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April 12, 2009

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If the President wants to take credit, so be it, but to me it seems that his authorization for the use of force was more than a little pusillanimous. According to the New York Times,

The Defense Department twice sought Mr. Obama’s permission to use force to rescue Captain Phillips, most recently on Friday night, senior defense officials said. On Saturday morning, the president agreed, they said, if it appeared that the captain’s life was in imminent danger.

Wasn't the fact that the pirates were holding the captain under duress and threatening his life sufficient to justify using sharpshooters to take them out? Was President Obama simply trying to leave himself some wiggle room if the rescue attempt was unsuccessful (i.e., blaming the Navy personnel for making the wrong judgment about imminent danger), or does he honestly believe that high-seas pirates are entitled to more solicitude than would be shown to any hostage-taker in any U.S. city who is threatening the use of deadly force?

I give the President credit for authorizing the use of force. Despite the point made by Rob, Obama did make the right decision IMHO. If his delay had allowed the hostage to be moved to some inacessible area, that would have been a different story.

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