Extrajudicial killing of pirates... is it ok?


#1

Unconfirmed reports indicate extrajudical killing of pirates has occurred. Considering the fact pirates, by definition, are lawless people, is it ok to kill pirates, or suspected pirates, without trial?


#2

[QUOTE=Rob Almeida;48432]Unconfirmed reports indicate extrajudical killing of pirates has occurred. Considering the fact pirates, by definition, are lawless people, is it ok to kill pirates, or suspected pirates, without trial?[/QUOTE]

  1. Pirates ARE being killed by onboard security, but self-defense certainly dictates the actions taken. When warning shots do not deter the pirates, the next step is lethal force.

  2. The “catch and release” program that most of the world’s navies subscribe to does not deter piracy, it simply makes the pirates better trained. Summary executions are frowned upon by the civilized world, but we are not dealing with civilized actions.

If pirates were simply to start disappearing at sea, the problem would come to a rapid end. Document the time, place and executions if you must, but piracy, attempted piracy or intended piracy requires a rapid and violent response. A perfect example is a recent attack in the Gulf of Aden where an armed security team repelled a pirate attack. Shortly after, a U.S. naval vessel intercepted the pirate skiff with 8 pirates onboard. Were they detained for prosecution in some world court? Were they lined up on the fantail and executed? No. The U.S. Navy treated the injuries sustained by the pirates in the attempted boarding, confiscated their weapons and sent them on their way. Personally, I don’t feel that one cent of MY tax dollars should have been spent on treating an injured pirate - ask me about how much I would contribute for the ammunition above and beyond my tax dollars, however.


#3

The only good pirate is a dead pirate. Summary executions at sea will solve the problem rather quickly. Screw the world court and screw world opinion.


#4

I hate pirates just as much as the next person, but at the end of the day, I think you need to put yourself in the shoes of the boarding officer. This person is most likely not a Navy SEAL, and hopefully has never shot someone to death at close range. Killing an unarmed, or non threatening human being at close range isn’t something that most sane people could easily do.


#5

On the spot executions of suspected pirates did little to deter piracy in the 17th century. Why should it work any better now?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m in favor of a shoot on sight policy when it comes to piracy. But modern piracy has such a huge payoff for a single successful ransom coupled with the sad fact that most Somalis have nothing to loose that it makes the lure irresistible to many.

No, the real solution is to arm each merchant or hire a team to provide a means to repel attempted piracy (with deadly force). Too bad most companies would rather play Somalia roulette and gamble with the lives of the crew. It’s cheaper that way.


#6

[QUOTE=DeckApe;48446]On the spot executions of suspected pirates did little to deter piracy in the 17th century. Why should it work any better now?
[/QUOTE]

IMHO - Volume and the speed of communications


#7

Just remember the 4 Americans who were recently killed by pirates on their bible loaded yacht within yards of a US Naval warship. These are the same people who dragged our dead citizens though the streets of Mogadishu and held burnt body parts up to cameras to taunt us 15 years ago. American ships and their crews are now the ‘holy grail’ for Somali pirates. There is no real deterrent except the human instinct for self-preservation. It’s ugly business but better them than me.


#8

The judicial process is a critical part of civilized society. Fact finding, opportunity to be heard, presentation of evidence and argument help society understand the core issues, deter future crimes, and develop long term solutions. Of course lethal force is appropriate when applied under rules of engagement, but it should always be a last resort if we want to solve this problem.


#9

I have a feeling that western views of judicial process are likely a bit different from Somali views of judicial process. Somalis live under the gun, and are essentially governed by gun-toting militias. Life or death… that IS justice in their world. That’s what’s real to them, and an issue they face on a daily basis. I certainly don’t know what the answer is, I’m just saying that applying civilized standards of society to a completely uncivilized issue and culture, may not be realistic.


#10

I do not sail in the area affected but was involved with law enforcement for a number of years. We can not have our law enforcement or military personnel summarily executing people like a drug cartel or government death squad.

If we want to hasten our path to becoming a second world country as we are doing now, then start executing people just like the rest of the savages loose in the world.

If we want to remain a civilized society as evidenced by Japan’s citizens (not their government for approving building a nuclear reactor where a tsunami could take it out) then make use of our laws in dealing with them.


#11

[QUOTE=BMCSRetired;48522]I do not sail in the area affected but was involved with law enforcement for a number of years. We can not have our law enforcement or military personnel summarily executing people like a drug cartel or government death squad.

If we want to hasten our path to becoming a second world country as we are doing now, then start executing people just like the rest of the savages loose in the world.

If we want to remain a civilized society as evidenced by Japan’s citizens (not their government for approving building a nuclear reactor where a tsunami could take it out) then make use of our laws in dealing with them.[/QUOTE]

Couldn’t have said it better myself Senior Chief!


