April 20, 2009

Rescue Delayed

SEAL team deployment stalled 36 hours, hampered by limited rules of engagement


WASHINGTON – While Barack Obama is basking in praise for his "decisive" handling of the Somali pirate attack on a merchant ship in the India Ocean, reliable military sources close to the scene are painting a much different picture of the incident – accusing the president of employing restrictive rules of engagement that actually hampered the rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips and extended the drama at sea for days.

Multiple opportunities to free the captain of the Maersk Alabama from three young pirates were missed, these sources say – all because a Navy SEAL team was not immediately ordered to the scene and then forced to operate under strict, non-lethal rules of engagement.

They say the response duty office at the Pentagon was initially unwilling to grant an order to use lethal force to rescue Phillips. They also report the White House refused to authorize deployment of a Navy SEAL team to the location for 36 hours, despite the recommendation of the on-scene commander.

The White House also turned down two rescue plans offered up by the Seal commander on the scene and the captain of the USS Bainbridge.

The SEAL team operated under rules of engagement that required them to do nothing unless the hostage's life was in "imminent' danger.

In fact, when the USS Bainbridge dispatched a rigid-hull inflatable boat to bring supplies to the Maersk Alabama, it came under fire that could not be returned even though the SEAL team had the pirates in their sights.

Many hours before the fatal shots were fired, taking out the three young pirates, Phillips jumped into the Indian Ocean with the idea of giving the snipers a clear target. However, the SEAL team was still under orders not to shoot.

Hours later, frustrated by the missed opportunities to resolve the standoff, the commander of the Bainbridge and the captain of the Navy SEAL team determined they had operational authority to evaluate the risk to the hostage, and took out the pirates at the first opportunity – finally freeing Phillips.

"Having spoken to some SEAL pals here in Virginia Beach yesterday and asking why this thing dragged out for 4 days, I got the following:"

1. BHO wouldn’t authorize the DEVGRU/NSWC SEAL teams to the scene for 36 hours going against OSC (on scene commander) recommendation.

2. Once they arrived, BHO imposed restrictions on their ROE that they couldn’t do anything unless the hostage’s life was in “imminent” danger

3. The first time the hostage jumped, the SEALS had the raggies all sighted in, but could not fire due to ROE restriction

4. When the navy RIB came under fire as it approached with supplies, no fire was returned due to ROE restrictions. As the raggies were shooting at the RIB, they were exposed and the SEALS had them all dialed in.

5. BHO specifically denied two rescue plans developed by the Bainbridge CPN and SEAL teams.

6. Bainbridge CPN and SEAL team CDR finally decide they have the OpArea and OSC authority to solely determine risk to hostage. 4 hours later, 3 dead raggies

7. BHO immediately claims credit for his “daring and decisive” behaviour. As usual with him, it’s BS.

So per our last email thread, I’m downgrading Oohbaby’s performace to D-. Only reason it’s not an F is that the hostage survived.

Read the following accurate account.

Philips’ first leap into the warm, dark water of the Indian Ocean hadn’t worked out as well. With the Bainbridge in range and a rescue by his country’s Navy possible, Philips threw himself off of his lifeboat prison, enabling Navy shooters onboard the destroyer a clear shot at his captors — and none was taken.

The guidance from National Command Authority — the president of the United States, Barack Obama — had been clear: a peaceful solution was the only acceptable outcome to this standoff unless the hostage’s life was in clear, extreme danger.

The next day, a small Navy boat approaching the floating raft was fired on by the Somali pirates — and again no fire was returned and no pirates killed. This was again due to the cautious stance assumed by Navy personnel thanks to the combination of a lack of clear guidance from Washington and a mandate from the commander in chief’s staff not to act until Obama, a man with no background of dealing with such issues and no track record of decisiveness, decided that any outcome other than a “peaceful solution” would be acceptable.

After taking fire from the Somali kidnappers again Saturday night, the on scene commander decided he’d had enough.

Keeping his authority to act in the case of a clear and present danger to the hostage’s life and having heard nothing from Washington since yet another request to mount a rescue operation had been denied the day before, the Navy officer — unnamed in all media reports to date — decided the AK47 one captor had leveled at Philips’ back was a threat to the hostage’s life and ordered the NSWC team to take their shots.

Three rounds downrange later, all three brigands became enemy KIA and Philips was safe.

There is upside, downside, and spinside to the series of events over the last week that culminated in yesterday’s dramatic rescue of an American hostage.

Almost immediately following word of the rescue, the Obama administration and its supporters claimed victory against pirates in the Indian Ocean and declared that the dramatic end to the standoff put paid to questions of the inexperienced president’s toughness and decisiveness.

Despite the Obama administration’s (and its sycophants’) attempt to spin yesterday’s success as a result of bold, decisive leadership by the inexperienced president, the reality is nothing of the sort.

What should have been a standoff lasting only hours — as long as it took the USS Bainbridge and its team of NSWC operators to steam to the location — became an embarrassing four day and counting standoff between a ragtag handful of criminals with rifles and a U.S. Navy warship.

Wild Thing's comment........

What more can we expect from Obama. He’s the one who wants to make nice and talk to our cutthroat enemies, the “moderate” taliban of which there doesn’t seem to be any. He wants to talk with Ahmanutjob who has stated Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth and he just cozied up to Hugo.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:48 AM | Comments (8)

Al Sharpton Calls Pirates "Voluntary Coast Guard"

Apparently finding reasons to be sympathetic toward Somali pirates, the Reverend Al Sharpton in all seriousness appears to believe they should actually be called Somalia's "voluntary Coast Guard".

Wild Thing's comment......

Isn't Sharpton a “close” advisor to Hussein Obama?? BWWWAAAAAAAAHHHAAA!

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:40 AM | Comments (8)

April 19, 2009

Welcome Home Captain Phillips

Phillips: 'I'm Not a Hero, the Military Is'

Wild Thing's comment......

Thank God for all these heroes.

Posted by Wild Thing at 01:45 AM | Comments (7)

April 14, 2009

MIA Obama Finally Makes A Statement Regarding Captain Phillips

Obama: Fighting 'rise of privacy' (piracy) ( another Obama gaffe)

"We are resolved to halt the rise of privacy in that region."

Obama is taking a stand against "the rise of privacy'' in the Indian Ocean


Wild Thing's comment.......

The president clearly meant the "rise of piracy,'' but his brief statement on the rescue of the American container ship captain held hostage by Somalian pirates came so quickly today that he didn't stop to correct himself. He did note, however, that those "who commit acts of piracy'' must be "held accountable'' for the crime.

