Breaking: Phillips Freed (Updated)


The BBC is reporting that Richard Phillips, captain of the Maersk Alabama who has been held for several days by Somali pirates, has been freed:

The captain of a US container ship taken hostage by Somali pirates has been released, the US Navy has said.

According to initial reports, three pirates were killed in the operation to free Captain Richard Phillips. Another is in custody.

Capt Phillips is said to be unhurt and on the USS Bainbridge, a warship sent to track the pirates holding him.

He was taken hostage last Wednesday after pirates briefly hijacked his ship, the Maersk Alabama.

Media reports say Capt Phillips’ family was informed of his release several hours ago.

Somali elders had been trying to resolve the standoff but most recent reports suggested the talks had stalled.

The Wall Street Journal offers little more detail:

The kidnapped captain of the Maersk Alabama has been rescued ans is safe aboard a U.S. Navy ship, U.S. officials said.

Official said three pirates who had been holding Capt. Richard Phillips hostage had been killed in the rescue and one pirate was in custody. The Navy planned to hold a briefing on the rescue operation shortly.

As soon as I can find an official statement, I’ll link to it.

UPDATE

The Associated Press now has a little bit more:

MOMBASA, Kenya — An American ship captain was freed unharmed Sunday in a swift firefight that killed three of the four Somali pirates who had been holding him for days in a lifeboat off the coast of Africa, the ship’s owner said.

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.

Phillips, 53, of Underhill, Vermont, was safely transported to a Navy warship nearby.

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. EDT Sunday that Phillips had been rescued. Reinhart said the company called Phillips’ wife, Andrea, to tell her the news.

The U.S. official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. A Pentagon spokesman had no immediate comment.

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.

Alethos aneste. Quite an Easter present for the Phillips family.

UPDATE 2

Here’s the statement from the Maersk Line, owners of the Maersk Alabama:

Norfolk, Va., April 12, 2009: Maersk Line, Limited was informed by the U.S. government at 1330 EDT today that Captain Richard Phillips has been rescued. John Reinhart, President and Chief Executive Officer of Maersk Line, Limited, called Captain Phillips’ wife, Andrea, to tell her the good news. The crew of the Maersk Alabama was jubilant when they received word.

Mr. Reinhart said, “We are all absolutely thrilled to learn that Richard is safe and will be re-united with his family. Maersk Line, Limited is deeply grateful to the Navy, the F.B.I. and so many others for their tireless efforts to secure Richard’s freedom. We join Richard’s family, his crew and his colleagues ashore in celebrating this wonderful news. We look forward to welcoming him home in the coming days.”

Mr. Reinhart will hold a media briefing in Norfolk, Va., later on Sunday. Details will follow.

UPDATE 3

Greyhawk has links to more details including the official statement from CENTCOM and a video of a telephone statement from Vice Admiral William Gortney about the rescue. It’s being reported that President Obama specifically authorized the rescue:

President Obama twice authorized the military to rescue a U.S. captain held by Somali pirates and whose life appeared to be at risk.

A senior administration official told FOX News that Obama granted the authority on Friday and Saturday to use appropriate force to rescue Capt. Richard Phillips from a lifeboat off the Somali coast. The Pentagon believed Phillips’ life was at risk both times, officials said.

A senior administration official said the president’s order authorized force for a group of military assets that arrived at the scene late last week. When more resources arrived, Obama added them to a roster of military personnel allowed to engage militarily with the Somali pirates.

It’s also being reported that three of the pirates were killed (by single shots) and that the fourth who surrendered is being remanded over to the FBI for trial. The FBI is treating the Maersk Alabama as a crime scene.

FILED UNDER: General, ,
Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.

Comments

  1. An Interested Party says:

    There were some around here who were blaming President Obama for the fact that any of this happened in the first place…I’m just curious, does he now get credit because the captain has been freed…

  2. anjin-san says:

    It.s a very good day for America. No doubt bit is furious. Very sad to hear an American citizen hope for our country to fail…

    Bithead at April 11, 2009 12:21 Permalink

    This is going to be the basis for a number of foreign policy failures, going forward. It labels, (and correctly, I think) the current administration is completely inept, unqualified and far too willing to bend over forward for any threat that comes along. Consider the kind of message being sent by our inability to deal quickly with a bunch of starving pirates with automatic weapons in a rowboat.

  3. davod says:

    Excellent work on the part of the USN. It is great they were allowed to do what they train to do.