#12

Vince Lombardi said “gentlemen we are going to relentlessly pursue perfection, knowing full well that we will not catch it because nothing is perfect.” Granted, Somalia may never have a judicial process that parallels the US system, but that’s not the point, the point is to have a system that comports with international norms. That’s the basis for international law, not the U.S. system. I happen to think that the IMO proposal for a piracy tribunal is a good idea because it will work toward the end goal of aligning Somalia’s system with int. Norms. If that’s too utopian, then I think it’s a perfection we should relentlessly pursue.


#13

[QUOTE=BOATBARRISTER;48531]I happen to think that the IMO proposal for a piracy tribunal is a good idea because it will work toward the end goal of aligning Somalia’s system with int. Norms. If that’s too utopian, then I think it’s a perfection we should relentlessly pursue.[/QUOTE]

Have you looked at the list of signature countries to the IMO? Have you looked at some of their new proposals about training for licensing?

Some of the stuff the IMO has done with safety over the years has been good. However, look at uniform enforcement of regulations in some countries and look at the piece-meal selective enforcement in others. The goal of aligning Somalia’s system with international norms is noble but a pipe dream at the present time. Again I will reiterate, we are an example in most cases to the rest of the world. We lead from the front and the minute we lower ourselves to the level of every tin horn strongman or two bit dictator by enacting torture, military tribunals and execution squads, we cheapen ourselves in everyone’s eye and you can never get back the trust you have lost.

Lead by example not by do as i say, not as I do…


#14

When we"re talking about what is realistic, I’m not sure that the U.S. has the resources right now to take on piracy alone. Especially considering how few of the vessels subject to piracy are U.S. flagged.
I agree that IMO training standards need work, but I think that the best way to fix that problem and other problems in the IMO is by taking the lead there instead of taking unilateral action.


#15

[QUOTE=BMCSRetired;48533] … the minute we lower ourselves to the level of every tin horn strongman or two bit dictator by enacting torture, military tribunals and execution squads, we cheapen ourselves in everyone’s eye …[/QUOTE]

When did we stop doing that?


#16

[QUOTE=BMCSRetired;48533]Have you looked at the list of signature countries to the IMO? Have you looked at some of their new proposals about training for licensing?[/QUOTE]

Are there some countries that shouldn’t be allowed to have a voice in international maritime laws or should there be more?

Which new training proposals do you mean? Are they a problem or do you like them a lot? If they are problem, in what way are you affected?


#17

No, they do not affect me because I will probably be grandfathered in but they will affect many down the line.

I will try and find the link but in a nutshell you won’t be able to work on pretty much ANY vessel as near as I could tell without going to some school. I just do not feel that school is the solution to training. Most of mine was OJT (on-the-job training) which I feel is the best but tough to quantify. I know they want it so legally the guy or gal is qualified. Personally, I sign NOTHING unless I see it demonstrated to the level required by the standard, whether domestic or international. My students, apprentices, whatever may not like it but I receive many communications from them thanking me for not gun decking their qualifications and ensuring they understood the material while working on the bridge or off watch.

I am with everyone having a voice in international maritime law because it is international. However, some countries enforce the laws more than others, some enforce when it helps their interests and some when they feel like it.

Earlier in this post BOATBARRISTER was talking about a utopian situation. When I was younger and less cynical, I believed in things like that. Now that I am older and more cynical (notice I did not say wiser) I look out for myself and the people that I work with. Those are the only things I can affect now. International law and domestic policy are controlled by people in a lot of cases who have other agendas in addition to what affects the mariner, safety and logic which to me is paramount.

I do not know how I hijacked this thread to this point but I apologize now.

Back to the pirates…


#18

I don´t know from a ethical point of view is ok or not but in pratice it is the only solution


#19

[QUOTE=BMCSRetired;48544]No, they do not affect me because I will probably be grandfathered in but they will affect many down the line.

I will try and find the link but in a nutshell you won’t be able to work on pretty much ANY vessel as near as I could tell without going to some school. I just do not feel that school is the solution to training.

However, some countries enforce the laws more than others, some enforce when it helps their interests and some when they feel like it.

I do not know how I hijacked this thread to this point but I apologize now.
[/QUOTE]

Threads are used to join the fabric of a conversation. Threads wander, that is what makes it interesting.

I wouldn’t count on too much “grandfathering” if I were you, not unless you have already done a lot of CG approved merchant mariner training and have the certificates to prove it. Even those of us with the highest unlimited tickets still have to go to school once in a while.

School is for education. OJT has a role in training but it doesn’t make for a good education. There is a difference and the IMO has recognized that fact.

Which countries are not enforcing the laws as much as others? Which laws are they not enforcing? How does that impact the US mariner?


#20

I don’t have a problem with schools. I enjoy picking up new knowledge and networking with other professionals. I agree the schools give you a good overview of a new technology or job. Some of us learn differently than others. I learn better with my hands on it and an expert there to ensure I don’t go too far with my limited knowledge and two working brain cells. After I get my hands dirty, then I like to go to a class because then I have specific questions on actual situations and equipment instead of being spoonfed what someone thinks I need to know.

For the second part, let me get my thoughts together and get you some measurable information. Much as I love discussing and debating while pontificating, I like to make sure I am based in some type of fact and not personal feeling and innuendo.