Obama, calling the safety of the captain "our principal concern,'' started by saying that he is committed to fighting the "rise of privacy'' in the region.

Obama's few words on the situation, delivered in an economic-stimulus promoting event at the U.S. Department of Transportation today, marked his first public personal comments since Captain Richard Phillips was taken hostage Wednesday .

In this video the crew at 2:44 complained they did not have enough Navy protection that they were under attack for a week ....

Hello Obama are YOU listening??? You want to make cutbacks in our military you freak jerk!

Despite the Obama administration and all due to our Navy Seal this was a success, and thank God.

I am not going to go mush over Obama for being the left's hero in this. And I want to explain why.

The HEROES are the Captain and the Navy SEALS. All of them risked their lives and it is because of them this ended in victory.

The Navy SEALS go through intense training and we need to remember that Obama is cutting our defense budget. He is not a friend of our military not even a little. He made NO statement when the hostage was taken, he made no statement during the 5 days when the world was waiting and watching to see if the Captain would be rescued or killed.

And remember when I posted about the crew and their being upset about " where was Obama" the Joe the Sailor that has not been on any YouTube or in any article written about this. It was ONLY said on TV and I have only seen it show up that one time.
From my post here

BRAVO ZULU ! Captain Phillips, and Navy SEALS on Capt. Rescued!

Here is what I said in my comment.......

On TV, OMG I love that guy with the New York accent...he said.....”those assholes”...”They were OUR hostages”...”We were under attack for a WEEK”...”tell the president to get these guys.”

So it was edited out. I heard it with my own ears, saw them saying it, the crew. And it is gone.
American crew of the Maersk saying that they waited too long before they had help from the U.S. Navy . That is NOT reflecting on our Navy it reflects on Obama.

And there is also this..................

US crew urge Obama to end piracy


Maersk Alabama crew urge President Obama to end "Somali pirate scourge"

American crew members of a ship that was at the centre of a hostage drama have urged US President Barack Obama to end the "crisis" of Somali piracy.

In an emotional news conference in Kenya, second-in-command Shane Murphy also paid tribute to their captain.

Obama dithered for nearly three days on pirates


By J. Michael Waller

Piracy on the high seas has been a military issue for the United States since the founding of the Republic. President Thomas Jefferson waged our first foreign war to fight Islamic pirates in the Mediterranean.

So why did President Barack Obama dither full-speed ahead, with the FBI impounding the pirated Maersk Alabama as a "crime scene"?

White House spin, being headlined in the press, is that President Barack Obama "twice approved force" to rescue Maersk Alabama Captain Richard Phillips from Somali pirates.

What isn't making the headlines is that Obama flailed and dithered for nearly three days before first approving force.

The British Guardian newspaper reports that the pirates had taken the Maersk Alabama at 5:30 AM British time on Wednesday. That is 7:30 AM Mogadishu time, or 12:30 AM Wednesday in Washington, DC. Somalia is seven hours ahead of Washington DC.

The Navy moved immediately. The nearest warship, the USS Bainbridge, steamed 300 miles and reached the Maersk Alabama in about 20 hours, at 3:00 AM Mogadishu time on Thursday, April 9.

A White House chronology shows that Obama did not authorize the use of force to save the freighter captain until 8:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time on Friday. That's 3:00 AM Mogadishu time on Saturday, a full 48 hours after the Bainbridge reached the vessel.

More than 67 hours. Nearly three days. Even then, it was a limited order. Obama reconsidered, and issued broader orders at about 9:20 on Saturday morning, roughly 80 hours into the crisis.

Pretty slow decision-making in a life-or-death situation. Slow to order action to save an American citizen's life. Slow to respond to a terrorist attack on an unarmed American vessel.

Some news reports say that the Pentagon had to urge Obama twice to make a decision. Other reports say that Obama authorized the use of deadly force only if Phillips' life was in imminent danger. If true, they show that the administration doesn't understand how to send the right message to the Islamist pirates in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.

A Maersk Alabama crewman said after news of Captain Phillips' rescue that the US shouldn't have allowed the pirates to threaten American shipping in the first place: "Tell the president to get these guys. It shouldn't come to that."

The US Navy was ready before the word "go." The sailors performed flawlessly, saving Phillips' life and Obama's credibility. Hopefully the president has learned a lesson.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:50 AM | Comments (12)

April 13, 2009

B.Hussein Obama Did NOT Give The Order


Maersk: Captain Grateful to U.S. Navy

"I am just a byline, the heroes are the Navy, the Seals and those that have brought me home." - Capt. Richard Phillips


From Blackfive:...Obama did not give the order.

I just finished listening to the press conference w/ ADM Gortney about the rescue of Captain Phillips. At the time it happened the USS Bainbridge was towing the lifeboat to calmer waters as the sea state was deteriorating. One of the pirates was on board the Bainbridge as the talks about obtaining Phillip's release continued. 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. All three bad guys were taken out and then a rigid inflatable boat went to the lifeboat to retrieve Phillips. It is unknown at this point whether the shooters were SEALs or Marine Scout Snipers as both would have been available.

This was not a rescue attempt ordered by National Command Authority i.e. the President. It was a reaction by the on scene commander under standard authority to safeguard the life of a hostage.

The AP is reporting that President Obama gave the order to use military force to rescue the hostage, that is misleading.

"WASHINGTON (AP)—Administration officials say President Barack Obama approved the military operation that rescued a U.S. captain held hostage by Somali pirates."

Obama did affirm the military's authorization to use force if the captain's life was in danger, but they already would have had that authorization as part of their standard rules of engagement. If there are innocents about to be slaughtered the same reasoning that authorizes self defense also covers an imminent execution unless the ROE specifically forbid it.The AP is making it sound like there was an active rescue ordered by the President. It was not, there was an imminent threat and the local commander gave the order to fire. Good on Obama for ensuring their authorization was clear, but let's also be clear that he did not authorize or order an active rescue attempt.

The Wall Street Journal

Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, commander of all naval forces in the Middle East, told a Pentagon news conference that the USS Bainbridge had been towing the lifeboat holding the pirates and Capt. Phillips into calmer waters when Navy Seal sharpshooters, positioned at the tail of the ship, saw the head and shoulders of the three remaining pirates, with one of them pointing an AK-47 machine gun at the head of Capt. Phillips.
Adm. Gortney said the Navy officer in charge of the operation ordered the pirates to be fired upon.

Before the incident, Adm. Gortney said U.S. officials had hoped to resolve the standoff peacefully.


Wild Thing's comment......

Thank you to Blackfive for this update and the breakdown of what happened.