  4. anjin-san says:

    It is great they were allowed to do what they train to do.

    It might be more accurate to say that they did what the Commander-in-Chief ordered them to do…

  5. Phil Smith says:

    I’m quite sure that the CinC promulgated explicit tactical instructions. /sarcasm

    I’m very glad that he didn’t tie the Navy’s hands in this matter. He’s to be given credit for that. But presuming that he issued operational orders regarding a squad-level action is simply silly. At any rate, you’d damn sure better hope he didn’t.

  6. anjin-san says:

    But presuming that he issued operational orders regarding a squad-level action is simply silly.

    The President’s involvement is pretty high-level on this sort of thing. More like do we make a rescue attempt – yes or no? At that point the professionals take over…

    To presume the President is not involved on that level is very silly indeed.

  7. anjin-san says:

    btw, your coding needs work: /lamesarcasm would be correct in this case

  8. Phil Smith says:

    You’re assuming that there was any chance whatsoever that he would have ordered the Navy to not take advantage of an opportunity that presented itself. That just shows that even you didn’t really trust him to authorize deadly force.

    I’ll reiterate, I’m more than happy – and pleasantly surprised – to give Obama credit for not tying the Navy’s hands. You’re the one who’s implying that he might not leave decisions like that to the professionals.

  9. anjin-san says:

    You’re the one who’s implying that he might not leave decisions like that to the professionals.

    Nope. The President does, however set policy in a situation like this. Any President in such a situation has the option to tell commanders in the field (via the chain of command) to use their own discretion, or to use force immediately. On the other had they might be told that they need permission from higher up to use force regardless of circumstances in the field. There is the case of reports that we had Mullah Omar in our sights in the early days of the Afghanistan war, but government lawyers in DC overruled the commanders in the field because the rules of engagement were not clear, and the shot was not taken.

    We will probably never know too much about what goes on in the situation room, but it seems clear that Obama kept his cool in his first test, and made the correct decision to let the pros do their jobs.

    No doubt this will greatly frustrate much of the right, many of whom clearly were hoping for a bad outcome in this situation. It will be interesting to watch the right wing bloggers adapt for the “blame Obama” strategy to the “deny Obama any credit” strategy. This is already underway at Red State and Malkin’s site. No doubt our own correspondent parrot, bithead will be repeating the party line here shortly. Fox news will probably just pretend that Obama does not exist for the next day or so.

    Politics aside, The Captain & crew of the Maersk Alabama and the U.S. Navy have truly showed “The Right Stuff”.

  10. anjin-san says:

    That just shows that even you didn’t really trust him to authorize deadly force. /reallylame

  11. Tlaloc says:

    I have to laugh at people who really think the US president is sitting in the war room calling shots with regards to a small time boat hijacking. Do these people think the entire military chain of command is for show?

    If the president’s involvement in this situation went beyond an occasional and very quick briefing I’ll eat my hat.

  12. anjin-san says:

    I’ll eat my hat.

    What does a dunce cap taste like?

    Just because Bush was content to be disengaged and let others do the work, does not necessarily mean Obama is. As I have already said, the likely scenario is that he made a high-level policy decision, and the rest was left to the military. That is what a President is supposed to do, and, at this early stage, it appears that it is exactly what he did.

  13. Phil Smith says:

    In the Mullah Omar case, as I recall from Tommy Franks’ book, there were human shields involved, thereby complicating matters somewhat.

    If there were potential diplomatic repercussions to using the Navy to respond to piracy on the open seas, it would be appropriate for the President to intervene at the policy level. No such considerations obtain in this instance. Ergo, it would have been a mistake if he had even considered any course of action other than “settle it peacefully if possible, with force if not, and take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself.” I really hope that was the limit of his involvement. Anything else would have been precisely what “the right” was concerned about.

    Incidentally, I really don’t think anyone on “the right” was “hoping” for a failure here; we certainly were concerned that there would be. I was concerned that Obama would attempt to take tactical command. You make the argument for me when you aver that the professionals might have been told “that they need permission from higher up to use force regardless of circumstances in the field.” That is tactical command. You clearly considered that a possibility. Just be glad that we were both wrong.

  14. Phil Smith says:

    That just shows that even you didn’t really trust him to authorize deadly force. /reallylame

    If it’s so lame, why do you keep stating explicitly that he might have done so?

