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April 12, 2009

Breaking: Captain Phillips Free, 3 Pirates Killed, 1 Captured


UPDATE (4:35pm EDT)

Pentagon press conference right now. It was not a planned assault. What they are saying is that there was an imminent danger to Captain Philips and the on scene commander (I think that's the commander of USS Bainbridge) gave the order to take the pirates down. Apparently there was an AK pointed at Philips and the commander authorized snipers to take their shots. It was a split section decision.

They had standing authority from the President to take action in the case of an imminent threat to the hostage's life.

The SEAL snipers were on Bainbridge about 20 meters or so from the life boat and sea conditions were 'deteriorating'. It sounded like Bainbridge had the life boat under tow at the time.

I'm guessing the early reports of a 'fire fight' were somewhat over stated. It seems 3 shots, 3 ex-pirates is more like the case.

As for Obama's role in this, it seems it was neither heroic nor stupid. This is as it should be. He seems to have given his approval to the military's requests for authority and then let them do their thing. He did his job, that's enough for now.

Right now the praise belongs to Capt. Phillips, some kick ass SEAL snipers, CDR Castellano, the men and women of USS Bainbridge and the rest of the military and FBI that provided support on this mission.

philliphs bainbridge.jpg
Captain Phillips safely on board USS Bainbridge
with the ship's CO CDR Frank Castellano

On Fox now.

More: Fox reporting Capt. Phillips jumped overboard again and the SEALs were ready. Damn, the fuckin balls on this guy.

Not "freed" - loose shit on me. Although Fox is using that in their header too. So loose shit on them too.

MORE [DrewM.]

Interesting note about the one pirate in custody.

A senior U.S. intelligence official said a pirate who had been involved in negotiations to free Capt. Richard Phillips but who was not on the lifeboat was in custody.

Was he on a US ship 'negotiating' when this went down? It's early and it will take awhile to get it all sorted out but obviously, very interesting stuff was going on.

Whoever or wherever the captured pirate is, the Navy was 3-3 when it came to targets on the life boat. Well played gentlemen. Well played.

Meanwhile, Captain Philips' crew was obviously ecstatic at the news.

When Phillips' crew heard the news aboard their ship in the port of Mombasa, 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.

Below the fold, a celebratory Navy SEALs video.

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posted by Dave In Texas at 12:41 PM

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