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As We Celebrate the Killing of the Pirates Holding US Flagged Ship's Captain


Guest Tom Scully
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Guest Tom Scully

Was the pirate attack on the Maersk-Alabama actually a simple case of "the fish taking the bait".....an MIC/Intelligence propaganda "Op" setting up US public sentiment for wider military action, or was it as the press has reported and interpreted it....the hijacking by Somali pirates, of a US Flagged freight carrying ship on a routine commercial shipping and delivery route. Was the dramatic shooting of three pirates and the rescue of the ship's captain by the US Navy, an event that happened as a result of a decade of planning and elaborate staging, a random event, or somewhere in between?

Are we still living in the environment of a continuing string of incidents in one long "coup" that gained traction who knows how long ago....before the assassination of JFK, or before the Spanish-American War in 1898....or back even further....take your pick?

A poster over at this site asked, the other day, when the last time, in the last 20 years or more, anyone had heard of a freight ship described as "US Flagged", with an all US crew....and that question prompted me to look further:

(Is the Maersk-Alabama just another "Battleship Maine", "Pearl Harbor", or "Twin Towers", stage prop ?)

At the least, could it be designed to counter resistance to the obscenely huge, $534 billion US congressional 2010 defense appropriation, and to support demands for that amount to be increased even further in coming years; funds that must be borrowed because the US has no political will to tax at a sustainable level or to reconsider it's national priorities?

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=206...refer=worldwide

Navy Frees Captive U.S. Cargo Ship Captain Phillips (Update6)

.....The Navy acted because Phillips’s life was threatened by pirates who were aiming weapons at him, Gourtney said. The on- scene commander “had seconds” to make a decision, he said.

“The captain’s life was in immediate danger,” said Gortney, who spoke by teleconference from his headquarters in Bahrain. “The pirates were armed with AK-47s and had small- caliber pistols, and they were pointing the AK-47 at the captain.”

A fourth pirate who had been aboard the Bainbridge conducting negotiations may be taken to Kenya or the U.S. for trial, Gortney said.

Phillips had been held aboard the lifeboat since April 8, when he persuaded his reluctant crew to abandon him to the pirates. The Maersk Alabama steamed on to the Kenyan port of Mombasa, where its crew celebrated upon hearing of Phillips’s release. Phillips, who was taken to another U.S. vessel, had a shower, a change of clothes and a conversation with his family in Vermont, according to Gortney and a Navy statement.

Hijackings off Somalia

The Maersk Alabama was the first American-operated ship to be seized in a spate of hijackings in the waters off Somalia, which has not had a central government for more than 17 years. Pirates attacked 165 ships last year between Yemen and Somalia, seizing 43 of them for ransom.

President Barack Obama in a statement said, “I share the country’s admiration for the bravery of Captain Phillips and his selfless concern for his crew. His courage is a model for all Americans.”

Obama had given standing orders for a rescue effort if Phillips’s life was in danger, Gortney said. After Phillips was rescued, Obama called Phillips, his wife and several top military officials, according to the White House press office. ....

http://www.somdnews.com/stories/04082009/e...009_32247.shtml

(Breaking news) Pirates hijack ship carrying crew trained at Piney Point; vessel reportedly retaken

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

....The United States container ship Maersk Alabama was delivering food and other humanitarian aid to Kenya in Africa when Somali pirates hijacked it, according to news reports.

A statement issued Wednesday by the Seafarers International Union confirmed 12 of the 20 American mariners aboard the vessel were represented by the union. SIU members train at represents the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education located in Piney Point, where most all of the members attend classes at the center at some point for certification and training.

"It goes without saying that the SIU is deeply concerned about the mariners aboard the Maersk Alabama," the statement said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the crew members, officers and their families."....

....The vessel is part of the U.S. Maritime Security Program and is carrying humanitarian aid cargo to Africa. Some of the officers are represented by the Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association while the rest are represented by the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots.

http://www.marad.dot.gov/ships_shipping_la...ity_program.htm

Maritime Security Program (MSP)

On October 8, 1996, the President signed the Maritime Security Act of 1996 establishing the Maritime Security Program (MSP) for Fiscal Years (FY) 1996 through 2005. On November 24, 2003, the President signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004, which contained the Maritime Security Act of 2003 (MSA 2003) reauthorizing the MSP for FY 2006 through FY 2015. The MSP final rule which implements MSA 2003 is published at 70 Federal Register 55581-55597, September 22, 2005.