  15. anjin-san says:

    If it’s so lame, why do you keep stating explicitly that he might have done so?

    Phil, are you as confused as you sound? Nothing, and I mean nothing I said can be construed as my “not trusting him to use deadly force”. You invented that.

    As for Obama having the ability to hamstring the military, of course he does. Any President does. Wisely, he did not. He set policy, and the outcome suggests he did a good job of it.

    Incidentally, I really don’t think anyone on “the right” was “hoping” for a failure here

    You should do more reading.

    If this had come out badly, the right would have crucified Obama. You know it and I know it. The heroes here were the men in the field. But Obama does deserve some credit. I am not holding my breath waiting for the right to give it to him.

  16. anjin-san says:

    You make the argument for me when you aver that the professionals might have been told “that they need permission from higher up to use force regardless of circumstances in the field.” That is tactical command. You clearly considered that a possibility.

    Did I consider it a possibility in this case? No.

    But it is something that is possible, simply by the nature of the powers of the Presidency. That is what I was pointing out. There is a difference.

    Obama just passed the “Walk softly, but carry a big stick” test.

  17. Bithead says:

    About bloody time.

    I have to laugh at people who really think the US president is sitting in the war room calling shots with regards to a small time boat hijacking.

    Right. Is this the same guy who blamed Bush for what you called ‘Gulags’? Riiight.

    I’ll reiterate, I’m more than happy – and pleasantly surprised – to give Obama credit for not tying the Navy’s hands.

    As will I… when I see anything suggesting he didn’t, at first, do so. There are still those two instances of inaction as I mentioned, to explain away.

    Very sad to hear an American citizen hope for our country to fail…

    ]
    You mistakenly ID a statement of fact as a hope, Anjin. Maybe that’s why you follow someone who promises ‘hope and change’, huh?

    We will probably never know too much about what goes on in the situation room, but it seems clear that Obama kept his cool in his first test, and made the correct decision to let the pros do their jobs.

    Clear to you at least. Funny thing, though; weren’t you complaining about Bush doing the same thing in Iraq not so very long ago?

    Your double standards are becoming the stuff of legend.

  18. Phil Smith says:

    If I’m confused, it’s because of statements like this:

    Any President in such a situation has the option to tell commanders in the field (via the chain of command) to use their own discretion, or to use force immediately. On the other had they might be told that they need permission from higher up to use force regardless of circumstances in the field.

    Sure sounds like a recognition that he might have called off the dogs from here. YMMV, I guess.

    Anyway, enjoy the rest of your Sunday. My wife is glaring at me, so it’s time to go to Home Depot.

  19. Richard Gardner says:

    What is unique here is that for once US law is clear regarding what to do with pirates captured against US registered ships (as opposed to say, Panamanian or Liberian). US Code Title 18, Chapter 81 says they can get life imprisonment (which might be a better quality of living than in Somalia). (section 1653)

    Whoever, being a citizen or subject of any foreign state, is found and taken on the sea making war upon the United States, or cruising against the vessels and property thereof, or of the citizens of the same, contrary to the provisions of any treaty existing between the United States and the state of which the offender is a citizen or subject, when by such treaty such acts are declared to be piracy, is a pirate, and shall be imprisoned for life.

    Guess we don’t hang them anymore.

  20. G.A.Phillips says:

    We will probably never know too much about what goes on in the situation room, but it seems clear that Obama kept his cool in his first test, and made the correct decision to let the pros do their jobs.

    His first test was to be like his hero Lincoln and end abortion and free the soon to be murdered babies, He failed.

  21. Bithead says:

    What is unique here is that for once US law is clear regarding what to do with pirates captured against US registered ships (as opposed to say, Panamanian or Liberian). US Code Title 18, Chapter 81 says they can get life imprisonment (which might be a better quality of living than in Somalia). (section 1653)

    Yes, indeed… and our coal mine canary, the UK apparently has gone one step father. Mark Steyn notes:

    Once upon a time we killed and captured pirates. Today, it’s all more complicated. The attorney general, Eric Holder, has declined to say whether the kidnappers of the American captain will be “brought to justice” by the U.S. “I’m not sure exactly what would happen next,” declares the chief law-enforcement official of the world’s superpower. But some things we can say for certain. Obviously, if the United States Navy hanged some eyepatched peglegged blackguard from the yardarm or made him walk the plank, pious senators would rise to denounce an America that no longer lived up to its highest ideals, and the network talking-heads would argue that Plankgate was recruiting more and more young men to the pirates’ cause, and judges would rule that pirates were entitled to the protections of the U.S. constitution and that their peglegs had to be replaced by high-tech prosthetic limbs at taxpayer expense.

