McClatchy: Pirates were out of ammo, wanted to trade captain for freedom

posted at 4:35 pm on April 13, 2009 by Allahpundit

In which McClatchy takes dictation from pirate cronies eager to salvage a propaganda victory from a defeat at sea. A reader sends this along with word that Hannity’s touting the story on his radio show, which, given the sourcing, is … unfortunate if true. Can anyone confirm or deny?

Vice Adm. William Gortney, commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, in a briefing for reporters, said U.S. Navy SEAL snipers perched at the back of the USS Bainbridge — a guided-missile destroyer floating about 30 yards off the 28-foot lifeboat where Phillips was being held — opened fire on the pirates when one of them pointed an AK-47 rifle at Phillips’s back…

According to Somalis with knowledge of the discussions, the pirates, who at one time had demanded $2 million for Phillips’s release, had grown desperate with their situation — adrift under a searing sun in waters infested with sharks, staring at two massive Navy ships armed with guided missiles, running low on fuel and having spent their ammunition.

A relative of one of the pirates, who said he spoke with the men by satellite phone at about 3 p.m. — four hours before the Navy opened fire — said they “were getting scared” and trying to persuade the Americans to let them go in return for the captain’s release.

“They were trying to save their own lives,” said the relative, Hassan Mohammed Farah, speaking by phone from Haradheere, a coastal town in central Somalia where pirates are known to operate. “The only thing they could bargain with was the captain, but the Americans would not accept.”

The idea here, I take it, is to make it look like they were shot in cold blood more or less in the process of surrendering, either as the Navy’s way of sending a message to other pirates in the area or on orders from The One to give him some tough-guy cred. Does anyone believe that, though, given the risk that one of the snipers might miss and accidentally blow the captain’s head off? Follow the link and read down a bit and you’ll see that a French attempt last week to rescue hostages from pirates ended with one of them being killed in the crossfire. Even if the pirates were out of ammo, the Navy had no way of confirming that or of knowing what other weapons they might have been armed with. The pirates could have just as easily pulled a knife and slit the captain’s throat while “negotiations” dragged on.

As for the alleged offer of his return in exchange for amnesty, I would have nixed it too. What’s the disincentive to taking hostages if you can use them to buy your way out of a jam? Hannity isn’t really knocking Obama over this, is he?

Update (Ed): I’m with AP on this.  I’m not in the least bit perturbed that the pirates wanted a way out and didn’t get it.  In fact, I’m pretty happy with everyone realizing that we’re not going to give an inch or any quarter when it comes to pirates.  The best way for them to stay alive?  Stop pirating.  Otherwise, you’ve got it coming.

Be sure to read Legal Insurrection’s post on this in our Green Room.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Where was Captain Hook and Blackbeard?

Travis1 on April 13, 2009 at 5:12 PM

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:04 PM

Um…no.

ladyingray on April 13, 2009 at 5:12 PM

LOL*…..I really am not believing everything I’m reading on this.

Way too many “secrets.”

I think the move to shoot was smart. I think we also need to be generous as possible to this kid pirate. Otherwise, we really do run the risk of being overly punitive.

Another confrontation is definitely in the future. We can bide our time.

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Even on the remote chance they were out of ammo, they could still slit the Captain’s throat, or strangle him with 4 pairs of hands. Want to keep from being shot? Don’t commit piracy of American ships.

kingsjester on April 13, 2009 at 5:14 PM

If they were out of ammunition, then they couldn’t have been really ready to kill the captain, no?

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:03 PM

It’s easy to second guess when it’s not your azz on the line isn’t it AnninCa. No one knows for sure if the pirates were out of ammo or not. I’m certain the commander of the Bainbridge took the correct action as it was clear things were going down hill and it was apparent (from the articles and news reports) the pirates were becoming extremely agitated and agitated people in high sress situations don’t always think clerly or make sound decisions.

When the pirates pointed their AK’s at the Captain there was no way for anyone to know for certain if these cretins were out of ammo or not, best to take the pirates out than take a “wait and see” position especially considering pirates/terrorists are not known for keeping their word let alone acting rationally.

Regardless, if the pirates don’t want to be killed perhaps they should look into a safer and more honest line of work…the pirates got what they deserved, an occupational hazard if you ask me.

