I’m not a journalist, therefore I have the ability to speculate and post information from questionable sources. You can take it or leave it. With that said, I’ve been thinking about what happened on Easter Sunday in the Indian Ocean where three Navy personnel shot and killed three pirates holding Capt. Richard Phillips hostage in that lifeboat.
My speculation, comments and questions. Click on the images to enlarge, all courtesy Blackfive.
- I find it hard to understand how all three of the kidnappers could be visible – above the shoulders, heads sticking out of the lifeboat – and it be clear to snipers that one of the kidnappers was about to shoot Phillips. These lifeboats are not designed to provide passengers a great view, nor would snipers be able to see in.
- My guess is that the kidnappers do not have good muzzle control and frequently swept or pointed their rifles at Phillips – and most likely each other – on a regular basis. (Phillips was in imminent danger every sweep of the barrel.)
- A re-creation of the “rescue” by CBS News showed three kidnappers were in view, one via the front hatch, one out the side and the other was visible – gun to the head of Phillips – through the rear hatch. The re-creation made it seem the lifeboat was being towed from the stern, which would be very strange if not completely stupid since the rudder would cause all sorts of havoc.
- Again, courtesy Blackfive, we have what looks to be a bullet through the glass – but it is on the starboard side of the boat. This could be from a round shot at another time, or maybe not a round at all. Click on image for a bigger view.
- There is no side hatch on the lifeboat for the Maersk Alabama – capacity 28 – only the rear hatch and the smaller front hatch. The pictures we have clearly show all sides of the lifeboat.
- Could one kidnapper have his head stuck out of the front hatch, one be visible – standing up – at the windows, and the third in view from the rear hatch? That could mean all three shots were taken from three different locations – not just from the fantail.
- If Phillips was sitting down in a seat, this would protect him from the shots as the kidnappers stood.
Since they were towing the lifeboat in an assumed normal matter – from the bow – how did the Navy personnel shoot all three kidnappers from the fantail of the Bainbridge? How could they tell that Phillips was in eminent danger? Only if the rear hatch was open and eyes were able to see inside would they know Phillips was in imminent danger. Heck, he was in danger the entire time.
No matter – I’m perfectly happy with the results, but who is twisting this story and will it become a big deal when the Somalia teen is brought to New York for piracy on the high seas?
Yes, this information came from the Internet, and you can consider it speculation if you’d like. I’ve cleaned up the text (language) from the original.
Having spoken to some SEAL pals here in Virginia Beach yesterday and asking why this thing dragged out for 4 days, I got the following:
- [President Obama] wouldn’t authorize the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU/NSWC SEAL teams) to the scene for 36 hours going against [on scene commander] OSC recommendation.
- Once they arrived, [Obama] imposed restrictions on their [rules of engagement] ROE that they couldn’t do anything unless the hostage’s life [Phillips] was in “imminent” danger.
- The first time the hostage jumped, the SEALS had the [kidnappers] all sighted in, but could not fire due to ROE restriction.
- When the navy [ridged inflatable boat] RIB came under fire as it approached with supplies, no fire was returned due to ROE restrictions. As the [kidnappers] were shooting at the RIB, they were exposed and the SEALS had them all dialed in.
- [Obama] specifically denied two rescue plans developed by the Bainbridge captain and SEAL teams.
- Bainbridge captain and SEAL team commander finally decide they have the Op Area and [Outer Continental Shelf?] OSC authority to solely determine risk to hostage. Four hours later, three dead [kidnappers].
- [Obama] immediately claims credit for his “daring and decisive” behavior.
The e-mail goes on to reference an account written by Jeff Emanuel, that seems to be right on the money. Emanuel is a professional writer and editor with a military background. Do read his entire post, but here is a brief excerpt.
… Keeping his authority to act in the case of a clear and present danger to the hostage’s life and having heard nothing from Washington since yet another request to mount a rescue operation had been denied the day before, the Navy officer – unnamed
in all media reports to date – decided the AK 47 one captor had leveled at Philips’ back was a threat to the hostage’s life and ordered the NSWC team to take their shots.
Three rounds downrange later, all three brigands became enemy KIA and Philips was safe. …
Despite the Obama administration’s (and its sycophants’) attempt to spin yesterday’s success as a result of bold, decisive leadership by the inexperienced president, the reality is nothing of the sort. What should have been a standoff lasting only hours – as long as it took the USS Bainbridge and its team of NSWC operators to steam to the location – became an embarrassing four day and counting standoff between a ragtag handful of criminals with rifles and a U.S. Navy warship.
Capt. Phillips has just arrived at home in Vermont and there was a short meet-the-media event.