on April 13, 2009 at 12:49 PM

Continue the good work then, my government job depends on you continuing to pay your taxes like a good little citizen …

Monkei on April 13, 2009 at 12:40 PM

Bloodsuckers, er, leeches, are indignant.

Entelechy on April 13, 2009 at 12:51 PM

There is a baseball analogy to the pirate story.

this headline

YANKS BEAT PIRATES 3-0

kanda on April 13, 2009 at 12:54 PM

Continue the good work then, my government job depends on you continuing to pay your taxes like a good little citizen …

Monkei on April 13, 2009 at 12:40 PM

Should have known.

Johan Klaus on April 13, 2009 at 1:00 PM

An analysis from AP

WASHINGTON – The U.S. economy is showing only glimmers of life and two costly wars remain in the balance, but President Barack Obama’s “no drama” handling of the Indian Ocean hostage crisis proved a big win for his administration in one of its first critical national security tests.

Obama’s two quiet backstage decisions to authorize the Defense Department to take necessary action if Capt. Richard Phillips’ life was in imminent danger gave a Navy commander the go-ahead to order snipers to fire on the pirates holding the cargo ship captain at gunpoint.

For Obama, the benefits were instantly clear: an American life saved and a major victory notched against an increasingly worrisome scourge of the seas off the Horn of Africa.

Obama’s handling of the crisis showed a president who was comfortable in relying on the U.S. military, much as his predecessor, George W. Bush, did.

Will Obama benefit politically?
But it also showed a new commander in chief who was willing to use all the tools at his disposal, bringing in federal law enforcement officials to handle the judicial elements of the crisis.

The rescue appeared to vindicate Obama’s muted but determined handling of the incident. What won’t be known for some time is whether Obama will benefit politically.

kanda on April 13, 2009 at 1:00 PM

KOS has a hot piece out that the captain was guilty of grandstanding and caused this incident. :)

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Damn they must have checked out the captains voting record or just made the assumption when they heard he worked and paid for his own way through college by driving a taxi.

canditaylor68 on April 13, 2009 at 1:03 PM

communism? you mean as with Cuba or North Korea? Hey, how is their economies doing? communism, you still in some kind of Vietnam time warp? Socialism and communism is not the same thing, but then again maybe it is. Was it communism or socialism that built the US interstate system and still maintains it?

Monkei on April 13, 2009 at 12:36 PM

It is a simple question, which you did not answer.
The interstate highway was the government doing what the constitution allows.

Johan Klaus on April 13, 2009 at 1:06 PM

kanda on April 13, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Thank you for posting that, Kanda… an unsurprising spin that doesn’t hold up terribly well under scrutiny.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. economy is showing only glimmers of life and two costly wars remain in the balance, but President Barack Obama’s “no drama” handling of the Indian Ocean hostage crisis proved a big win for his administration in one of its first critical national security tests.

Nice inclusion of an irrelevant comment about the economy. Does anyone remember the AP giving Bush credit for scoring “big wins for his administration” after the Army or Marines jacked up terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, even when they bagged one of the big fish? Does anyone feel like three dead Somali pirates really eases the pain of the tremendous amount of wealth destroyed in the economy since Obama became president? Man, if some Army snipers manage to blow al-Zawahiri away while Obama’s sitting in the Oval Office, I won’t care if the Dow never gets over 9000 again!

Obama’s two quiet backstage decisions to authorize the Defense Department to take necessary action if Capt. Richard Phillips’ life was in imminent danger gave a Navy commander the go-ahead to order snipers to fire on the pirates holding the cargo ship captain at gunpoint.

For Obama, the benefits were instantly clear: an American life saved and a major victory notched against an increasingly worrisome scourge of the seas off the Horn of Africa.

Yes, that’s a major victory all right. Listen up, Somali pirate chiefs: if you grab some American hostages, and put their lives in imminent danger, Obama will authorize the Navy to blow you away after four or five days. Meanwhile, he’ll spend his time whining that you’re distracting him from his primary job, which is throwing tomorrow’s money at today’s problems. He will also watch you very closely on CNN, so be careful when you look into those news cameras – the Messiah could be looking right back at you.

Obama’s handling of the crisis showed a president who was comfortable in relying on the U.S. military, much as his predecessor, George W. Bush, did.