Obama did not order an operation, but instead was still seeking a negotiated solution. Most of the Main Stream Media will print and believe anything that makes Obama look good.

The Navy threw Hussein under the bus. They made it super clear Obama had nothing to do with the rescue. They cut him off at the knees. Good for the Navy for speaking the truth.

The thief squatting in our White House is a liar and coward, we are going to see articles and people in a lot of the media and from the White House as well, despicably taking credit for the bravery and initiative bravery and initiative of real men doing what he would NEVER have the balls to even think about, let alone attempt.

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:48 AM | Comments (11)

April 12, 2009

BRAVO ZULU ! Captain Phillips, and Navy SEALs on Capt. Rescued!

This Sunday, April 12, 2009 photo released by the U.S. Navy, shows Maersk-Alabama Capt. Richard Phillips, right, standing alongside Cmdr. Frank Castellano, commanding officer of the USS Bainbridge after being rescued by U.S. Naval Forces off the coast of Somalia. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy photo)

Ship Captain Rescued From Somali Pirates

FOX news

American sea Captain Richard Phillips was safely rescued Sunday from four Somali pirates, who had been holding him for days in a lifeboat off the coast of Africa, a U.S. intelligence official said.

Three of the pirates were killed and one was in custody after what appeared to be a swift firefight off the Somali coast, the official said.

Initial reports indicate Phillips jumped overboard for a second time and the military was able to take advantage of the situation.

Phillips, 53, of Underhill, Vt., was transported to the USS Bainbridge nearby. He is resting comfortably after a checkup, the Navy said.

"Andrea and Richard have spoken and you can imagine their joy and what a happy moment it was for them," family spokeswoman Alison McColl said outside the Phillips' house.

McColl said Andrea wanted to thank the world for their prayer and wishes for her husband's safe return.

Asked whether the pirate arrested will now be brought to the U.S. for prosecution, the Department of Justice told FOX News, they will be "reviewing the evidence and other issues to determine whether to seek prosecution in the United States."

Maersk Line Limited President and CEO John Reinhart said in a news release that the U.S. government informed the company around 1:30 p.m. Sunday that Phillips had been rescued. He was to hold a media briefing later Sunday.

Reinhart said the company called Phillips' wife, Andrea, to tell her the news. He said the crew of the Maersk Alabama was "jubilant" when they received word that Phillips was safe.

They placed an American flag over the rail of the top of the Maersk Alabama and whistled and pumped their fists in the air. Crew fired a bright red flare into the sky from the ship.

The rest of the crew and the ship had made it safely to a port in Kenya.

Rear Admiral Richard Gurnon, president of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, where Phillips graduated from, said there was no doubt in his mind Phillips would be released.

"He was the good sheppard — he exchanged his life for the life of his crew," Gurnon said. "We are truly thankful that it has turned out this way. This is exactly the way we wanted it to end."

A government official and others in Somali with knowledge of the situation had reported hours earlier that negotiations for Phillips' release had broken down.

Talks began Thursday with the captain of the USS Bainbridge talking to the pirates under instruction from FBI hostage negotiators on board the U.S. destroyer.

U.S. warships and helicopters stalked the lifeboat holding Phillips and his four Somali captors Sunday, while his crew briefed FBI agents about how they fought off the pirates who boarded their ship, the Maersk Alabama.

Members of Maersk Alabama celebrate standing on the deck as they hold the U.S. flag after hearing news that their captain is free, at the Kenyan coastal sea port of Mombasa, 500 km (311 miles) from Nairobi April 12, 2009

Crew members of the US merchant ship Maersk Alabama gather around a US flag while celebrating that the captain of their ship, Richard Phillips, which had been held captive by the pirates had been freed on April 12, 2009.

Captain jumps to freedom

Washington Times

Capt. Richard Phillips jumped to freedom on Easter Sunday from the lifeboat where four pirates had been holding him captive off the coast of Somalia in a five-day stand off with the U.S. Navy.

Capt. Phillips, who has been described by his crew as a hero for leaving with four pirates in a lifeboat to save his ship, the Maersk Alabama, escaped by jumping overboard.

Before pirates could respond, U.S. forces killed three pirates still on the lifeboat and arrested a fourth pirate.


Wild Thing's comment........


Captain Phillips, and SEALS RULE-—TERRORISTS DIE. Thank you GOD for the Captain’s rescue.

On TV, OMG I love that guy with the New York accent...he said.....”those assholes”...”They were OUR hostages”...”We were under attack for a WEEK”...”tell the president to get these guys.” LOL we have a Joe the Sailor. heh heh

Wow second attempt that he jumped to his freedom, and this time it worked. Fantastic . Captain Phillips jumping overboard once again, providing the opportunity for the rescuers to shoot the pirates. Before the pirates could respond, the Navy opened fire on the three pirates who were still on the lifeboat. I don't know if the fourth that was captured was on the USS Bainbridge in negotiation, or if that person was another Somali. GREAT NEWS!!!

Fox just started to read a statement from Obama - it expressed tepid joy at the Captain’s release, praise for the military, blah, blah, blah, and Fox just stopped reading it and went to their military analyst Cowan, as if Obama were immaterial. Cowan did say that the operation had to be authorized by the administration.

HEY Hussein, see what happens when they let them do their job. No thanks to muzzieBama.

Our guys asked Obama TWICE to be able to do somerthing and NOT UNTIL FRIDAY did he say OK. The Capt. was taken hostage on Wed. so it took that long for Obama to decide it was ok.. I guess he was worried about his Muslims.

Just in LOL
CNN idiot now asking if this will escalate violence and make the “non-violent” pirates angry???

and this................

White House Statement On Rescue....Julie Bandarass with FOX news noticed Obama's Utter Silence On The Situation

I LOVE how she is reading what Obama says and toward the end of it she says...... " and he goes on.".......LMAO Good girl. Obama has not said one word till now, Bush would have made a statement right away about the Capt. and the crew and the families.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:44 PM | Comments (16)

Pirates Seize U.S.-Owned, Italy Flagged Tugboat

Suggestion for the 0ne-a-Day crisis resident in the White House
Hit the floor (with the US Navy SEALs)



UPDATE: Reuters

Pirates seized a U.S.-owned and Italian-flagged tugboat with 16 crew on Saturday in the latest hijacking in the busy Gulf of Aden waterway, a regional maritime group said.

Andrew Mwangura, of the Mombasa-based East African Seafarers' Assistance Programme, said the crew were believed to be unharmed on the tugboat, which he added was operated from the United Arab Emirates.


The tugboat, with enough fuel and food on board to last a month, was believed to be heading toward the Somali coast, the head of the Italian company that owns the boat told Reuters.