The MSA 2003 requires that the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, to establish a fleet of active, commercially viable, militarily useful, privately-owned vessels to meet national defense and other security requirements. MSA 2003 authorizes $156 million annually for FYs 2006, 2007, and 2008; $174 million annually for FYs 2009, 2010, and 2011; and $186 million annually for FYs 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 to support the operation of 60 U.S.-flag vessels in the foreign commerce of the United States. Participating operators are required to make their ships and commercial transportation resources available upon request by the Secretary of Defense during times of war or national emergency.

The MSP maintains a modern U.S.-flag fleet providing military access to vessels and vessel capacity, as well as a total global, intermodal transportation network. This network includes not only vessels, but logistics management services, infrastructure, terminals facilities and U.S. citizen merchant mariners to crew the government owned/controlled and commercial fleets.

* MSP Fleet

* MSP Brochure

* MSP Participants

http://www.marad.dot.gov/documents/MSP_Fleet_10_1_08.pdf

Maritime Security Program Fleet

October 1, 2008

MA/MSP-106 MAERSK ALABAMA Waterman Steamship Corporation Geared Containership

Oh yeah.....and the Maersk-Alabama, according to it's Wikipedia entry, was built at a shipyard in China.....could you imagine the political fallout of building the US Naval vessels NOT disguised as privately owned and chartered US ships, in China, instead of in US shipyards?

The Maersk-Alabama is actually part of a US military influenced, "security and logisitics" shipping fleet, and it is owned

no by AP Moller-Maersk, as most of the press reported, but by Waterman Steamship Corporation, a subsidiary of NY Stock Exchange Listed, http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=ISH&=

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=%09INTE...;fp=IcdMAJahrm4

http://www.intship.com/

A profiled of ISH and it's CEO Johnson and president Johnsen:

http://www.americanshipper.com/paid/MAY01/where_the_rail.asp

It's great that the captain was rescued from the pirates, but did this incident even have to happen, and is the U.S. Maritime Security Program actually a group of US military supply and logisitics ships, taking part in clandestine operations and misrepresented as an activity of routine "capitalism"? It seems just another part of the corporatist-fascist-militaristic drift, to me.....

Edited by Tom Scully
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It appears that it was "important" to the "controlled media".

ABC broke into a close NBA basketball game with playoff implications with a

"SPECIAL REPORT" lasting 3 or 4 minutes telling of the "dramatic" rescue

of a ship's captain who was being held hostage by "pirates". It was an otherwise

inconceivable programming interruption. I have never witnessed such an

overplayed coverage of a non-event.

Jack

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Guest Tom Scully
It appears that it was "important" to the "controlled media".

ABC broke into a close NBA basketball game with playoff implications with a

"SPECIAL REPORT" lasting 3 or 4 minutes telling of the "dramatic" rescue

of a ship's captain who was being held hostage by "pirates". It was an otherwise

inconceivable programming interruption. I have never witnessed such an

overplayed coverage of a non-event.

Jack

There was the SS Mayaguez incident, Jack....and this overplayed. manipulated contemporary pirate story is not enough to demonstrate to the extreme right that Obama is

going to be a president who will play their game....Operation Mockingbird, , "remember the Maine", "9/11, 9/11, 9/11", et al:

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ie=U...tab=wn&um=1

Profiles in Cowardice: Obama Rolls Over Again

Canada Free Press - ‎Apr 9, 2009‎

... Naval forces of the Khmer Rouge hijacked the US merchant ship, SS Mayaguez off of Cambodia’s southern coast and captured the 40 man crew. ...

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Guest Tom Scully
I am cognizant of previous non-events like THE GULF OF TONKIN affair

which were used as excuses for actions. This has earmarks of a manufactured

event.

Jack

Thanks, Jack!

The Gulf of Tonkin Incident and the recent "Saddam's WMD", justifications for war, completely slipped my mind....

and, I got the "ownership" of the Maersk-Alabama wrong too, but I think I have an excuse for that one:

http://blog.al.com/live/2009/04/ship_taken...li_pirates.html

...The vessel is owned by Maersk USA and leased to International Shipholding, under what is known as a bareboat charter, a common arrangement for the hiring of a boat where crew or provisions are provided by the entity that rents the boat from the owner. The vessel then in turn is leased back to Maersk USA.

International Shipholding said it has had such relationships with Maersk for the past three to five years. ...

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB132/index.htm

Johnson-McNamara Tapes Show Readiness to Escalate, Even on Suspect Intel;

Top Aides Knew of Mistaken Signals, but Welcomed Justification for Vote

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 132...