We’re lavishing praise on presidents because they’re comfortable relying on the military now? Bill Clinton was comfortable in relying on the military, too – he just didn’t give them the armor they needed to stay alive while he was comfortably relying on them. Jimmy Carter was comfortable sending brave men to die in a sandstorm while Iran’s thugs laughed at him. What would be an example of a President who didn’t deserve this meaningless praise? A President who hid under the table when the Joint Chiefs walked into the room? A President who ordered all military weapons replaced with balsa-wood duplicates, because he was afraid to let them have all that firepower?

But it also showed a new commander in chief who was willing to use all the tools at his disposal, bringing in federal law enforcement officials to handle the judicial elements of the crisis.

It was like a two-hour commercial-free special episode of CSI meets NCIS! It may have escaped the AP writer that the only “tool at his disposal” that made ANY difference in resolving the crisis was a team of Navy sharpshooters. I doubt any of them had a law degree. If any of them DOES have a law degree, and he can shoot like that, we should make HIM president, immediately.

The rescue appeared to vindicate Obama’s muted but determined handling of the incident. What won’t be known for some time is whether Obama will benefit politically.

That’s the most ridiculous line of the article. If Obama had dressed in a chicken costume and run around in circles for four days crying like a baby, then tearfully sobbed his consent to letting the Navy marksmen take their shot before using his tears to write “America is doomed” a thousand times on the White House wall, the exact same outcome would have been achieved. Would the heroic accuracy of those Navy shooters have “vindicated Obama’s strategy” then?

Something tells me the AP already has some ideas about whether this will “benefit Obama politically,” and will be sharing them with us very soon.

Doctor Zero on April 13, 2009 at 1:39 PM

You’re a government employee?

blink on April 13, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Think about it. The monkey isn’t only living on your dime, he/she is probably posting on your dime.

Yoop on April 13, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Here’s the takeaway: The US military operates under civilian command. When National Command Authority authorizes payment of ransom, the Navy delivers it.

At 2900 feet per second.

skydaddy on April 13, 2009 at 3:35 PM

There is a baseball analogy to the pirate story.
YANKS BEAT PIRATES 3-0
kanda on April 13, 2009 at 12:54 PM

“Additional Pirate added to the long-term DL”

eeyore on April 13, 2009 at 4:37 PM

Crap, I’ll put us over. Capitulus is Deb Frisch.

1500!!!

hawkdriver on April 13, 2009 at 7:42 PM

Continue the good work then, my government job depends on you continuing to pay your taxes like a good little citizen …

Monkei on April 13, 2009 at 12:40 PM

I hope you’re on your lunch hour and posting from you personal computer or you’re just like other liberals…stealing from people who work for a living. You’re a bigger POS than I gave you credit for!

jwp1964 on April 13, 2009 at 8:00 PM

Not that it matters at this point, but that photo that keeps accompanying posts on this topic – that’s not from *this* encounter, is it? I keep seeing references to an enclosed boat, and now am seeing pictures of something entirely different.

Midas on April 13, 2009 at 10:38 PM

Doctor Zero on April 13, 2009 at 1:39 PM

I… I think I love you, man.

That was beautiful.

Midas on April 13, 2009 at 10:42 PM

Ooops! Obama murdered 3 bros, two of them children, without ammo in their guns. What to do…

apco on April 14, 2009 at 12:04 AM

Doctor Zero on April 13, 2009 at 1:39 PM
A President who ordered all military weapons replaced with balsa-wood duplicates,

Sort of like the Army training with broom handles for rifles prior to WW2.

Johan Klaus on April 14, 2009 at 1:37 AM

You’re a government employee?

blink on April 13, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Given the most recent news, I would guess they are in the Department of Homeland Security.

Hawthorne on April 14, 2009 at 6:10 PM

The Navy Seals killed three of B.Hussein Osama’s muslim brothers.

Jerricho68 on April 14, 2009 at 10:54 PM

The Navy Seals killed three of B.Hussein Osama’s muslim brothers.

Jerricho68 on April 14, 2009 at 10:54 PM

I know you changed his last name to osama to disguise your bs. Too bad you are losing more of us each time you post this petty nonsense. Soon you will have no audience at all. The Navy seals killed 3 pirates to save the life of a hostage.

kanda on April 15, 2009 at 5:43 AM

Comment pages: 1 14 15 16