    Meanwhile, the Royal Navy, which over the centuries did more than anyone to rid the civilized world of the menace of piracy, now declines even to risk capturing their Somali successors, having been advised by Her Majesty’s Government that, under the European Human Rights Act, any pirate taken into custody would be entitled to claim refugee status in the United Kingdom and live on welfare for the rest of his life. I doubt Pirates of the Caribbean would have cleaned up at the box office if the big finale had shown Geoffrey Rush and his crew of scurvy sea dogs settling down in council flats in Manchester and going down to the pub for a couple of jiggers of rum washed down to cries of “Aaaaargh, shiver me benefits check, lad.” From “Avast, me hearties!” to a vast welfare scam is not progress.

    Emph is my own.

    Sure sounds like a recognition that he might have called off the dogs from here.

    And from here. But forget it, Phil, you’ll never get him to admit it. This is ‘The One’ we’re talking about, all right? The one thing that can be depended upon in this sea of opinion is that Anjin will invariably tilt as far left as possible and then try to label it the moral high ground. It’s a reflex action.

  22. anjin-san says:

    You mistakenly ID a statement of fact as a hope,

    The fact here is that you, in your blind hatred of Obama popped off too soon. The situation ended well, and now you look like a fool. Man up and deal with it.

    As those of us who actually do pay attention to facts know, the operational tempo of the pirates is driven largely by weather conditions, which have in the last few months become seasonally favorable.

    Its regrettable, but not surprising, that you have elected to fogo the traditional Easter meal most of us are enjoying in favor of the right wing “feast of the dunce cap”. Say hello to Taloc for me as you dine…

  23. anjin-san says:

    Sure sounds like a recognition that he might have called off the dogs from here.

    Its a recognigition that, as President, he, like any President, has the power to do so. I never really considered that he might.

    Hope you are having a good holiday. I like to argue about politics, and sometimes get strident in the heat of the moment…

  24. Eric says:

    Bithead at April 11, 2009 14:17 (“Barry & The Pirates”

    One can only assume some kind of standing order is in play here. Gee, where would an order not to attack would have come from, do you suppose?

    Well, well, Bitsy. You were so sure in the “Barry and the Pirates” comments that Obama surely must’ve ordered us not to attack since we had not done so. Now that we did attack, by your very own logic surely you must admit that the order to attack must’ve come from Obama.

    Or are you not man enough to admit you were wrong? I suspect you aren’t man enough.

    Remember, this is your own logic, Bitsy. We all patiently await your official pronouncement.

  25. Juanita says:

    to all those who think our leaders shouldn’t have the power to use deadly force in this situation, you should see the movie a few good men.

    I’m glad to hear those pirates get their asses kicked.

  26. just me says:

    If this had come out badly, the right would have crucified Obama. You know it and I know it. The heroes here were the men in the field. But Obama does deserve some credit. I am not holding my breath waiting for the right to give it to him.

    if this had turned out badly, Obama would have deserved the ridicule.

    I agree that the real heros are those who took the risk to actually free the captain and stop the pirates.

    Obama made the right decision-although i wonder if Bush was in office and made the same decision if you would be crowing about Bush deserving credit. Knowing most of your posts I highly doubt it.

  27. tom p says:

    Boy… A whole lot of jawing goin’ on here and nobody knows what the F they are talking about. Just a lot of supposition based on incomplete information.

    For instance: As of NPR at 4 pm, the standing rules of engagement were that the SEALS were to do NOTHING unless Phillips was in imminent danger of life and or limb. That the only reason the SEALS took out the pirates (w/ sniper rifles in choppy seas, a decidedly iffy proposition) was because at an especially seeming low point in the whole situation, one of them pointed his AK47 at Phillips back. The SEALS took this as a VERY serious threat, asked for permission to shoot from the Captain of the Bainbridge and HE gave it.

    The fact that NO ONE above had anything in the way of factual reports to add to what Dave posted tells me only that none of you are particularly concerned with the truth of a situation, you are just looking for an opportunity to attack your “opponent”… You don’t even need facts to do that.