Liberty or Death on April 13, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Oh, my point on the decision was based upon the commanding officer’s decision making, which was that the reason for the shoot was that they held the gun to his head and things were getting heated.

I presume, honestly, that “out of ammo” doesn’t mean that literally. A few bullets left were as good as an arsenal in this situation.

I was simply commenting that the story is now starting to get complicated, sort of like all these stories do.

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:16 PM

My only question is why didn’t they shoot days ago?

patriette on April 13, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Well the cool and level headed President Obama didn’t want to rush into this emergency situation too fast. Half cocked like Bush would have. He had to fully evaluate the situation in his Harvard educated mind. Then when he found out the pirates were teenagers with no more ammo he ordered their cold blooded murder…

Caper29 on April 13, 2009 at 5:16 PM

“They were trying to save their own lives”

Too late pal. Sometimes when you play hard ass, it ends up biting you in the ass. As for ‘running out of ammo’, how convenient. The ‘bullshit’ meter is pegging way off scale.

GarandFan on April 13, 2009 at 5:17 PM

“They were trying to save their own lives,”

It is easy. Try another profession.

Johan Klaus on April 13, 2009 at 5:19 PM

Personally, I have no sympathy. You decide to become a part of a piracy group that has used this much violence? Then, you obviously know your life is on the line.

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Where were the bullets of individual destruction? Obama lied, pirates died!

Blacklake on April 13, 2009 at 5:21 PM

The idea here, I take it, is to make it look like they were shot in cold blood

The problem is what?

PattyJ on April 13, 2009 at 5:23 PM

Pirates relying on moral relativity. How ironic.

csdeven on April 13, 2009 at 5:24 PM

15 is 15, folks. That’s a kid.

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:04 PM

Not in that neck of the woods…16 (where did 15 come from, do you think these guys carry passports and birthcertificates?) could be a killer, and a killer is a killer.
If you were out there and a 16 year old had a gun to your head…you don’t care how old he is, you want him our of your life as quick as possible.
And when he is captured, this “16″ year old, that has been pirating and killing for a couple of years, is different from your little debutante at home.

right2bright on April 13, 2009 at 5:24 PM

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:14 PM
I think we also need to be generous as possible to this kid pirate.

The age of the enemy does not matter. A child can pull the trigger. Ask any GI that was in Germany during WW2.

Johan Klaus on April 13, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Personally, I have no sympathy. You decide to become a part of a piracy group that has used this much violence? Then, you obviously know your life is on the line.

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Now THAT’S more like it! Welcome!

Sweet_Thang on April 13, 2009 at 5:25 PM

If they were out of ammo, then the supposed pointing of the gun at Cpt. Phillips back was to infer they did have ammo, right?

Are law enforcement now supposed to assume every pointed gun may be loaded…or maybe not….maybe…maybe not.

From the little I know about handling guns, I was told assume every gun you handle is loaded and treat it as such.

caygeon on April 13, 2009 at 5:26 PM

My only question is why didn’t they shoot days ago?

patriette on April 13, 2009 at 5:10 PM
Well the cool and level headed President Obama didn’t want to rush into this emergency situation too fast. Half cocked like Bush would have. He had to fully evaluate the situation in his Harvard educated mind. Then when he found out the pirates were teenagers with no more ammo he ordered their cold blooded murder…

Caper29 on April 13, 2009 at 5:16 PM

So is Obama just a procrastinator or is he plagued by Hamlet-like self-doubt and indecision?

patriette on April 13, 2009 at 5:27 PM

Mark it a first, I agree with AP. Glad the pirates (from Somalia, not Pittsburgh) are dead.

matthew26 on April 13, 2009 at 5:28 PM

From the little I know about handling guns, I was told assume every gun you handle is loaded and treat it as such.

caygeon on April 13, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Rule number one.

Johan Klaus on April 13, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Even if the AKs were empty it means nothing. Every gun is a loaded gun, and I’d bet that even if they were out of ammo, they were pretending as if they weren’t so as to secure that cool two million. In the aftermath, it may have been discovered that they were out of ammo, but they may have been brandishing as if their guns were fully loaded.