"I've entered into contact with the families (of the crew)," Claudio Bartolotti, head of Ravenna-based Micoperi Srl, said, adding there were also five Romanians and one Croatian on board.

Bartolotti denied reports the 75-metre-long tugboat was U.S.-owned, saying his company had recently purchased it.

NATO alliance officials on a warship in the region had previously described the boat as U.S.-owned, Italian-flagged.

Andrew Mwangura, of the Mombasa-based East African Seafarers' Assistance Programme, said the tugboat's crew were believed to be unharmed.

He said the tugboat was towing two barges at the time of capture but there were no details about their cargo.

"This incident shows the pirates are becoming more daring and violent," Mwangura told Reuters by phone.
Bartolotti said he received an email around midday (1000 GMT) informing him that the pirates had taken the ship. He said it came from the tugboat captain's email address but did not appear to be written by him.
He said calls to the boat so far had not been answered.
Bartolotti said he had received word that an Italian navy warship, the Maestrale, was heading toward the area where the tugboat was hijacked.

Somali pirates have stepped up attacks in March after a lull at the start of 2009.


Wild Thing's comment........

Well since Obama is not doing what he should about this..... maybe we can HOPE t he pirates CHANGE their minds and leave us alone. Since Obama is into HOPE and CHANGE it might work. LOL

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:48 AM | Comments (5)

April 11, 2009

CEO Maersk Line:"This is being treated as a crime scene" and Other UPDATES

"The ship is a crime scene" according to a press conference held by John Reinhart, CEO Maersk Line speaking

A crime scene???? Did anyone else see this? I don't mean to minimize crime scenes honesly I don't. But I would not classify this hostage crisis as a crime scene. These are TERRORISTS! ~ Wild Thing

Some in the Defense Department have been frustrated by what they see as a failure to act

Obama Team Mulls Aims Of Somali Extremists
Seeing Potential Terror Threat, Officials Debate Their Options

Washington Post

Senior Obama administration officials are debating how to address a potential terrorist threat to U.S. interests from a Somali extremist group, with some in the military advocating strikes against its training camps. But many officials maintain that uncertainty about the intentions of the al-Shabab organization dictates a more patient, nonmilitary approach.

Al-Shabab, whose fighters have battled Ethiopian occupiers and the tenuous Somali government, poses a dilemma for the administration, according to several senior national security officials who outlined the debate only on the condition of anonymity.

The organization's rapid expansion, ties between its leaders and al-Qaeda, and the presence of Americans and Europeans in its camps have raised the question of whether a preemptive strike is warranted. Yet the group's objectives have thus far been domestic, and officials say that U.S. intelligence has no evidence it is planning attacks outside Somalia.

Some in the Defense Department have been frustrated by what they see as a failure to act. Many other national security officials say an ill-considered strike would have negative diplomatic and political consequences far beyond the Horn of Africa. Other options under consideration are increased financial pressure and diplomatic activity, including stepped-up efforts to resolve the larger political turmoil in Somalia.

The most recent discussion of the issue took place early this week, just before the unrelated seizure of a U.S. commercial ship in the Indian Ocean by Somali pirates who are holding the American captain of the vessel hostage for ransom.

The administration has not shied away from missile attacks, launched from unmanned aircraft, in Pakistan, targeting what U.S. intelligence says are top members of al-Qaeda. Evidence against al-Shabab in Somalia is far murkier and the argument in favor of a strike is based on the potential threat the group poses to American interests.

"There is increasing concern about what terrorists operating in Somalia might do," a U.S. counterterrorism official said. According to other senior officials, the camps have graduated hundreds of fighters.

The FBI and intelligence officials have said that at least 20 young Somali American men have left this country for Somalia in recent years to train and fight with al-Shabab against the Somali government and occupying Ethiopian military forces. In February, a naturalized American -- 27-year-old Shirwa Ahmed of Minneapolis -- killed himself and many others in a suicide bombing in Somalia.

The Bush administration asserted that some of al-Shabab's original leaders were responsible for the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and maintained ties to al-Qaeda. Last year, it added the group to its list of terrorist organizations. "There are indications that al-Qaeda has provided support for training activity" in the camps, said a U.S. counterterrorism official.
American officials do not discount the threat of an attack on the United States or Europe. "To the extent that the al-Shabab leadership talks to the al-Qaeda leadership in Pakistan," the counterterrorism official said, "if that occurs with increasing frequency, then our concerns will grow even stronger."

For the moment, however, U.S. officials are more concerned about attacks in Somalia and in the region. "We're talking about . . . U.S. and Western interests, as well as potential attacks against other countries in Africa."

The newness of the Obama administration, one senior military official, has slowed the decision process even more.

They are "walking slowly," the official said, "and for the players with continuity, the frustration continues to grow."
But many on the national security team insist that it is their caution and willingness to consider all aspects of the situation that differentiate them from the overly aggressive posture of the Bush administration that they say exacerbated the terrorist threat.

Pirates repel sailors attempting to reach captain


Pirates off the eastern coast of Africa fired on U.S. sailors Saturday as they tried to reach the lifeboat where an American captain is being held, a U.S. official familiar with the situation told CNN.

The gunfire forced the sailors, who did not return fire, to turn back, the official said.

The incident took place some 12 hours ago as the guided missile destroyer USS Bainbridge sent a small team toward the lifeboat, said the official.

Phillips appeared to be tied up by the pirates after the escape attempt, a Defense Department official told CNN.

U.S. Navy in Standoff With Pirates

The Wall Street Journal

The Maersk Alabama pulled into its berth in Mombasa port Saturday evening, while U.S. warships tried to stop Somali pirates from sending reinforcements to a lifeboat where the Alabama's capitain is being held hostage off Africa's eastern coast.

About seven Alabama crewmembers, clad in blue overalls and hardhats, watched from the railings as the ship was pulled into its berth. A few waved and one pumped his fist as the ship approached the dock, which was covered with journalists wielding cameras and notebooks, as a helicopter rented by the Associated Press hovered overhead.

The ship had visible security: several men in flak jackets, camouflage and automatic weapons could be seen moving about the ship. U.S. Navy Seals were reportedly on board the ship.

When the ship got into shouting distance to the reporters, an older crewmember wearing a goatee who said his name was Ken Quinn, leaned over to answer a few questions from the media.

Mr. Quinn called Capt. Richard Phillips, who surrendered himself to safeguard his men, a hero. "The whole crew misses him," Mr. Quinn said. "We owe the captain our lives."

Mr. Quinn said the pirates attacked about 7 a.m. Wednesday.

