(Headline courtesy EC at Ace of Spades HQ)
Hopefully you haven’t been in a cave the last 2 hours, because some very good news came across the wires in that time. Maersk Alabama captain Richard Phillips escaped his Somali pirate captors a second time, and this time, the US Navy was ready. The Navy plucked Phillips from the water unharmed, killed three of the pirates, and captured the fourth.
I personally wish they had put some lead into the fourth pirate’s last meal; piracy is not a capital offense anymore. Title 18, USC, Sec. 1651 proscribes life in prison for those convicted of piracy.
Revisions/extensions (3:46 pm 4/12/2008) – I’m listening to the Pentagon press conference with the CENTCOM naval commander, and a couple more details came out:
– The captured pirate was on the USS Bainbridge as part of the negotiations.
– The standing orders from the CINC (i.e. President Obama) were to engage only if Phillips’ life were in imminent danger.
– The commander of the Bainbridge saw that one of the three pirates remaining on the lifeboat had a weapon trained at Phillips, who was apparently still on the lifeboat tied up, determined that Phillips’ life was in imminent danger, and ordered the rescue.
– Snipers on the Bainbridge took out all 3 of the remaining pirates.
Bravo Zulu, Navy!