Obama’s in a precarious position, though. The public has been wrongly informed that he ordered the hit which is confusing to both sides — the right because it assumes he has no balls, and the left because it assumes he won’t act with imperialisticgreatsatan-force.

haikusrock on April 13, 2009 at 5:30 PM

Murphy: US must lead
fight with pirates

Chief mate says US must lead fight
against pirates

Last Edited: Monday, 13 Apr 2009, 1:04 PM EDT
Created On: Monday, 13 Apr 2009, 12:51 PM EDT

NAIROBI, Kenya – Shane Murphy, a Massachusetts Maritime Academy graduate whose captain was rescued after a five-day standoff with pirates, is urging President Barack Obama to take the lead in ending the scourge of piracy….

TheBigOldDog on April 13, 2009 at 5:31 PM

I am just glad that Obama let the military handle the situation, as it should have been handled. One shot one kill.

Johan Klaus on April 13, 2009 at 5:32 PM

given the risk that one of the snipers might miss and accidentally blow the captain’s head off?

WTF? There is NO risk of that. They don’t miss. Certainly not at 30 yds.

ronsfi on April 13, 2009 at 5:32 PM

I was simply commenting that the story is now starting to get complicated, sort of like all these stories do.

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Thanks for clearing that up for me AnninCA, for a minute there I thought you were displaying get-a-clue illogic!

Liberty or Death on April 13, 2009 at 5:32 PM

Johan……he’s now in our custody, and his age IS a problem.

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:32 PM

My take, Liberty, is that I now understand why the justice department immediately wanted to deliver the “pirate” to Kenya. LOL*

Lordy, we do not want to condemn some poverty-stricken teenager to 55 years in prison.

It’s, obviously, not our fault.

But …… Kenya could deal with him, right?

Seriously, he’s a kid.

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:34 PM

WTF? There is NO risk of that. They don’t miss. Certainly not at 30 yds.

ronsfi on April 13, 2009 at 5:32 PM

One shot one kill. It is ashamed that so many people have never had military experience.

Johan Klaus on April 13, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Since the FBI was on Bainbridge and the life boat was recovered with the captain and the pirate bodys, don’t you think it is reasonable to assume that the pirate weapons were recovered and we will know shortly the status of the arms and ammunition?

I guess failing news organizations have to hire stupid reporters, they work for less.

Youall know how long the pirate problem has been with us? Who can tell us what the Latin word for PIRATE was in 300 BC? Aw go on, make a guess. Pirates have always been considered so bad that in 2300 years, their name ___ _____ _______. (fill in the blanks)

Old Country Boy on April 13, 2009 at 5:36 PM

So is Obama just a procrastinator or is he plagued by Hamlet-like self-doubt and indecision?

patriette on April 13, 2009 at 5:27 PM

Perhaps he’s more plagued by a combination of the two questions “How will this play in the media?” and “What will this do to my poll numbers?” and the inability to think on his feet quickly enough to answer them.

misslizzi on April 13, 2009 at 5:38 PM

Johan……he’s now in our custody, and his age IS a problem.

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:32 PM

If a kid kills you, then you are just as dead and they make small ropes and small bullets.

Johan Klaus on April 13, 2009 at 5:39 PM

I know, Johan…

But we could let Kenya deal with the aftermath.

BTW, I’m terribly oppossed to the US practice of lowering the age of trying kids as adults.

These are kids.

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:40 PM

Never point a gun at anyone unless you use it. Loaded or unloaded. It can get you hurt. Lesson to pirates–Don’t mess with Texas USA

Herb on April 13, 2009 at 5:41 PM

Old enough to carry a gun and be a pirate, old enough to die for it. Evolution in action.

mojo on April 13, 2009 at 5:41 PM

Does anyone doubt that the Navy has close-up telescopic high definition video of this whole operation. There is no intelligence value in video of low-life pirates getting their heads blown off. Why wouldn’t a FOIA request not be successful?

tommylotto on April 13, 2009 at 5:41 PM

You want to see the beheading, tommy?

*blech*

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:43 PM

If they were out of ammunition, then they couldn’t have been really ready to kill the captain, no?

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Annin, a bit of a test for you.

I’m pointing a gun at you.

I tell you I am out of ammunition.

I have lied to you before.

Do you want to try me? Do you want to see if I am telling the truth, or lying to you, again?

Answer, please.

