FLASH: the American Constitution authorizes Congress to blow the Somali Pirates out of the water.
Well, not in those words, of course. Congress was given the power to issue permission to anyone, (there is no limit or restriction) including Captains of American Navy ships, to fire upon and/or to capture Pirates but not in those words either. Congress can issue permission to any person including the captain of a private boat or ship to fight pirates. It’s in the Constitution. It’s called a Letter of Marque and Reprisal. It’s in Section 8 of Article 1, and for those who are not clear on the meaning of this power there is a lot of history about it on the internet.
Congressman Ron Paul has tried at least twice to have Congress act against the Terrorists and the Somali Pirates. He figured out ways to respond to the Terrorists of 9/11 which would treat them as “Air Pirates” and to the Somali Pirates, by issuing Letters of Marque.
The American response to the Somali Pirates can be different than the response of any other Nation. America declared in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution that Congress can issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal. Some nations had that power but they foolishly bargained it away in treaties.
Letters of Marque and Reprisal was raised before Congress after the September 11, 2001 attacks and again on July 21, 2007, by Congressman Ron Paul. The attacks were acts of “air piracy” and the Congressman Paul’s Marque and Reprisal Act of 2001 granted the president the authority to use letters of Marque and Reprisal against Terrorists, instead of warring against a Foreign State. Terrorists, like other pirates are difficult to fight by traditional military means. Congressman Paul also advocated the use of Letters of Marque to address the issue of Somali pirates on April 15, 2009, however, the bills Congressman Paul introduced were not enacted into law.
Congressman Paul is on the right track. Congress has the power to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal without consulting the President. The 2009 Democrat Congress could have done it and the 2011 Republican House and Democrat Senate can do it. The idea is to authorize people or organizations to fight against the Somali Pirates; to capture them and if necesary to destroy their property and to kill them.
The President however does not need the permission of Congress to use the Military against the Pirates. The Commander in Chief can simply ORDER the military to act against the pirates. After all, if the Congress has the power to approve citizens to attack and kill pirates the President who has far more power than the Congress because the President is also the Commander in Chief with the power to order the military to invade countries and act on the High Seas with no restriction except the funding.
History can be useful as a guide about how to respond to the bastards who attacked many American ships and now a sailboat. Four Americans were murdered while the Navy was shadowing the captured sailboat. How arrogant are the pirates because they understand there is no real penalty or punishment from any nation. If they are captured and tried in America they will likely have a longer and better life in an American prison than in Somali. American law provides them with actual benefits if they are captured. If, however they are captured by the military they could be and should be subject to Military Justice. No need togive them a civilian trial in New York.
The rest of the world is not reliable to solve issues like Terrorists or Pirates. Once again it’s up to America to do the right things but like the rest of the world, too many Americans are Liberals, Progressives or just plain America Haters. Maybe even worse, many are cowards.
American politicians need some steel put in their backbones. That’s a big job. The Tea Party People know what to do and so does Congressman Paul and his son, the Senator from Kentucky. The Tea Parties have no power. Congressman Paul probably has something more to say to protect American interests on the high seas and so should President Obama but the President has failed to demonstrate the leadership needed so as the sayings go: “Don’t hold your breath”; “Don’t bet the farm” and “Don’t make me laugh”.