Tonkin Gulf Intelligence "Skewed"

According to Official History and Intercepts

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB...ess20051201.htm

Newly Declassified National Security Agency Documents Show Analysts Made "SIGINT fit the claim" of North Vietnamese Attack

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 132 - Update..

http://select.nytimes.com/mem/tnt.html?_r=...amp;tntemail0=y

Vietnam Study, Casting Doubts, Remains Secret

By SCOTT SHANE

Published: October 31, 2005

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 - The National Security Agency has kept secret since 2001 a finding by an agency historian that during the Tonkin Gulf episode, which helped precipitate the Vietnam War, N.S.A. officers deliberately distorted critical intelligence to cover up their mistakes, two people familiar with the historian's work say....

http://hnn.us/roundup/entries/17620.html

...Mr. Hanyok's findings were published nearly five years ago in a classified in-house journal, and starting in 2002 he and other government historians argued that it should be made public. But their effort was rebuffed by higher-level agency policymakers, who by the next year were fearful that it might prompt uncomfortable comparisons with the flawed intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq, according to an intelligence official familiar with some internal discussions of the matter.

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For the most part, I think the US military and US policy is reactionary, and not as visionary and conspiratorial as they were at Dealey Plaza and Tonkin Gulf, and Mockingbird's Mighty Wurlitzer is now Mighty offkey.

I don't even hear it in play on this one, but maybe I'm not listening that close.

And nor do I think anybody's celebrating, other than the families and friends of the victims (not including the pirates) and a few SEALS.

They did what they were supose to do, just as they did it 200 years ago.

USS Bainbridge - named after Capt. Wim. Bainbridge, Capt. USS Philadelphia (44 guns), ran aground chasing pirate coarsair into Tripoli Harbor, held for ransom as prisioner with 300 man crew in the dungeons of the old castle fort for 9 months.

Meanwhile US handily wins the battle of Tripoli (Aug. 1804) and Lt. Stephen Decatur, aboard the USS Intrepid (captured pirate vessel), secretly enters Tripoli harbor, sinks the Philadelphia and escapes without casualties.

And Sgt. Presley O'Bannon and eight US marines and a contingent of Greek mercenaries and Bedouin tribesmen capture Derna, a port city near Tripoli and prepare to march on Tripoli when a truce is declared and the prisoners from the Philadelphia were released.

Captain Bainbrdige would be given another command and capture two British ships during the War of 1812.

The lessons of history are written in the names of the ships.

The skipper of the Bainbridge and the Navy SEALS did what they were trained to do and acted in the best tradition of Stephen Decatur and the US Navy.

I don't think the Alabama was anything more than a ship of mercy, full of food for the starving, and the pirates were just a bunch of bungling fishermen, trying to provide for their families, who got more than they bargained for.

BK

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Guest Tom Scully

Bill, I'm wondering if I should believe the MIC "news" version.....or the checking I've done, independently, and considering the track record of the US government and it's corporatist news arm.....I'm going with my original take in the first post...

I'll make you a deal....I'll pick up my "marbles" and close this thread if you can show any evidence that any of the three major US broadcast networks have ever broadcast one reference to David Barstow's award winning story exposing their MIC propaganda:

New York Times Reporter David Barstow Wins Polk Award for Military Analysts Series

Written by Joseph Trento

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The pentagon, one year ago was forced to do an 8,000 page document dump because of Barstow'a reporting on this story......total blackout on air by all three networks, ever since.

(Today is day 358 since the NY Times reported this and the networks have continued their silence.....

Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand

New York Times - Apr 20, 2008)

....After all, the most watched US TV anchor only admitted he was a pentagon propaganda "tool" on his blog....he's never mentioned it on a broadcast, and neither have his ABC and CBS competitors:

http://dailynightly.msnbc.msn.com/archive/.../29/958477.aspx

Different Times

Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 4:41 PM by Barbara Raab

Filed Under: Brian Williams

By Brian Williams, Anchor and managing editor

.....I made four trips to Iraq with Wayne. We were together, in close quarters, for over two months at the start of the war and survived at least one harrowing adventure. I won't attempt to respond on Wayne’s behalf, and I know Barry McCaffrey has his own response to the article.

All I can say is this: these two guys never gave what I considered to be the party line. They were tough, honest critics of the U.S. military effort in Iraq. If you've had any exposure to retired officers of that rank (and we've not had any five-star Generals in the modern era) then you know: these men are passionate patriots. In my dealings with them, they were also honest brokers.....