Yoop on April 13, 2009 at 5:49 PM

Well, I have questions. Were they really pointing an AK47 at his back? Did it really appear the captain was in “imminent danger” or did the Navy take its shot not wanting to give its CinC a chance to go wobbly in the knees. Did the captain jump into the water before or after the shooting started? The gore would just the the cherry on top! (or not on top but all over the life boat, as the case may be)

tommylotto on April 13, 2009 at 5:51 PM

Wait, so… The President of the United States authorized the killing of some guys because he thought they had weapons they didn’t really have? And the left is okay with it?

Jim Treacher on April 13, 2009 at 5:51 PM

This is exactly what the Navy trains for. The snipers did the deed. We now have no risk of sending Americans to prison for waterboarding the Muslims.

seven on April 13, 2009 at 5:51 PM

If they were out of ammunition, then they couldn’t have been really ready to kill the captain, no?

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Even if I was willing to take the no ammo thing on faith, which I’m not — hello, PIRATES — I’m sure they could think of other ways to kill the guy.

They could have slit his throat. Or bashed his head in with their peg legs.

patriette on April 13, 2009 at 5:58 PM

These are kids.

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:40 PM

The majority of the killing in Rwanda back in 1995 was done by teenage youth groups, and in Sierra Leone in the early 90′s the mass killings and the hand choppings were in very large part promulgated by young teens, and in Liberia, likewise.

Chronological age and adolescence (those wonderful teen years) is a Western phenomena. Old enough to carry and shot an RPG or an AK-47 in a good part of the world constitutes adulthood.

Somalia is no different. These are not the young adults who hassle old people at the Mall. These are trained killers, who have had a lifetime, albeit a short one, learning nothing but how to kill, how to survive, how to hustle for power within their group. The Crips and Bloods on mega-steroids.

Yes, by Western standards, it is pathetic that a 16-year old pirate is now in US custody. And a bit of a downer that young teens were killed in the lifeboat.

But, these are the products of a hard-scrabble tribal culture where being the biggest or baddest or both at a very early age is the only way to survive.

They are not teenagers…they are for all practical purposes adults.

coldwarrior on April 13, 2009 at 5:59 PM

What’s Obama’s position on the Death Penalty?

marklmail on April 13, 2009 at 6:02 PM

They are not teenagers…they are for all practical purposes adults.

coldwarrior on April 13, 2009 at 5:59 PM

+100

misslizzi on April 13, 2009 at 6:02 PM

OBAMA PREVARICATED, PIRATES WERE AERATED

Jim Treacher on April 13, 2009 at 6:02 PM

What Ed said.

Bob's Kid on April 13, 2009 at 6:03 PM

Wait, so… The President of the United States authorized the killing of some guys because he thought they had weapons they didn’t really have? And the left is okay with it?

Jim Treacher on April 13, 2009 at 5:51 PM

Yeah, this isn’t Iraq, after all.

Del Dolemonte on April 13, 2009 at 6:03 PM

Winnie Mandela supported a fine group of young fellas who helped with her necklacing projects. Weren’t they called a football club?

a capella on April 13, 2009 at 6:04 PM

These are kids.

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:40 PM

Then by all means lets leave the Capt. on the ship with them a while longer, subject to the whim of their mercy, in the hopes that they’ll eventually surrender. Then we can take them back to the U.S., enroll them in D.A.R.E. or Head Start or Americorp or something. We’ll validate their feelings, give them a safe space to dialogue, then throw them some food stamps and the key to the local transitional living home for disaffected youth.

Everyone’s a winner!

patriette on April 13, 2009 at 6:06 PM

This is just McClatchy propaganda trying to make the Navy look bad and the pirates look “innocent”. The Navy itself reported that a pirate held an AK-47 to the captain’s back–how could anyone on the Navy destroyer know whether there was ammo in there? Even if a pirate had said he was out of ammo, who could trust a pirate???

The Navy snipers saw the captain being threatened with death, and acted accordingly. Anything less would have been playing Russian roulette with the captain’s life.

If pirates in that area know that the American Navy plays hardball when American lives are in danger, they’ll choose easier targets, which is the message America should be sending. Other (friendly) countries who send ships there might get the same message, and might want to buy our protection, or provide their own. No apologies necessary.

Steve Z on April 13, 2009 at 6:06 PM

OBAMA PREVARICATED, PIRATES WERE AERATED

Jim Treacher on April 13, 2009 at 6:02 PM

LMAO…Treacher you kill me…love it!

Liberty or Death on April 13, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Those poor innocent pirates.

