Pirates and Terrorists
by Barry M. Baker
United States
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and women the up-to-date academic and
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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

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,

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Copyright © 2019  Barry M. Baker  
Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)
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

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.