....I think it's fair, of course, to hold us to account for the military analysts we employ, inasmuch as we can ever fully know the "off-duty" actions of anyone employed on an "of counsel" basis by us. I can only account for the men I know best. The Times article was about the whole lot of them -- including instances involving other networks and other experts, who can answer for themselves. At no time did our analysts, on my watch or to my knowledge, attempt to push a rosy Pentagon agenda before our viewers. I think they are better men than that, and I believe our news division is better than that.

Inspector General Sees No Misdeeds in Pentagon’s Effort to Make Use of TV Analysts

By DAVID BARSTOW

Published: January 16, 2009

The office of the Defense Department’s inspector general said in a report Friday that it had found no wrongdoing in a Pentagon public relations program that made use of retired officers who worked as military analysts for television and radio networks.

The report was prompted by articles in The New York Times last year that described an elaborate and largely hidden Pentagon effort, dating from 2002, to transform a group of high-profile network military analysts into “surrogates” or “message force multipliers” for the Bush administration.

The articles also documented how military analysts with ties to defense contractors sometimes used their special access to seek advantage in the competition for contracts related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

....But in the new report, the inspector general’s office, noting the absence of a clear legal definition of propaganda, said there was an “insufficient basis” to conclude that the program had violated laws prohibiting the government’s domestic use of it.....

....Some Democratic members of Congress immediately expressed concerns about the scope, methodology and accuracy of the report.

They noted that several leading architects of the program, including Victoria Clarke, the Pentagon’s chief public affairs official during the invasion of Iraq, and Lawrence DiRita, a senior aide to Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, had refused to be interviewed by the inspector general’s office.

In addition, the inspector general’s office made no effort to search for e-mail messages beyond those the Defense Department had released to The Times in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

The report asserts that 43 military analysts had no affiliations with defense contractors. But its listing of analysts without ties to contractors included many with easily documented connections to them, including Barry R. McCaffrey, a retired four-star Army general and NBC military analyst.

In fact, as The Times reported in November, General McCaffrey is a paid consultant to several military contractors and sits on the boards of several others, including DynCorp, one of the nation’s largest recipients of contracts connected to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Asked why General McCaffrey was listed as having no ties to contractors, officials at the inspector general’s office said their “search parameters” might not have uncovered all relevant business relationships.

Representative Paul W. Hodes, Democrat of New Hampshire, remarked: “To say there are factual inaccuracies in this report is the understatement of the century. I think it is a whitewash. It appears to be the parting gift of the Pentagon to the president.”

Two other inquiries into the program are continuing. One, being conducted by the Government Accountability Office, is scheduled to be completed next month. The other is being done by the Federal Communications Commission, which has regulatory oversight of broadcasters.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/200...iams/print.html

..... Both McCaffrey and Downing were about as far from "independent" as a news analyst could possibly be. On November 15, 2002, a press release was issued announcing the formation of something called "The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq," which was devoted "to advocat[ing] freedom and democracy in Iraq." Its list of 25 members was filled to the brim with the standard cast of war-hungry neocons -- including Bill Kristol, Newt Gingrich, Richard Perle, Leon Wieseltier, Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute, Eliot Cohen, and anti-Muslim "scholar" Bernard Lewis. Both Barry McCaffrey and Wayne Downing -- the two extremely independent "news sources" hailed yesterday by Brian Williams -- were two of its 25 founding members.

On the day of its formation, the group announced that they would meet later that day with then-National Security Adviser Condolleeza Rice to discuss Iraq. The group's President was quoted in the Press Release as follows: "We believe it is time to confront the clear and present danger posed by Saddam Hussein's regime by liberating the Iraqi people." Here was its stated purpose:

The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq will engage in educational and advocacy efforts to mobilize domestic and international support for policies aimed at ending the aggression of Saddam Hussein and freeing the Iraqi people from tyranny. The Committee is committed to work beyond the liberation of Iraq to the reconstruction of its economy and the establishment of political pluralism, democratic institutions, and the rule of law....

......So this was a group devoted to building domestic support in the U.S. for the invasion of Iraq through so-called "educational and advocacy efforts." And NBC News then hired both Barry McCaffrey and Wayne Downing as supposedly "independent analysts" to opine to NBC's viewers about the war, and did so without ever once disclosing this affiliation to their viewers, without ever disclosing that they were dedicated to propagandizing on behalf of the Bush administration's desire to invade Iraq.

