I'm going to be a link whore on this issue, 'cause it's already been said better than I could hope to:
Blackfive: How the Rescue Happened
The AP is reporting that President Obama gave the order to use military force to rescue the hostage, that is misleading.
WASHINGTON (AP)—Administration officials say President Barack Obama approved the military operation that rescued a U.S. captain held hostage by Somali pirates.
The officials say Obama ordered the Defense Department to use military resources to rescue Richard Phillips from a lifeboat off the Somali coast.
He did affirm the military's authorization to use force if the captain's life was in danger, but they already would have had that authorization as part of their standard rules of engagement. If there are innocents about to be slaughtered the same reasoning that authorizes self defense also covers an imminent execution unless the ROE specifically forbid it.The AP is making it sound like there was an active rescue ordered by the President. It was not, there was an imminent threat and the local commander gave the order to fire. Good on Obama for ensuring their authorization was clear, but let's also be clear that he did not authorize or order an active rescue attempt.
I've noticed that the AP story that was on MySA.com last night has been rewritten to erase most of the fawning over the President. Which is a good thing.
Can we fawn over the right guys for a while?
And might I suggest that our response to these pirates be modeled on our country's response to the last huge African Muslim pirate problem we had? I pray the President's reading his Thomas Jefferson right now, but somehow I doubt it. The fact that we're treating the surviving pirate as a common criminal instead of as, well, a pirate makes me doubt there.