"They woke me up out of bed," he said.

Another man said the pirates had climbed aboard by throwing a rope over the side of the boat, and that he and the other crew hid in what he said was a "secure area."

Then the captain "took care of us," he said, without elaborating.

Mr. Quinn pointed to another crewmember, saying "This man was a hero -- he took down the pirate!" The man, a younger crewmember who smoked at least two cigarettes as the ship docked, said his name was Atm Reza, chief engineer. Mr. Reza said he led a pirate named Abdul Mohamed down to the engine room and attacked the pirate with an ice pick.

U.S. rules of engagement prevent the Americans using their vastly superior fighting power to engage the pirates if there is any danger to civilians.

FBI Investigating Somali Pirates for Potential Charges

FOX news

FBI agents are investigating the Somali pirates who hijacked a U.S. ship and are holding its captain hostage, U.S. officials said Saturday, raising the possibility of federal charges against the men if they are captured.

Attorney General Eric Holder said this past week that the Justice Department had not seen a case of piracy against a U.S. ship in hundreds of years. But authorities have prepared for such an event as the threat of piracy along the African coast has risen.

"If there were ever a U.S. victim of one of these attacks or a U.S. shipping line that were a victim, our Justice Department has said that it would favorably consider prosecuting such apprehended pirates," Stephen Mull, the acting undersecretary of state for international security and arms control, told Congress last month.

Whether charges ever get filed depends on how the standoff plays out. If the pirates are captured at sea, it will be much easier for U.S. authorities to prosecute.

Wild Thing's comment......

The panzy man now occupies the White House, he is hiding in the Lincoln bedroom. He can't even come out to make a statement. Our enemies know Obama is weak and they will take full advantage for the next four years.

WTH is going on? Do we now allow terrorists to fire on the U.S. military with no return fire?

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:40 PM | Comments (6)

Captain Richard Phillips Still Held Hostage ~ Obama Still No Public Comment

John Bolton comments about Obama statements....and the situation. John Bolton calls AG Holden comments pathetic.


Pirates are moving a hijacked German freighter into position as a reinforcement in a stand-off with the US Navy over an American hostage.

SKY News

The Hansa Stavanger is heading to the area in the Indian Ocean where cargo ship captain Richard Phillips was seized, a pirate source said.

The 20,000-ton ship, which was taken a week ago between Kenya and the Seychelles, has a crew of 24, of whom five are German.

Fox News correspondent Greg Palkot, who is in the Kenyan port of Mombasa, told Sky News:

"What the pirates are saying they intend to do is transfer the American and the four pirates from the lifeboat onto this other boat.
"They think the Americans wouldn't attack one or the other because they would be afraid of killing people."

"We are not afraid of the Americans," one of the pirates told Reuters by satellite phone.

The pirates holding Phillips have demanded $2m (£1.6m) for his release and a guarantee of their own safety.

UPDATE as I was posting above information...update below

Hijacked German Vessel Heads Back to Somalia After Attempt to Reach Standoff

FOX News

Pirates on a German ship with 24 foreign hostages said Saturday they had returned to the Somali coast after failing to locate the scene of a standoff involving an American captive on a drifting lifeboat, Reuters reported.

The pirates hoped to use the hijacked 20,000-ton container vessel, Hansa Stavanger, as a "shield" to reach fellow pirates holding American ship captain Richard Phillips.

"We have come back to Haradheere coast. We could not locate the lifeboat," a pirate on the ship told Reuters. "We almost got lost because we could not find the bearing of the lifeboat."

Mohamed Samaw, a resident of the pirate stronghold in Eyl, Somalia, claims to have a "share" in a British-owned ship hijacked Monday, said four foreign vessels held by pirates were headed toward the lifeboat.

"We are not intending to harm the captain, so that we hope our colleagues would not be harmed as long as they hold him," a pirate who identified himself as Badow said. "All we need, first, is a safe route to escape with the captain, and then (negotiate) ransom later."

President Barack Obama, who is getting regular updates on the standoff, made no public comment about it Friday for a third day.

Wild Thing's comment.......

"We have come back to Haradheere coast. We could not locate the lifeboat," a pirate on the ship told Reuters. "We almost got lost because we could not find the bearing of the lifeboat."

Pirates apparently can't navigate like they used to.

Obama ducks question on pirates

When asked about the kidnapped American captain in a blatant act of war, Obambi replied, "guys, we're talking about housing right now". Then had the reporters escorted from the room.

When not bowing to Muslim kings, he is ducking Muslim pirates.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:55 AM | Comments (8)

Retired Navy Admiral Arleigh Burke and the USS Bainbridge

Arleigh Burke put Destroyers on the map. Exceptional courage and leadership. One of the many reasons we won the 2nd World War. He got the Nickname '31 knot' Burke because he would run his Destroyers just under the point of blowing up the boilers, hence usually averaged a speed of 31 knots.

One of Burke's first and foremost priorities as CNO was the development of a solid propellant fleet ballistic missile.

He established the Special Projects Office, appointed RADM William Raborn as head, and gave him wide latitude to accomplish the objective. Polaris was the result.

Another priority was construction of nuclear powered surface ships - carriers, cruisers, and destroyers. USS LONG BEACH and USS ENTERPRISE were authorized and built, and USS BAINBRIDGE and USS TRUXTUN followed. He pressed for conversion of cruisers to employ guided missiles and their introduction in other ships to defend against air attack.

Antisubmarine warfare programs were accelerated and an Atlantic Fleet Antisubmarine Defense Force was established to test and evaluate sensors and weapons, and to develop tactics and coordination of air, surface, and submarine forces. He took pains to ensure that the Navy achieved and maintained a high state of readiness.

The USS Bainbridge is a Burke class destroyer launched drones that monitored the incident and kept radio contact with the pirates.




Retired Navy Admiral Arleigh Burke, the U.S. Navy's most famous destroyer squadron combat commander and Chief of Naval Operations from 1955 to 1961, passed away today at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. He was 94.

The 42-year Navy veteran retired from active duty in 1961 after an unprecedented three terms as Chief of Naval Operations. A 1923 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he was best remembered for his World War II command of Destroyer Squadron 23, who came to be known as the "Little Beavers" after their insignia based on the comic strip character.

In the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville, in November 1943, Burke brilliantly distinguished himself in leading several torpedo attacks which sank a number of Japanese warships. At the end of the month he repeated his performance at the battle of Cape St. George, New Ireland. The final score of "Little Beavers" sinkings was one enemy cruiser, nine destroyers, one submarine and several small vessels, plus some 30 planes shot down.