Johan Klaus on April 13, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Dead Pirates =
Good Pirate !!!
Real Good Shootin’

Col.John Wm. Reed on April 13, 2009 at 6:17 PM

A question for those here who think “these are just kids”:

Who would you trust more?

a.) A 15-year-old Hamasnik with an AK-47 pointed at your chect who thinks you’re an Israeli Jew?

b.) A 15-year-old Somali IslamoPirate with an AK-47 pointed at your head who says he’s going to kill you if they don’t give him $1 million?

c.) A 15-year-old East LA gangbanger with an AK-47 pointed at your head, saying, “Gimme yo bling and cash, beeotch, or I gonna waste you!”

d.) None of the above.

The US Navy SEALS did this right, you whiners; “one shot, one kill….game over”

dmh0667 on April 13, 2009 at 6:17 PM

“Obama preens…while the Navy kills teens.” I can just see the headlines in Mother Jones now.

coldwarrior on April 13, 2009 at 6:19 PM

You want to see the beheading, tommy?

*blech*

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:43 PM

No, tommy wants to se exploding heads, that’s not the same as beheading, fascist Muslims behead, the US when pushed by evil explodes heads using well trained snipers.

Liberty or Death on April 13, 2009 at 6:21 PM

Sometimes the best lesson in life for an out-of-control, criminal teenager is no lesson at all. It’s called death. Others about to commit the same crime may, at least, flinch.

Leave it to liberals (copiously flowing crocodile tears over teenage deaths) to try to snatch defeat from the jaws of certain victory in a rare moment of triumph.

MaiDee on April 13, 2009 at 6:22 PM

I think the SEALS were almost out of ammo too – they only used 3 bullets.

Since when did the members of the Religion of Peace need bullets to saw off a hostage’ head?

Only 17 – to 19?

What age are the 3rd class sailors on the USS BAINBRIDGE?

(Bravo Zulu guys)

Wander on April 13, 2009 at 6:23 PM

THE US OF A DOES NOT TORTURE. (wild applause b/c the libs know water up the snout is sooooooo barbaric)…..but we do execute teenaged pirates – oxymoronic yet BOOOO YAH all the same.

Ris4victory on April 13, 2009 at 6:24 PM

Dead Pirates =
Good Pirate !!!
Real Good Shootin’

Col.John Wm. Reed on April 13, 2009 at 6:17 PM

An analogy that my uncle’s used in the Pacific during WW2. ( which I will not repeat )

Johan Klaus on April 13, 2009 at 6:27 PM

A reader sends this along with word that Hannity’s touting the story on his radio show, which, given the sourcing, is … unfortunate if true. Can anyone confirm or deny?

You got an explanation very early on that no, Hannity was not “touting the story”. You saw fit to put some reader’s allegation at the top but not add an update at the top to clarify the reader you cited was wrong.

Bad form.

Very very bad form.

Most unfortunate.

KittyLowrey on April 13, 2009 at 6:29 PM

You point an AK with a mag in it and a closed bolt at an American citizen in the presence of Navy SEAL snipers, you get shot.

Whether or not said AK’s were actually loaded is of no importance here.

There is no way to tell, aside from physical inspection of the gun, whether or not said gun was loaded or empty, and if the snipers cannot tell it’s unloaded (i.e. open bolt, no mag), they must treat any gun they see as if it were loaded.

Next question, move on.

ExUrbanKevin on April 13, 2009 at 6:30 PM

Sean Hannity has reavealed just how deep and disturbing his ODS is. He’s defending pirates/terrorists. What’s next hating on Obama for going after Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan? Does anyone take this nut seriously anymore?

DeathToMediaHacks on April 13, 2009 at 5:07 PM

Great, the fruit of spreading a false story about Sean Hannity.

Disgusting.

KittyLowrey on April 13, 2009 at 6:33 PM

“They were trying to save their own lives,” said the relative, Hassan Mohammed Farah, speaking by phone from Haradheere, a coastal town in central Somalia where pirates are known to operate. “The only thing they could bargain with was the captain, but the Americans would not accept.”

WRONG! They were trying to save their freedom, not their lives.
Saving their lives would have been easy. Throw your weapons overboard and your hands in the air. They would still breath air now had they done that.
They were plain and simple trying to avoid the consequences of the crime they had committed. They mistakenly believed they could avoid trouble.
I am absolutely sure that whoever recruited them to commit these crimes assured them not to worry, the United States will not kill you. They don’t have the stomach for it.
Wrong, sucker!
I hope the word spreads like wildfire that we will indeed kill you.

redshirt on April 13, 2009 at 6:45 PM

Pirates get hanged immediatly on capture, that is the law of the sea, or at least should be.

