Pirates and Terrorists
by Barry M. Baker
United States Naval Academy - The
Naval Academy was founded in 1845 by
the Secretary of the Navy, George
Bancroft, in what is now historic
Annapolis, MD. The history of the
Academy has often reflected the history
of the United States itself. As the U.S.
Navy has moved from a fleet of sail and
steam-powered ships to a high tech fleet
of nuclear-powered submarines and
surface ships as well as supersonic
aircraft, the Academy has changed also.
The Naval Academy gives young men and
women the up-to-date academic and
professional training needed to be
effective naval and marine officers in their
assignments after graduation.
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of Newport, Rhode Island's most
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Naval Operations define the future Navy,
strengthening maritime security
cooperation and supporting combat
readiness.  Since the first class met on
October 6, 1884, in an austere loft with
nine students, more than 24,000 U.S.
military and international officers, as well
as hundreds of senior federal service
civilian executives, have graduated from
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Naval Criminal Investigative Service
In a dangerous and complex world,
threats against America and its military
forces continue to proliferate and evolve.

Standing between these threats and the
people, families, and assets of the Navy
and Marine Corps is a unique, highly
trained, and effective team of special
agents, investigators, forensic experts,
security specialists, analysts, and
support personnel: NCIS, the Naval
Criminal Investigative Service.

NCIS is the primary law enforcement and
counterintelligence arm of the United
States Department of the Navy. It works
closely with other local, state, federal,
and foreign agencies to counter and
investigate the most serious crimes:
terrorism, espionage, computer intrusion,
homicide, rape, child abuse, arson,
procurement fraud, and more.

NCIS is the Navy's primary source of
security for the men, women, ships,
planes, and resources of America's
seagoing expeditionary forces worldwide.

NCIS' three strategic priorities are to:

Prevent Terrorism,
Protect Secrets, and
Reduce Crime.
On April 15, 2009, only days after the U.
S. Navy shot three of their comrades
dead, Somali pirates, previously
announcing their intention to “slaughter”
Americans, attempted to hijack another
American flagged merchant ship.

The Liberty Sun, like the Maersk Alabama,
carried a crew of 20 Americans.  The
pirates fired on the ship with AK-47’s
and RPG’s (shoulder fired rockets).  Only
evasive maneuvers by the Liberty Sun
prevented the pirates from boarding the
ship.  One has to wonder what the fate
of the Liberty Sun’s crew would have
been had those pirates, turned self
avowed terrorists, successfully boarded
the ship.

Never fear.  Hillary Rodham Clinton, the
United States Secretary of State,
immediately announced that she would
seek “consultation with allies,” and the
creation of a “commission” to address
the pirate problem.  I’m certain that
every American merchant seaman
breathed a sigh of relief knowing that
Secretary Clinton was looking out for
them as they sail through terrorist
infested waters.

Simple Solutions

Politicians hate simple solutions.  Even in
Washington D.C., where gun control laws
are draconian, armored truck guards
servicing banks are allowed to carry
guns.  Why shouldn't American flagged
merchant marine ships, particularly those
sailed by American crews, be allowed to
maintain armories with sufficient fire
power to repel terrorist / pirate attacks?

Oh, yes.  There’s the problem with
insurance.  The ship owners worry about
the liability that might result should
American merchant seamen kill a terrorist
/ pirate.  It’s a valid concern since it’s
perfectly likely that the family of a
terrorist could find, with little trouble, an
American lawyer or lawyers to sue the
ship company.  Since the Somali
terrorists / pirates are relatively young,
the lifetime earnings of the pirate based
on the number of ships he could hijack
during his career could be substantial.

Congress could help.  The U.S. Congress
has shown that it’s capable of passing
massive amounts of legislation in days
without even bothering to read what they
enact into law.  It should be relatively
simple to pass legislation holding
harmless from liability merchant seamen,
and their companies, if they kill or injure
terrorists / pirates when acting in self
defense.  They could even go further by
eliminating the corporate tax for
American flagged ship companies;
thereby, bringing hundreds of merchant
ships back under the American flag and
creating thousands of jobs for American
merchant seamen.  Stop… stop.  I know…
I’m nuts.  These solutions are far too
simple and inexpensive.

Let’s just hope that Somali terrorists /
pirates never capture an American
merchant ship sailed by an American
crew.  Somehow, I think American crews
now have the same mindset learned by
American airline passengers after
September 11, 2001.
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