Burke's ability to lead his squadron in spectacular dashes at high speeds earned him the nickname "31 Knot Burke."

"The nation has lost a true hero," said Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton. "Arleigh Burke was a patriot in the most classic tradition. He will be remembered as the very embodiment of honor, courage, and commitment. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."
The Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mike Boorda said, "Admiral Arleigh Burke defined what it means to be a Naval officer; relentless in combat, resourceful in command, and revered by his crews. He was the Sailor's Sailor. The entire Navy grieves as it remembers 'Thirty-one knot' Burke."

The Navy recently named an entire class of destroyers, the most modern and capable destroyers ever built, the "Arleigh Burke Class" after the WWII hero.

During the commissioning of USS ARLEIGH BURKE (DDG 51) in 1991, Admiral Burke issued a characteristic challenge to the ship's crew. "This ship is built to fight," he said. "You'd better know how."

Admiral Burke once described his approach to life as "...an old-time philosophy -- a philosophy of realism. You must always ask yourself the question, 'What is important in life?'...I think I did my best and even tried to do a little more. But I don't think it's very important that I be remembered...the ideas I stood for should be remembered."

In January 1977, he was awarded the nation's highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom.

Wild Thing's comment........

This hostage crisis has connections to some very powerful, amazing history in the
destroyer the USS Bainbridge. As I was reading the link that Mark sent to me, I had such a strong feeling of what it would be like to have a CIC, a President that cared to know about the history of our military, about our destroyers and those that have been leaders like Retired Navy Admiral Arleigh Burke.

Then I felt how sad it is that we have come to a place in our country where jokes on late night talk shows have been done simply by interviewing people walking around outside and asking them who is the Vice President and where is Mount Rushmore located and they have no clue. But how can we be upset with these idiots when the much more shocking thing is the ONE in our White House that referred to Peal Harbor as a BOMB was dropped. A BOMB, not bombs but one lone bomb. A person that will only use our military and not respect it , not even if his life depended on it and it does as our does every day that we live in the land of the free.

Thank God for men in our history like Retired Navy Admiral Arleigh Burke and all our Veterans that have served and our troops today. Each one knowing that freedom is not a throw away word not the lives that gave it to us.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:42 AM | Comments (6)

April 10, 2009

American Captain Tries Daring Escape from Somali Pirates

Somali Pirates Foil Escape, Threaten to Kill American Captain

ABC news

Somali pirates recaptured an American captain who tried a daring escape from their lifeboat during the night and then threatened to kill him if the U.S. Navy attempts to rescue him.

Phillips, the captain of the freighter Maersk Alabama that was hijacked by pirates and then retaken by his American crew, tried to single handedly end the standoff during the night.

He and four pirates have been bobbing in the water for three days. The boat can hold 76 people, so there is room for them to move around at times.

At one point during the night, Phillips courageously leaped off and began swimming for freedom, officials told ABC News. Almost immediately, a pirate jumped in after Phillips and dragged him back to the boat, officials said.

The entire drama was captured by a drone flying overhead that sent back live color video to the nearby U.S. warship, the Bainbridge, officials said.

Once recaptured, Phillips was back with four pirates in the 28-foot lifeboat. The pirates, out of gas but armed with AK-47 rifles, insisted on taking Phillips back to Somalia to hold him for ransom. They are about 300 miles from shore.

Hours after Phillips' failed escape, the pirates' leader in Somalia let it be known that they want a ransom for Phillips and that they will kill him if the Navy uses force against them.

A Somali who helped negotiate a ransom last year for a Ukranian freighter loaded with Russian tanks and other weapons, told the Associated Press that the strategy for the lifeboat is being handled ashore.

They want to be able to bring Phillips to Somalia and then negotiate his ransom, the Somali negotiator told the AP.

Tensions escalated around the little boat today, with both sides sending reinforcements to the scene.

The U.S. destroyer Bainbridge has been keeping an eye on the four pirates in recent days and has been joined by another warship, the Halyburton, which carries two helicopters.

The pirates also claim to be sending reinforcements, hijacked ships with their captured crews as human shields.

"The pirates have summoned assistance -- skiffs and motherships are heading toward the area from the coast," a Nairobi-based diplomat, who spoke on condition on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media, told the AP. "We knew they were gathering yesterday."

Wild Thing's comment.......

The Seals were not ready for a rescue because Obama didn’t even let them go in the water. Obama has given the order for the Navy NOT to shoot, and is NOT allowing the SEALs into the water. They have been waiting for Hussein's go ahead.

It isn't just Capt. Phillips being held hostage. He represents America to the world right now and every Jihadist knows it. This puts us in great jeopardy as it will only embolden and encourage those who want to destroy America.

It is inconceivable that when Phillips was able to separate himself from the terrorists and got in the water that a SEAL team wasn't at the ready to aid him. This entire incident should be over by now but instead it is escalating to a major international incident.

Prayers up for the Captain and his family. God forbid, if something happens to him, it will be Obama’s fault totally.

Posted by Wild Thing at 01:15 PM | Comments (12)

John Kerry Calls For Pirate Hearings As Drama Continues

Kerry calls for pirate hearings as drama continues

The Hill

By Bridget Johnson

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee called for hearings on the mounting piracy threat as the fate of an American cargo-ship captain remained in limbo Thursday.

"These acts of piracy off of Somalia’s coastline may seem surreal, but they’re all too real and a thorough policy debate is long overdue," said Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in a statement. "When Americans, including at least one from Massachusetts, are endangered, you’ve got a complicated and dangerous international situation brewing, and that includes questions about a hot-pursuit policy on Somalia’s coastline."

The 20-member crew of the Maersk Alabama, which was carrying food from the World Food Program and the United States Agency for International Development to Kenya, managed to wrest control of the ship from the pirates after the Wednesday hijacking, but the ship's captain, Richard Phillips, was taken by pirates into a lifeboat that was drifting near the Alabama and the USS Bainbridge guided missile destoyer, which had arrived on scene to aid the ship.

On Thursday, the FBI had joined Department of Defense efforts to secure Phillips's release.

The pirate attack was not only the first on American sailors in 200 years, but the sixth in the span of a week along the lawless Somali coast.

"There have been more than 50 attacks in the area this year alone and the problem isn’t going away," Kerry said. "I plan to hold hearings to further examine the growing threat of piracy and all the policy options that need to be on the table before the next fire drill becomes an international incident with big implications.”
Vice President Biden was less forthcoming about the unfolding drama when asked at an economic recovery meeting Thursday what the U.S. was going to do about the pirates. "This is being worked on around the clock since this happened, and — but I'm not in a position, right now, to comment on it," Biden said as pool reporters were shown the door.
The Defense Department was similarly hushed Thursday. “There’s intense interest in this, and I appreciate that, but I must ask that you appreciate the fact that this is an ongoing and unfolding situation,” Defense spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters at the Pentagon. “For those reasons, I will not talk in any detail of what the military aspect of this may or may not be.”