TheSitRep on April 13, 2009 at 6:45 PM

The best way for them to stay alive? Stop pirating.

That says it all, for me.

Daggett on April 13, 2009 at 6:48 PM

Point is moot – the ships the pirates are targeting , and the people sailing on them are not armed at all, so if the pirates didn’t bring enough bullets, they are pirates none the less.

Now they are dead pirates.

(you can call them Chum. . . )

Wander on April 13, 2009 at 6:49 PM

DeathToMediaHacks on April 13, 2009 at 5:07 PM

[citation needed]

Johan Klaus on April 13, 2009 at 6:56 PM

(you can call them Chum. . . )

Wander on April 13, 2009 at 6:49 PM

Fish have got to eat too.

Johan Klaus on April 13, 2009 at 6:57 PM

I think we also need to be generous as possible to this kid pirate. Otherwise, we really do run the risk of being overly punitive.
AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Send the pirate a gift card.

Pirates are best fed to the sharks as captured

Since this pirate had to be reserved for barter, our best option is to ship the pirate out of the U.S. before do-gooders can make him into a hero and form a movement to free him.

Sending the pirate to a nation in Aftica that has also been terrorized by pirates will offer the Future Pirates Club members some real life choices and teach young pirates everywhere the cost of attacking a U.S. ship on the high seas.

Another confrontation is definitely in the future. We can bide our time.
AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Calling this a confrontation is like calling rape an encounter

Obama has presented a weak anti war, anti American image to the world. Apparently the world is buying the image because Obama got nothing from his Euro tour, notwithstanding the likelyhood he forgot to tell them what they would gain by helping build his image.

According to the ship’s crew, this piracy problem has been around a long time. It is the MSM that has changed its perspective. Piracy is a good way to sweep a failed Euro tour and economic morass off the front pages.

Beats Iranian nukes or N. Korean missiles

entagor on April 13, 2009 at 7:10 PM

This does not alter the fact that they had a hostage whose life was in danger. They were obviously desperate.

I read the article for what it was… Information and quotes rather than an argument that the pirates were murdered.

The article does illustrate, however, that the US Government decided that the pirates were not going to get away or trade Phillips and go back to find another boat and go back to work. They should have surrendered.

lexhamfox on April 13, 2009 at 7:29 PM

I think the move to shoot was smart. I think we also need to be generous as possible to this kid pirate. Otherwise, we really do run the risk of being overly punitive.

Another confrontation is definitely in the future. We can bide our time.

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:14 PM

The move to shoot was very smart and warranted.
I’d be generous enough to buy a new rope to hang the “kid”
by the neck with until very dead. Kidnapping & threatening to kill the captive should be a capital offense with no mercy shown.

old trooper2 on April 13, 2009 at 7:34 PM

lexhamfox on April 13, 2009 at 7:29 PM

What’s that old line, when the kid who murdered both of his parents pleas for mercy because he is an orphan?

They held on to Captain Phillips to buy their freedom…and what happened to Phillips along the way was of no real concern to them.

The remaining pirate is indeed fortunate. Probably hasn’t eaten this well since he was born, and may have had his first real medical checkup and hot shower ever.

coldwarrior on April 13, 2009 at 7:36 PM

Please don’t take away the one thing I thought Obama had finally done right.

If they wanted to give up – wave a white flag and let the Captaon swim to another boat. No sympathy from me.

katiejane on April 13, 2009 at 7:45 PM

Well the cool and level headed President Obama didn’t want to rush into this emergency situation too fast. Half cocked like Bush would have. He had to fully evaluate the situation in his Harvard educated mind. Then when he found out the pirates were teenagers with no more ammo he ordered their cold blooded murder…

Caper29 on April 13, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Pretty sure this was an MB4 quote posted b4.

“The wise man does immediately what the fool does finally.”
-Macchiavelli

JAM on April 13, 2009 at 7:47 PM

I haven’t read all the posts but has anyone stopped and considered how hard the shots were. Three head shots in choppy waters, with wind and on two ships to boot. The distance wasnt that great but damn what shots!!! Maybe Im just a little crazy but those shots true art and the shooters great artists!

