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April 17, 2009
Pirate bound for New York DockBy Greyhawk
As soon as they can get him on the docket, no doubt.
The captured Somali pirate who held a merchant ship captain hostage will be brought to New York to face trial, a U.S. official said Thursday.Oddly enough, the CBS version of the AP story does not include that last line.
Maybe juvenile court?
Initially, he was thought to be between 16 years and 20 years of age, but Defense Secretary Robert Gates later said all four of the pirates involved were between ages 17 and 19.However, Fox News Channel is reporting the pirate "is believed to be 18" and "may be the "ringleader" of the group". (The "mastermind" upgrade has thus far been withheld.) I'm not sure exactly how the issue will be resolved - and I'd question any Somali government-issued birth certificate or boating license he might have on hand...
I'm on record for saying the lad should be put ashore in Somalia after a tour of the Boxer, lunch with it's compliment of 2,000 Marines, a look at the various toys they have on board, and instructions to please describe same to his kith and kin. (Small fish, and all that.) But if he really is the 18-years or older "ringleader" (another made for TV moment - the 21st Century Easter miracles continue!) then perhaps he does deserve to be fed, clothed and sheltered in a federal prison at your expense for the rest of his life. (Update: only after a fair and lengthy trial, of course, with representation by one eager, hard-charging lawyer with a great team behind him who can really work the media as Abduhl tells his story to the world and a verdict is reached validating the rule of law, and likely resulting in - whether found guilty or innocent - lifetime care. I wouldn't want to imply I believe he's anything other than innocent until proven guilty.)
And did I mention medical care?
I'm also on record for saying that first reports - especially from anonymous sources - are always wrong. This feels like an exception. (And I suspect capture was the mission from day one - I'm on record there, too.)
Meanwhile, somewhere fairly far from France: "Eleven Somali pirates captured this week by a French warship are being taken to Kenya for trial, the French defence ministry has said."
The three pirates captured during the French raid in which one hostage was killed and four others rescued "are to be brought to France for criminal proceedings".
And "Somalia's prime minister warned in a BBC interview that pirates could only be defeated on land."
They can merely be shot at sea. But maybe eventually they'd stop coming?
Posted by Greyhawk / April 17, 2009 10:34 AM | Permalink
Update: mystery 90% solved, see below. That headline above (another version "Subject: The Behind the Scenes News on the Gulf of Aden Pirate Take-Down") is the subject line from an email that's making the rounds. So yes - I've seen it. If you haven't se... Read More
This is CNN: "The alleged pirate apprehended by the U.S. Navy after the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama is en route to New York, according to defense officials." Was, rather, he's there now. But do not he's only an alleged pirate, although "official do... Read More
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
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