Somali Foreign Minister Mohamed Omaar said Thursday, "The pirates are playing with fire and have got themselves into a situation where they have to extricate themselves because there is no way they can win."

Somalia's government has previously pledged to do more to combat piracy, but it only controls a few square miles in a country nearly the size of Texas.

Last December, the U.N. Security Council approved land and air attacks by other nations on pirate bases in Somalia. The U.S., the European Union, China, India and Iran contribute to patrols in the Gulf of Aden, but that has just driven pirates farther down the 1,900-mile Somali coast.

Wild Thing's comment........

Kerry probably wants the pirates to come before Senate hearings so they can ask the pirates what they can do for them.

Or maybe Kerry will write a few after-action reports and give himself a few more phony medals for fighting (pirates) , and then of course make the piracy problem America’s fault.

When they hold hearings, don’t they usually call the other side to testify? Will Kerry be subpoenaing the pirates?

Quote from John Kerry about the terrorists after 9-11 ....''We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance,'' Kerry said.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (8)

Terrorists Pirates Are In For A Ship Storm

Pirates Are In For A Ship Storm

US Destroyer Closes in on Hostage Boat

New York Post

A US Navy destroyer yesterday shivered the timbers of a hapless group of Somali pirates stranded on the high seas in a lifeboat.

"We are surrounded by warships and don't have time to talk," one terrified pirate told a Reuters reporter who reached him via a satellite phone.
"Please pray for us."

But the four blubbering buccaneers refused to release the American skipper, Capt. Richard Phillips, their hostage in the tiny boat off Somalia as the 510-foot destroyer USS Bainbridge and other naval vessels kept close watch. All the while, negotiators tried to secure Phillips' release via telephone and radio.

"We are trying to resolve this is a peaceful manner," said Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman. "Should the US come into custody of the pirates, you can be assured a component of our strategy is to hold these individuals accountable for their crimes."

US Central Command boss Gen. David Petraeus said the military will increase its presence near the Horn of Africa in response to the first pirate seizure of an American vessel in more than 200 years.

"I can tell you there definitely will be more ships in that area within the next 24 to 48 hours," Petraeus said. "This is a very complex situation, though, because you have a hostage situation."

At least one pirate was talking tough, telling Bloomberg News from the lifeboat, "The situation will end soon."

The pirate identified as Da'ud said if the Americans "attempt to use any military operation I am sure that nobody will survive."

Abdi Garad, a pirate commander, said from the Somali port of Eyl, "We are planning to reinforce our colleagues, who told us that a Navy ship was closing in on them."

But experts, noting the Bainbridge's massive firepower, scoffed at Garad's bravado -- and a report that two boats of armed pirates were bound for the standoff scene.

"No one is coming to the pirates' rescue, that's for sure," said retired US Navy Cmdr. Kirk Lippold.
"It's a waiting game and time is on the Navy's side. The pirates are in a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean. The only card they have to play is the captain."

President Obama was briefed on the situation as Navy negotiators continued efforts to have the pirates free Phillips.

U.S. military already prepared with battle plans for Somalia pirates, say intelligence sources

New York Daily News

U.S. military commanders have already prepared battle plans for ending the scourge of piracy on the high seas off Somalia if President Obama pulls the trigger, sources told the Daily News Wednesday.

The Navy sent a warship to intercept Somali pirates Wednesday who hijacked a U.S.-flagged freighter, as commanders weighed military options for nailing the brigands' bases.

Retired U.S. Ambassador Robert Oakley, who was special envoy to Somalia in the 1990s, said U.S. special operations forces have drawn up detailed plans to attack piracy groups where they live on land, but are awaiting orders from the Obama national security team.

"Our special operations people have been itching to clean them up. So far, no one has let them," Oakley told the Daily News.
The veteran diplomat, who also was ambassador to Pakistan, said teams of Army Delta Force or Navy SEALs "could take care of the pirates in 72 hours" if given the order to strike.
"They have plans on the table but are waiting for the green light," Oakley said.

Wild Thing's comment.........

"President Obama was briefed on the situation"

I can't help but laugh at this part of it. We keep seeing how Obama has been briefed, it is making me feel like when we see in an article how the reporter tried to contact the person the article is about and there was NO comment or response to the call. haha

This is a serious situation and I am in no way laughing at that. Only how Obama is so weak and not present in any of this....only that he has been briefed. So much for that 3:00 in the morning phone call. Obama would have his teleprompter answering the phone. Half awake he hands the phone over and says without opening his eyes...it's for you ( to the teleprompter).

Prayer for Capt Richard Phillips and his wife and family and to the rest of the crew and also to the rest of our Americans involved in taking care of this hostage crisis.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:50 AM | Comments (8)

April 09, 2009

Obama When Asked About Pirates and Hostage Crisis :"Guys, we're talking about housing right now."

Obama speaks during a meeting with homeowners and members of his economic team about the impact of historically low interest rates at the White House in Washington April 9, 2009. Flanking Obama are Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (C) and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan (R).

Obama declines comment on US hostage crisis off Somalia


U.S. President Barack Obama declined to answer reporters' questions on Thursday on a hostage crisis off the coast of Somalia, where a U.S. ship captain is being held captive by pirates.

Obama was asked to comment on the situation several times by reporters at a White House event on refinancing for homeowners. Obama, however, stuck closely to the script and replied that he wanted to remain focused on housing.

The AP is quoting Obama and his responding to the reporter:

Obama declines to answer question on piracy


WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has declined to answer a question about the hostage situation off the coast of Somalia.

The president was asked about the incident as he met with U.S. homeowners about refinancing mortgages. At the close of a Roosevelt Room event, the president was asked by a reporter if he were concerned about the piracy incident.

Obama responded: "Guys, we're talking about housing right now."

Reporters were then ushered out of the room as they usually are after such events.

Obama has yet to comment publicly on the incident.

Rush speaking on Obama's lack of comment first thing on his show.
Rush: "This is President Obama voting 'present'"

Hillary Clinton Breaks Into Laughter Discussing Pirate Terror Hijacking Attack


Wild Thing's comment......

Obama is still crafting his apology because obviously this is the fault of the US after years of arrogance.

"Guys, we're talking about housing right now."