Beyond their ideological affiliations that negated their "independence," both McCaffrey and Downing had substantial ties to the defense industry which gave them strong financial incentives to advocate for the war. Worse, these ties were detailed all the way back in April of 2003 by The Nation, in an article entitled "TV's Conflicted Experts:

But some of these ex-generals also have ideological or financial stakes in the war. Many hold paid advisory board and executive positions at defense companies and serve as advisers for groups that promoted an invasion of Iraq. Their offscreen commitments raise questions about whether they are influenced by more than just "a lifetime of experience and objectivity"--in the words of Lieut. Gen. Barry McCaffrey, a military analyst for NBC News--as they explain the risks of this war to the American people.

McCaffrey and his NBC colleague Col. Wayne Downing, who reports nightly from Kuwait, are both on the advisory board of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a Washington-based lobbying group formed last October to bolster public support for a war. Its stated mission is to "engage in educational advocacy efforts to mobilize US and international support for policies aimed at ending the aggression of Saddam Hussein," and among its targets are the US and European media. The group is chaired by Bruce Jackson, former vice president of defense giant Lockheed Martin (manufacturer of the F-117 Nighthawk, the F-16 Fighting Falcon and other aircraft in use in Iraq), and includes such neocon luminaries as former Defense Policy Board chair Richard Perle. Downing has also served as an unpaid lobbyist and adviser to the Iraqi National Congress, an Administration-backed (and bankrolled) opposition group that stands to profit from regime change in Iraq.

NBC News has yet to disclose those or other involvements that give McCaffrey a vested interest in Operation Iraqi Freedom. McCaffrey, who commanded an infantry division in the Gulf War, is now on the board of Mitretek, Veritas Capital and two Veritas companies, Raytheon Aerospace and Integrated Defense Technologies--all of which have multimillion-dollar government defense contracts. Despite that, IDT is floundering -- its stock price has fallen by half since March 2002 -- a situation that one stock analyst says war could remedy. Since IDT is a specialist in tank upgrades, the company stands to benefit significantly from a massive ground war.

The same article details that Downing had many of the same problems, including the fact that he sat on the "board of directors at Metal Storm Ltd., a ballistics-technology company that has contracts with US and Australian defense departments." None of this was ever disclosed to NBC's viewers -- not once -- as McCaffrey and Downing were paraded out by Williams and other NBC reporters as "independent" military analysts touting the need to invade and occupy Iraq.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/30/washingt...;pagewanted=all

One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex

By DAVID BARSTOW

Published: November 29, 2008

....Through seven years of war an exclusive club has quietly flourished at the intersection of network news and wartime commerce. Its members, mostly retired generals, have had a foot in both camps as influential network military analysts and defense industry rainmakers. It is a deeply opaque world, a place of privileged access to senior government officials, where war commentary can fit hand in glove with undisclosed commercial interests and network executives are sometimes oblivious to possible conflicts of interest.

Few illustrate the submerged complexities of this world better than Barry McCaffrey......

Back to the pirates......is the industrialized world the REAL pirates, backed up by their military assets.

or.....are the "pirates" described by government and media the aggressors?

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gVV_gQ...7nPcumVc5McYV-Q

UN envoy decries illegal fishing, waste dumping off Somalia

Jul 25, 2008

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — The UN special envoy for Somalia on Friday sounded the alarm about rampant illegal fishing and the dumping of toxic waste off the coast of the lawless African nation.

"Because there is no (effective) government, there is so much irregular fishing from European and Asian countries," Ahmedou Ould Abdallah told reporters.

He said he had asked several international non-governmental organizations, including Global Witness, which works to break the links between natural resource exploitation, conflict, corruption, and human rights abuses worldwide, "to trace this illegal fishing, illegal dumping of waste."

"It is a disaster off the Somali coast, a disaster (for) the Somali environment, the Somali population," he added.

Ould Abdallah said the phenomenon helps fuel the endless civil war in Somalia as the illegal fishermen are paying corrupt Somali ministers or warlords for protection or to secure fake licenses.

East African waters, particularly off Somalia, have huge numbers of commercial fish species, including the prized yellowfin tuna.

Foreign trawlers reportedly use prohibited fishing equipment, including nets with very small mesh sizes and sophisticated underwater lighting systems, to lure fish to their traps.

"I am convinced there is dumping of solid waste, chemicals and probably nuclear (waste).... There is no government (control) and there are few people with high moral ground," Ould Abdallah added.

Allegations of waste dumping off Somalia by European companies have been heard for years, according to Somalia watchers. The problem was highlighted in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami when broken hazardous waste containers washed up on Somali shores.

But world attention has recently focused on piracy off Somalia, which has taken epidemic proportions since the country sank into chaos after warlords ousted the late president Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

Somalia's coastal waters are now considered to be among the most dangerous in the world, with more than 25 ships seized by pirates there last year despite US navy patrols, according to the International Maritime Bureau.