Claimsratt on April 13, 2009 at 8:10 PM

The AK was a weapon regardless of ammo status, even if unloaded it is a club.

You take an innocent, threaten his life and take him into your custody and control, and menace him with weapons, then his life is in jeopardy and you’ve already stolen his freedom and you best be prepared to be shot.

Maquis on April 13, 2009 at 8:14 PM

Not only am I glad that the 3 pirates were killed “out of ammo” or no, I think the remaining pirate should face a military court right there and, when found guilty, hanged.

edshepp on April 13, 2009 at 8:33 PM

They tried to bluff SEALS, they could have surrendered and lived at any time, but no, they had to keep making it look like the American captain’s life was in danger. There was no way they were going to be allowed to simply walk away from this. All they had to do was walk to the edge of their life boat holding their guns above their head, throw them in the water and saty there with their hands on their heads until they were arrested.

The one that isn’t dead should be keelhauled all the way the way to Gitmo.

cadams on April 13, 2009 at 8:48 PM

McClatchy: Pirates were out of ammo, wanted to trade captain for freedom

To demonstrate how much I care, McClatchy, I’m 100% for immediately hanging the pirate we captured unless he has crucial intel, in which case we should wait until after we’ve extracted it then hang him.

FloatingRock on April 13, 2009 at 9:00 PM

The best way for them to stay alive? Stop pirating. Otherwise, you’ve got it coming.

I doubt the story as well. If the pirates had indeed run out of ammo and posed little threat to the captain; our military is better than this. And I, for one, will not lose a wit of sleep over these thugs getting their due. Good riddance. Three down, how many to go?

redfoxbluestate on April 13, 2009 at 9:01 PM

I’m going to try some Somali Pirate logic the next time I’m arrested for armed robbery. “Okay you caught me … if I give back the money will you let me go? I promise not to try again. Pinky swear and everything”

Stickeehands on April 13, 2009 at 9:05 PM

Anxiously awaiting Rosie O’Dumbass’s take on this.

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 13, 2009 at 9:31 PM

An analogy that my uncle’s used in the Pacific during WW2. ( which I will not repeat )

It’s a variation of something either Generals Sherman or Sheridan said about Indians. Halsey also alluded to seeing lots of good Japanese. I also presume some Greek said the same thing about Persians many, many years before.

Pelayo on April 13, 2009 at 9:43 PM

I’m glad the pirates are dead. Having said that …

There are some inconsistencies. We’ve been told that the pirates were holed up in a covered lifeboat with the Captain as their hostage.

First – those covered lifeboats have rigging gear in them to stap people into the seats in high seas. Why didn’t the pirates strap the captain down after his first attempt to escape?

Second – these lifeboats have one main door at the back of them – and there’s enough room for one pirate to stick his head out at a time. Yet we’re told the SEALS shot three bullets and killed three pirates.

Pretty incredible – they would have had to have been shooting through that doorway – at a pretty good distance and with all three pirates on a line of fire at the same time? Or did each pirate take turns holding his head out the door so a SEAL could shoot it?

I’m not saying there is a coverup – what I am saying is that I think our friends in the MSM are still doing a lousy job and there will more details to “correct” this story coming.

HondaV65 on April 13, 2009 at 9:56 PM

The best way for them to stay alive? Stop pirating. Otherwise, you’ve got it coming.

The short answer.

baldilocks on April 13, 2009 at 10:00 PM

But we could let Kenya deal with the aftermath.

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:40 PM

The Kenyans hate the Somalis too.

Somali refugees are a growing problem. Not so much because there are more and more of them, but because so many of them are criminals. Kenya, which has suffered from Somali raiders for centuries, is now turning back Somalis seeking asylum. The UN has condemned this, and demands that Kenya allow a fourth Somali refugee camp be established in northeastern Kenya. The three camps already there hold over 250,000 Somalis. The UN is also trying to get Kenya to stop sending Somali refugees back to Somali. Kenya accepted 60,000 Somali refugees last year, and have had no end of problems with them. Over 20,000 Somali refugees entered Kenya this year. Somali gunmen try, and often succeed, in using the refugee camps as rest areas. Worse, the Somali gunmen sometimes do some looting in Kenya, instead of going back to Somali to steal. So Kenya has told the UN to stuff it, and is turning away most Somalis trying to flee into Kenya.

baldilocks on April 13, 2009 at 10:14 PM

Annin, a bit of a test for you.