    Why do I post what NPR said now? Not because they have the “last word” (too soon for the whole story to come out) I just got tired of all of you yapping without adding a GD thing, when it really isn’t very hard to do.

  28. tom p says:

    A couple of points I left out:

    According to the report, the Bainbridge had the pirates under tow at the time of the shooting, at a distance of app 25-30 meters. They were trying to get the lifeboat closer to shore where the seas were more calm.

    Also, the plan was to resolve the whole thing peacefully if at all possible, because once the bullets start to fly, no one can say where they will all land.

    In the end, I can only toast SEAL marksmanship.

  29. Pug says:

    If the president’s involvement in this situation went beyond an occasional and very quick briefing I’ll eat my hat.

    You want fries with that? Politico is reporting President Obama approved orders Friday and Saturday for the Navy to take the shot if it was there. You see, this guy played hoops. He knows you have to be patient and work or the open shot.

    God bless the Navy (my son was a sailor), the SEALS (my cousin’s boy is a SEAL right now), Captain Phillips, President Obama and the USA. To hell with Somali pirates.

  30. An Interested Party says:

    Anyone who thinks its silly to give the president too much credit or any credit at all for the freeing of the captain might want to remember that it was silly to use this entire incident as an excuse to bash the president in the first place…

  31. Pug says:

    The Right does seem a bit flummoxed, don’t they? Bithead is trashing the Royal Navy and Phillips is talking abortion. A little off topic?

    Maybe you should be happy about how this worked out, even if it was under the tyrannical reign of President Barry Hussein.

  32. tom p says:

    Pug, CNN reports the same.

    Also, CNN largely corroborates NPR.

    The Right does seem a bit flummoxed, don’t they?

    You mean with headlines like this?
    Captive Captain Saves President Obama

    Ya gotta love redstate.

  33. anjin-san says:

    i wonder if Bush was in office and made the same decision if you would be crowing about Bush deserving credit. Knowing most of your posts I highly doubt it.

    Just Me.. perhaps you should pay more attention. My father taught me to ALWAYS give credit where credit is due, and I try to live up to that…

    Of Peterus, I must say politics aside, that his accomplishments are very impressive, and I give the Bush administration credit for a successful game plan change that we can file under better late than never…

    Posted by anjin-san | March 27, 2009 | 02:57 pm

    When someone gets it right, even someone like Mr. Bush, who I pretty much despise, I will say “they got it right”.

  34. G.A.Phillips says:

    The Right does seem a bit flummoxed, don’t they? Bithead is trashing the Royal Navy and Phillips is talking abortion. A little off topic?

    Na stopping the murder of millions of innocent babies every year is never off topic, and my point was to the so called test thingy, but who cares about 666, GO NAVY!!!!!!!

  35. Eric says:

    When someone gets it right, even someone like Mr. Bush, who I pretty much despise, I will say “they got it right”.

    Alas, anjin-san, naught but silence from our Bitsy. Pray tell, when will Bitsy give credit where credit is due after giving aspersions where aspersions weren’t due?

    I guess we shouldn’t hold our breath.

  36. anjin-san says:

    Obama twice approved force to rescue hostage

    By JENNIFER LOVEN and PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writers — Sun Apr 12, 6:11 pm ET
    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama twice authorized the military to rescue a U.S. captain who was being held by Somali pirates and whose life appeared to be at risk, administration officials said after Sunday’s rescue.
    The Defense Department twice asked Obama for permission to use military force to rescue Capt. Richard Phillips from a lifeboat off the Somali coast. Obama first gave permission around 8 p.m. Friday, and upgraded it at 9:20 a.m. Saturday. Officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations said the second order was to encompass more military personnel and equipment that arrived in the Indian Ocean to engage the pirates.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090412/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_piracy_obama

  37. Alex says:

    I just do not understand why the FBI and the military need president’s permission to rescue a US citizen in a situation like this. The FBI and the Navy should have discretion to use deadly force when facing pirates and kidnappers.

  38. Tlaloc says:

    Right. Is this the same guy who blamed Bush for what you called ‘Gulags’? Riiight.

    As they say the buck stops with the president. He’s ultimately responsible for what occurs in his administration whether he directly orders it or not.

    Politico is reporting President Obama approved orders Friday and Saturday for the Navy to take the shot if it was there.

    And I totally believe it. No really. He also sat down with NASA and corrected their rocketry calculations, and after that he personally drafted the plans for an alternative for Yucca Mountain.