Some Somali pirates have reportedly claimed to be acting as "coastguards" protecting their waters from illegal fishing and dumping of toxic waste....

http://www.mediachannel.org/wordpress/2009...he-whole-story/

‘Pirates’ Strike a U.S. Ship Owned by a Pentagon Contractor, But Is the Media Telling the Whole Story?

....As the media coverage of the pirates has increased, private security companies like Xe/Blackwater have stepped in, seeing profits. A few months ago, Blackwater executives flew to London to meet with shipping company executives about protecting their ships from pirate attacks. In October, the company deployed the MacArthur, its “private sector warship equipped with helicopters” to the Gulf of Aden. “We have been contacted by shipowners who say they need our help in making sure goods get to their destination,” said the company’s executive vice-president, Bill Matthews. “The McArthur can help us accomplish that.”

According to an engineer aboard the MacArthur, the ship, whose crew includes former Navy SEALS, was at one point stationed in an area several hundred miles off the coast of Yemen. “Security teams will escort ships around both horns of Africa, Somalia and Yemen as they head to the Suez Canal… The McArthur will serve as a staging point for the SEALs and their smaller boats.”

All of this is important to keep in context any time you see a short blurb pop up about pirates attacking ships. “Did we expect starving Somalians to stand passively on their beaches, paddling in our toxic waste, and watch us snatch their fish to eat in restaurants in London and Paris and Rome?” Hari asked. “We won’t act on those crimes — the only sane solution to this problem — but when some of the fishermen responded by disrupting the transit-corridor for 20 percent of the world’s oil supply, we swiftly send in the gunboats.”

***

Just as it seemed that this drama was coming to an end, the story has taken a very bizarre turn. It seems as though the pirates essentially tricked the ship’s “all-American” crew into handing over the Alabama’s captain, Capt. Richard Phillips.

After reports, based on Pentagon sources, emerged that the ship had been retaken by the US crew, word came from the ship that the captain of the “Alabama” had been taken by the pirates onto a lifeboat. The details of how exactly the four pirates managed to get the captain onto a lifeboat are still sketchy, but it seems a little bit like a scene out of a Marx brothers movie. The ship’s second mate Kenn Quinn was interviewed on CNN and described how the crew was essentially tricked into handing the captain over to the pirates. Quinn spoke to CNN’s Kyra Phillips:.....

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0904/08/cnr.07.html

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: And hello again, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez coming to you from the world headquarters of CNN.

Today, Americans have been held hostage. This story has changed many times. The latest, there is still an ongoing hostage situation. There is news coming in now, after we were led to believe that the piracy had been thwarted.

Here's a quick version of events as we're looking at it right now. The American captain of this U.S.-flagged cargo ship off the African coast is, as we understand it, right now being held captive by pirates. It's important to recognize that as his crew stays on the main ship.

Listen to this. This is CNN's Kyra Phillips just moments ago. She spoke by phone to an American man on board this ship, one of the crew members. This is the Maersk Alabama. Listen to her conversation with him as he describes what is going on now as they wait for U.S. military vessels to come to their aid.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEN QUINN, SECOND MATE, MAERSK ALABAMA (via telephone): Right now they want to hold our captain for ransom and we're trying to get him back. We have a coalition warship that will be here in three hours. So, we're just trying to hold them off for three more hours and then we'll have a warship here to help us.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Can you tell me where your captain is in proximity to your cargo ship? Where is the -- who was he with? What type of boat is he on right now?

QUINN: He's in the ship's lifeboat. They sink their boat - when they boarder a ship, they sink their boats. So the captain talked them into getting off the ship with our lifeboat. But we took one of their pirates hostage and we did an exchange.

What? OK. I've got to go.

PHILLIPS: Ken, can you stay with me for just two more seconds?

QUINN: What?

PHILLIPS: Tell me what the - can you tell me about the negotiations, what you've offered these pirates in exchange for your captain?

QUINN: We had one of their hostages. We had a pirate we took and we kept him for 12 hours. We tied him up and he was our prisoner.

PHILLIPS: Did you return him?

QUINN: Yes, we did. But we returned him, but they didn't return the captain. So now we're just trying to offer them whatever we can. Food. But it's not working too good. We're just trying to hold off until...

PHILLIPS: Ken, are you in control of the vessel right now?

QUINN: Yes. Yes. Yes. They are not aboard now.

PHILLIPS: OK.

QUINN: We're controlling the ship now.