I’m pointing a gun at you.

I tell you I am out of ammunition.

I have lied to you before.

Do you want to try me? Do you want to see if I am telling the truth, or lying to you, again?

Answer, please.

Yoop on April 13, 2009 at 5:49 PM

I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
Harry Callahan

Corsair on April 13, 2009 at 10:30 PM

The pirates agreed for the Bainbridge to tow them to calmer waters (translation: SEALS get a steadier shot)
The US will probably send the remaining pirate to Kenya
(translation: No ALCU lawyers or expensive trials or presumption of innocence or precedence setting)

Personally, I think the only way to defeat pirates is to shoot them. The Royal Navy found that out in the 1800′s. They blasted the pirate ship and hanged the survivors.

gordo on April 13, 2009 at 11:51 PM

How do heavily armed pirates “run out of ammo?” They didn’t fire on anyone more than once or twice as far as I heard, so where did the ammo go that they come out of port with? Or are they telling us that pirates go to sea these days without ammunition? The “out of ammo” story just doesn’t smell right to me.

Fred 2 on April 13, 2009 at 11:56 PM

A relative of one of the pirates, who said he spoke with the men by satellite phone at about 3 p.m. — four hours before the Navy opened fire — said they “were getting scared” and trying to persuade the Americans to let them go in return for the captain’s release.

BS. If they wanted to surrender, we’d have let them. It would have been a lot less risk to Captain Phillips. How can anyone believe that kind of thing? Please.

JustTruth101 on April 13, 2009 at 11:59 PM

The right thing happened. Maybe the Navy was buying time just to get sharpshooters on our ship; if they already had snipers, then shots should have been fired earlier. I have no remorse over a chance of their freedom being squandered.

Indeed, the pirates could have killed the good captain even without ammo, so no chance should be given to them.

Grafted on April 14, 2009 at 7:05 AM

BTW, I’m terribly oppossed to the US practice of lowering the age of trying kids as adults.

These are kids.

AnninCA on April 13, 2009 at 5:40 PM

Ann, I spent quite a few years working with teenagers at my Church. Based upon that experience, I know that there are 19-year-old mush-brained kids who will be led on a string by peers, parents, whoever; and there are 12-year-old adults who are capable of acting independently to accomplish their ends, for good or for evil. I don’t think it’s possible to pick a specific age at which we can try teenagers as adults; each child must be judged on his or her own developmental level.

I remember my friends and I “learning” (wrongly, I now know)in our teenage years that we could commit any sort of crime and we’d be turned loose when we were 18. For us, punishment became almost no deterrent at all. Fortunately for our families, neighbors and associates we were not the homicidal type, because the calculus certainly made it seem like we could have almost ‘gotten away with murder’. In the same way, there must be some credible deterrent to a truly evil 14-year-old going on a killing spree or raping his step-sister. Remember, as we are concerned about juvenile offenders, we must also be concerned about juvenile victims. I’ve not looked for statistical evidence, but my experience tells me that juveniles — like any other demographic group — are more likely to victimize other juveniles.

Who will judge whether the juvenile should be considered an adult? To my mind, that’s the challenge. Our current system — in most states the accused is interviewed by specialists in child psychology, who testify before a judge, who makes the decision — is imperfect, but I’ve yet to hear a better system proposed. It is certainly better than having only minimal deterrence against juvenile crime.

That’s the long way around the tree, but the bottom line is this: there are some people whose concrete has set years before their 18th birthdays. For those who are really evil, trial as adults has to be available to deter crimes and keep hardened offenders off the streets as long as possible.

And when a 15-year-old hardened offender is put away for most of the rest of his life, my ire is not directed at the judicial system, but at the offender, and (where applicable — sometimes it is, sometimes it’s not) at the adults responsible for the 15-year-old becoming hardened.

RegularJoe on April 14, 2009 at 10:16 AM

(you can call them Chum. . . )

Wander on April 13, 2009 at 6:49 PM

Stinkbait?

SKYFOX on April 14, 2009 at 1:04 PM

McClatchy is nothing more than a leftwing propaganda machine. I look forward to the day they go bellyup!

TrickyDick on April 14, 2009 at 1:49 PM

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