    For reals!

    Please. Are you people so gullible as to believe the president take a personal hand in every piss ant situation that occurs? Have none of you ever worked for an organization of any size? Of course after the fact the whitehouse claims greater involvement because it was a success. If it had been a failure they would have talked about the autonomy of the commanders on the scene. That’s how these things work. It’s how they’ve always worked and it’s how they always will work so long as you have multiple levels of delegation.

  39. anjin-san says:

    Are you people so gullible as to believe the president take a personal hand in every piss ant situation that occurs?

    Of course not. But this was not a “piss and situation”. Or perhaps you just don’t understand the significance of the seizure of an American Flag vessel.

    Of course after the fact the whitehouse claims greater involvement because it was a success.

    Thats not what they are claiming. They are just reporting that the President authorized the use of military force.

    That’s how these things work.

    Well, that’s how it worked under Bush. When there was a failure, the buck stooped anywhere in the solar system except the President’s desk. During the AIG bonus furor Obama said: “ultimately I’m responsible, I’m the President of the United States.” I know that the concept of a President taking responsibility confuses the hell out of any bushie.

    I guess one course of your dunce cap meal was not enough for you. Bon Appetite!

  40. Richard Gardner says:

    Alex

    I just do not understand why the FBI and the military need president’s permission to rescue a US citizen in a situation like this. The FBI and the Navy should have discretion to use deadly force when facing pirates and kidnappers.

    You have obviously never been a Naval Officer in the modern age. I have been.

    Back in the days of sailing ships a ship’s Captain was basically an Ambassador. Look at Perry in Japan. There was no immediate connection to DC, it was at month’s plus delay.

    Today, policy matters. The actions of any ship’s Captain (or FBI office) reflect back immediately on the Executive. Back then the local Captain was the only source on information as to the local reality; today we have CNN and Al Jazeera, both biased. A single ship Captain’s decision should not send the USA into war today.

    We went to war once on bad information (Remember the Maine), let it not happen again.

  41. DavidL says:

    I am sure that somewhere in the Navy training regiment for naval commanders, they teach their prospective captains not to seek permission for situations which can be resolved by following published rules of engagement.

    The Captain and Crew of the Bainbridge dispatched three Somali pirates, and detained a fourth, IAW their rules of engagement. The Captain of the Bainbridge had all the authority he needed. He used it. Job well done, Gentlemen.

  42. davod says:

    DavidL:

    So in 2006 when the Winston S. Churchill recaptured a Dhow that had been captured by pirates and freed the sixteen man Indian crew they sought higher authority before doing so?

    Heavens, it wasn’t even a US flagged Dhow.

  43. Tlaloc says:

    But this was not a “piss and situation”. Or perhaps you just don’t understand the significance of the seizure of an American Flag vessel.

    the term is piss ant and yes it was. This wasn’t the seizure of an American vessel it was a single hostage situation. The American vessel was long since un-seized.

    They are just reporting that the President authorized the use of military force.

    And that I do actually believe. That’s a five second conversation. I suspect the president did indeed have that much time to spare on the topic. But both sides have tried to play this as if Obama was heavily involved in the decision making which is just stupid.

    Well, that’s how it worked under Bush.

    Its how it works under anyone. Obama taking blame once doesn’t change that there is an entire apparatus in place to take credit for any victory and to brush off any failure. You’re reading this as me attacking Obama, and it isn’t. Again- this is just how it works when you have levels of delegated authority. Praise moves up and blame moves down. The trick is not to believe the PR.

    I know that the concept of a President taking responsibility confuses the hell out of any bushie.

    This suggests you are calling me a bushie. That’s pretty damn funny, or really it isn’t because it strongly suggests your one of the dems who immediately adopted bush’s “you’re either with me or against me” rhetoric as soon as it applied to a dem president. The thing I really dislike about Obama is how much he’s caused dems to embody the worst aspects of the GOP under Bush. If I don’t toe the Obama PR line then I simply must be a bushie.

    Lovely.

  44. An Interested Party says:

    The thing I really dislike about Obama is how much he’s caused dems to embody the worst aspects of the GOP under Bush.

    How exactly has he done that…

  45. anjin-san says:

    the term is piss ant and yes it was

    No doubt you know all about “piss ant” as it so accurately describes the tone of your whining.

    This has been the lead story in the county for what, almost a week now? Run along junior…