PHILLIPS: So, can you see that lifeboat with your captain, with the pirates? Is he OK? Is he still alive? QUINN: Yes. Yes. He talks on the -- he's got one of our ship's radios, yes. We talk to him.

PHILLIPS: So what is it the pirates want now in exchange for your captain?

QUINN: All right. I've got to hang up. I can't - I've got to go right now. I got to...

PHILLIPS: All right. Ken, I don't want to hold you up. Appreciate it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: All right, so that is the scene as it was described to us just a short time ago.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/01/world/af....html?ref=world

Somali Pirates Tell Their Side: They Want Only Money

Published: September 30, 2008

....The pirates quickly learned, though, that their booty was an estimated $30 million worth of heavy weaponry, heading for Kenya or Sudan, depending on whom you ask.

In a 45-minute interview, Mr. Sugule spoke on everything from what the pirates wanted (“just money”) to why they were doing this (“to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters”) to what they had to eat on board (rice, meat, bread, spaghetti, “you know, normal human-being food”).

He said that so far, in the eyes of the world, the pirates had been misunderstood. “We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits,” he said. “We consider sea bandits those who illegally fish in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas. We are simply patrolling our seas. Think of us like a coast guard.” ...

http://www.unep.org.bh/Publications/Somali...ALIA_LAYOUT.pdf

8.3 Preliminary Findings: Impact on Natural Resources

Since 1991, Somalia has been subjected to extreme environmental degradation both natural and man-

made associated with the current war and lawlessness. The affected areas included Lower and Middle

Shabelle, Lower Juba, Bay, Bakool and Puntland. Other areas can be identified through closer inquiry.

There is a growing danger of deterioration of the environment and personal health. The economic

crisis, high population pressure, competition over limited resources and poverty are root causes leading

to hundreds of thousands of Somali people destroying the fragile ecosystems and misusing resources

they depend upon for their survival and well-being.

Among other things, the challenges facing Somalia today are growing deterioration of forest land,

desertification and depletion of wildlife. The economic potential of Somalia’s marine resources has

been seriously affected and threatened, whilst dumping of toxic and harmful waste is rampant in the

sea, on the shores and in the hinterland.

Somalia has suffered triple disasters. First, it had been affected by four years of successive drought

which displaced many people from their areas of origin. Then their livestock perished in considerable

numbers following the drought and finally came the tsunami which devastated homes, roads, other

infrastructure and fishing gear. The livelihoods of many people residing in small villages along the

coastline, particularly in the northeastern regions were worst affected....

....Marine and Coastal Environment

The coastline of Somalia is 3,898 kilometres long and about 55 per cent of its population lives along this coastline. With an area of continental shelf of 40,392 square kilometres and territorial sea of 68,849 square kilometres, it produces about 900 metric tonnes (1997 estimate) of molluscs and crustaceans and 20,000 metric tonnes (2000 estimate) of marine fish. The coastline consists of patches of swamp and related vegetation which includes mangroves and savannah related vegetation. The coastal and marine environments have been subjected to a variety of pressures including erosion, oil pollution, waste dumps, human settlements and the discharge of municipal waste water due to the lack of proper water and sanitation facilities.

Somali waters have a high potential for fishing. As a result, the Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister has indicated that a study by his ministry had shown a large number of foreign vessels illegally fishing inSomali waters and serious pollution caused by vessels discharging toxic waste. Heavily armed foreignboats have often tried to exploit the breakdown of law and order in Somalia since the overthrow of President Mohammed Siad Barre in 1991 by fishing in the rich Somali waters, thus depriving coastal

communities of resources. However, there has not yet been any fish stock assessment undertaken for

the country to enhance better management decisions for the efficient utilization of this resource....

...Further, Somalia is one of the many Least Developed Countries that reportedly received countless

shipments of illegal nuclear and toxic waste dumped along the coastline. Starting from the early 1980s

and continuing into the civil war, the hazardous waste dumped along Somalia’s coast comprised uranium

radioactive waste, lead, cadmium, mercury, industrial, hospital, chemical, leather treatment and other

toxic waste. Most of the waste was simply dumped on the beaches in containers and disposable leaking

barrels which ranged from small to big tanks without regard to the health of the local population and

any environmentally devastating impacts.

The issue of dumping in Somalia is contentious as it raises both legal and moral questions. First, thereis a violation of international treaties in the export of hazardous waste to Somalia. Second, it is ethicallyquestionable to negotiate a hazardous waste disposal contract with a country in the midst of a protractedcivil war and with a factionalized government that could not sustain a functional legal and proper wastemanagement system.

