Thursday, February 2, 2012

Solution for captured pirates

With better patrolling of the seas around the failed state of Somalia, civilized countries are starting to capture some of these pirates and free the hostages. Sounds good, right? Only the question becomes, what to do with the prisoners once they are in our custody? We brought the one survivor from the Navy Seal rescue back to the US for trial. Remember that great rescue with three pirates killed at night with three bullets, freeing the captain?

Crew members of the Maersk Alabama celebrated after hearing that their captain, who had been held hostage by Somali pirates, had been rescued.  By ROBERT D. McFADDEN and SCOTT SHANE
Well, the one surviving pirate Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse received a sentence of 34 years in jail. But what about all the others that have been captured in less dramatic circumstances? Believe it or not, some have been released back on Somali shores, alive. A NY Times article details the complications. The pirates are Somali. They attacked the motor vessel Sunshine, which is Greek-owned but operates under a Bahaman flag. They were detained in international waters, but in the so-called exclusive economic zone of Oman. And they had commandeered an Iranian fishing vessel.
So how do you prosecute these guys? And where?

I have a possible solution in this case that could have international implications. How about delivering them gift-wrapped to Tehran and letting the Iranians deal with them? I'm sure there's still some begrudging respect held by many Iranians at our rescue of their sailors. Why not go all the way and turn over the pirates who had held them hostage for a month and allow the Iranians to deal their own justice? The publicity with Iran can only help thaw relations between our two countries a little. What do you think?

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