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I am retired from government, law enforcement, politics and all other pointless endeavors. I eat when I am hungry and sleep when I am tired.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Piracy is as old as seagoing but in our effete West the problem of what to do about them becomes problematical.  Brits don't take pirates captive, rather feeding and releasing them, as said pirates would automatically be deemed candidates for asylum.  The US Navy has to grant them Miranda rights, a warm bed and psychological counseling.  All our Nato allies operate under similar strictures.  

Not so Russia.  Russian commandos on freeing the ship Moscow University from Somali pirates seem to have done the logical thing and disposed of the pirates in the time honored fashion.  There was a time when we had the nerve to do this, as the following extract from Britsh maritime law of the 18th century shows:

A Piracy attempted on the Ocean, if the Pirates are overcome, the Takers may immediately inflict a Punishment by hanging them up at the Main-yard End; though this is understood where no legal judgment may be obtained; And hence it is, that if a Ship shall be on a Voyage to any Part of America, or the Plantations there, or a Discovery of the Parts; and in her Way is attacked by a Pirate, but in the attempt the Pirate is overcome, the Pirates may forthwith be executed without any Solemnity of Condemnation, by the Marine Law.

I don't foresee this taking place in the US Service in the near future but it is refreshing to know that those Russian brutes understand that the law is a compact among the civilized, and does not necessarily apply to savages who attacking the worlds life lines.

Readers interested in the above mentioned incident can find an excellent article (A Pirates Death for Thee) and UTube clip at 

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