So much for the bare minimum of vague words of support for the hostage's family. Instead, it's pretty much "Shut-up and go away."

What a moron. At least say your heart goes out to the sailors and their families. He can't even bring himself to say that, because he doesn't feel that way. I have said before there is a coldness about Obama.

The actions of Obama a panzy are beyond disgusting. Obama is incompetent, inexperienced, naive, indifferent and undeserving of being in charge of our nation. I might also add that I consider him to be a coward without integrity or honor of any kind.

He only cares that the shipment arrive in Kenya. He doesn't care one bit about the Captain or crew.

And then there is Hillary.... sheesh

Hillary starts out with tough language and then laughs about Pirate attacks! She laughs?? Americans were victimized by terror today and Hillary makes light of "the shores of Tripoli"?

Posted by Wild Thing at 01:57 PM | Comments (16)

FBI in Hostage Talks With Somalis

The military has called in FBI hostage negotiators to help end a standoff with Somali pirates holding a U.S. ship captain hostage. (April 9)


The US Navy has called in FBI hostage negotiators to help secure the release of a US captain held by Somali pirates in a lifeboat in the Indian Ocean.

Capt Richard Phillips was taken from the Maersk Alabama cargo ship after it was briefly seized by pirates.

Officials said a US warship had arrived in the area and was remaining in sight of the lifeboat during the tense talks.

Relatives of the Maersk Alabama crew told US media the ship was now sailing to Mombasa in Kenya under armed guard.

'Dead in the water'

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said the navy had called his hostage experts "to assist with negotiations".

He said the FBI was now "fully engaged in this matter".

The pirates took the lifeboat from the Maersk Alabama when they fled the ship after being fought off by the American crew.

Analysts have said the negotiations could be lengthy, with the pirates keen to extract a ransom for the captain as well as compensation for a boat that was wrecked in the attack.

And the lifeboat is thought to be equipped for a week at sea, although the ship's owners, Maersk, said it had run out of petrol and was "dead in the water".

Wild Thing's comment......

F.B.I ? You have got to be kidding me. By sending an FBI negotiator Obama has just enabled MORE PIRACY.

This is the only message we should be sending the Pirates:

You can surrender now or add another verse to the Marine Corps Hymn.

Posted by Wild Thing at 01:50 PM | Comments (10)

Somali Pirates Seize Cargo Ship, 20 U.S. Sailors

The hijacked vessel carrying 20 Americans is believed to be a Maersk cargo ship

White House Monitors Somali Pirate Attack on U.S.-Flagged Ship, American Crew

FOX news

The U.S. Navy ordered its ships to the scene of a hijacking off the coast of Somalia Wednesday after pirates commandeered a U.S.-flagged cargo ship crewed by 20 U.S. citizens.

Officials would not say how many Navy ships are on the scene nor would it confirm the nationality of the crew members, but sources told FOX News the Danish-owned ship is operated by U.S. shipping company, Maersk Line Limited.

Pentagon Spokesman Bryan Whitman said he has "no information to suggest the 20 crew members of the Maersk Alabama have been harmed by the pirates."

The Department of Defense has taken the lead on information-gathering. Whitman declined to comment when asked if military action would be taken.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the White House is "closely monitoring the apparent hijacking of the U.S.-flagged ship in the Indian Ocean and assessing a course of action to resolve this situation."

"Our top priority is the personal safety of the crew members on board," Gibbs said in a written statement.

UPDATE Information:


Maersk Line is one of the U.S. Department of Defense's primary shipping contractors, according to GlobalSecurity.org. The Web site said the firm "manages a fleet of nearly 50 ships in commercial and government service, including vessels requiring Top Secret security clearances."

U.S. Navy spokesman Lt. Nathan Christensen said the vessel was not working under a Pentagon contract when hijacked.

In a riveting high-seas drama, an unarmed American crew wrested control of their U.S.-flagged cargo ship from Somali pirates Wednesday and sent them fleeing to a lifeboat with the captain as hostage.

By late Wednesday, the destroyer USS Bainbridge had arrived. The Bainbridge was among several U.S. ships, including the cruiser USS Gettysburg, that had been patrolling in the region but were several hours away when the Maersk Alabama was seized.

By late Wednesday, the destroyer USS Bainbridge had arrived. The Bainbridge was among several U.S. ships, including the cruiser USS Gettysburg, that had been patrolling in the region but were several hours away when the Maersk Alabama was seized.

A sailor who spoke to The Associated Press said the entire 20-member crew had been taken hostage but managed to seize one pirate and then successfully negotiated their own release. The man did not identify himself during the brief conversation.

The crisis played out hundreds of miles off the coast of Somalia — one of the most lawless nations on earth. President Barack Obama was following the situation closely, foreign policy adviser Denis McDonough said.

Sixth vessel seized in a week

The Maersk Alabama was the sixth vessel seized by Somalis pirates in a week.

The pirates usually use rocket propelled grenades, anti-tank rocket launchers and automatic weapons to capture large, slow-moving vessels like the U.S.-flagged 17,000-ton Maersk Alabama, which was carrying food aid from USAID and other agencies to help malnourished people in Uganda and Somalia.

According to reports from the crew, the pirates sank their boat when they boarded the ship. The captain talked them into getting off the vessel using one of the ship's lifeboats.

Second Mate Ken Quinn told CNN in a live interview Wednesday that the crew also had held a hostage.

"We had a pirate, we took him for 12 hours," Quinn said. "We returned him, but they didn't return the captain."

Maersk Line Limited CEO John F. Reinhart said his company received a call that indicated the crewmen were safe. But the call got cut off, and the company could not ask any more questions.

It remained unclear how the unarmed sailors could have overpowered pirates armed with automatic weapons.

B.J. Talley, a spokesman for the Maersk line, said the ship was about 215 nautical miles off the Somali coast at 7 p.m. ET.

The 780-foot (237-meter) Maersk Alabama is the first U.S. ship to be seized in the latest wave of piracy off largely lawless Somalia. Joe Murphy, whose son Shane is the ship's first officer, called the hijacking "a wake-up call for America."

"They're making more money in piracy than the gross national product of Somalia, so it's not going to go away any time soon until there's international concern and international law enforcement," said Murphy, an instructor at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Wild Thing's comment......

Hussien Obama told the N Koreans “Dont you launch that rocket!” They did, he did nothing. Now the pirates have taken our ship. Once again he will do nothing. The building blocks to another 9/11 disaster are being put into place one by one.

He’ll find a way to blame us mean, arrogant Americans for the entire situation, apologize for us all, and ask the nice, but oppressed Somali pirates if they wont please give us our ship and merchantmen back.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (17)