The impact of the tsunami stirred up hazardous waste deposits on the beaches around North Hobyo

(South Mudug) and Warsheik (North of Benadir). Contamination from the waste deposits has thus

caused health and environmental problems to the surrounding local fishing communities including

contamination of groundwater. Many people in these towns have complained of unusual health problems

as a result of the tsunami winds blowing towards inland villages. The health problems include acute

respiratory infections, dry heavy coughing and mouth bleeding, abdominal haemorrhages, unusual skin

chemical reactions, and sudden death after inhaling toxic materials.

It is important to underscore that since 1998, the Indian Ocean has experienced frequent cyclones and

heavy tidal waves in the coastal regions of Somalia. Natural disasters are short-term catastrophes, butthe contamination of the environment by radioactive waste can cause serious long-term effects on human health as well as severe impacts on groundwater, soil, agriculture and fisheries for many years. Therefore,the current situation along the Somali coastline poses a very serious environmental hazard, not only inSomalia but also in the eastern Africa sub-region....

Edited by Tom Scully
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Tom,

As far as I'm concerned, all that stuff you posted is nonsense.

The Alabama may be owned by a defense contractor, but it is a US flagged ship with American captain and crew, and it wasn't dumping toxic waste it was delivering food.

And I hope it sparks further involvement of the US military to go back into Somalia and free the other dozen or so ships and 200 non-American hostages being held, and secure that area so that food supplies and real capitalist trade can resume.

How can you post Joe Trento, who was a shill for Angleton, as a source for censorship?

I don't doubt the networks didn't cover the story you mention, and I don't depend on the networks for any of my information.

It's a myth that the news organizations of the world are controlled by either liberals or the establishment/corporate/Mockingbird CIA.

Mockingbird only rears its ugly head when necessary.

http://www.brooklyn.liu.edu/polk/glance08.html

And oh, yea, the Polk Award - my Ocean City NJ neighbor Gay Talese will receive this year's Polk Award on Thursday in NYC.

BK

Edited by William Kelly
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Guest Tom Scully
Tom,

As far as I'm concerned, all that stuff you posted is nonsense.

The Alabama may be owned by a defense contractor, but it is a US flagged ship with American captain and crew, and it wasn't dumping toxic waste it was delivering food.

And I hope it sparks further involvement of the US military to go back into Somalia and free the other dozen or so ships and 200 non-American hostages being held, and secure that area so that food supplies and real capitalist trade can resume.

How can you post Joe Trento, who was a shill for Angleton, as a source for censorship?

I don't doubt the networks didn't cover the story you mention, and I don't depend on the networks for any of my information.

It's a myth that the news organizations of the world are controlled by either liberals or the establishment/corporate/Mockingbird CIA.

Mockingbird only rears its ugly head when necessary.

http://www.brooklyn.liu.edu/polk/glance08.html

And oh, yea, the Polk Award - my Ocean City NJ neighbor Gay Talese will receive this year's Polk Award on Thursday in NYC.

BK

Are 14,306 items in google news search results on the Maersk-Alabama topic, enough, or too, too, much"

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ie=U...tab=wn&um=1

C'mon, Bill..... I linked to an article authored by Joe Trento for the sole purpose of showing that David Barstow won

the Polk Award for his reporting on the Pentagon's efforts to compromise/control network news reporting. I hope this substitution for the Joe Trento link in my last post will influence you to consider the rest of my points in a more favorable light. The news media is what it is, Bill..... and as it was, 90 years ago.....

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/17/nyregion/17polk.html

For Their Risk-Taking, Journalists Garner Polk Awards

By ROBERT D. McFADDEN

Published: February 16, 2009

.....David Barstow, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, won the Polk for national reporting for “Message Machine,” two articles that exposed a covert Pentagon campaign to use some retired military officers, working as analysts for television and radio networks, to reiterate administration “talking points” about the war on terror and, in some instances, to benefit defense contractors with whom they had ties....

http://books.google.com/books?id=pZXZRxCVA...lt&resnum=4

The Brass check

By Upton Sinclair

Chapter XXXVIII Owning the Press

* The methods by which the "Empire of Business" maintains its control over journalism are four: First, ownership of the papers; second, ownership of the owners; third, advertising subsidies; and fourth, direct bribery. By these methods there exists in America a control of news and of current comment more absolute than any monopoly in any other industry.

http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&ie...tab=wp&um=1

The Brass check: a study of American journalism

The Brass check: a study of American journalism‎ - Page xiv

by Upton Sinclair - Language Arts & Disciplines - 2003 - 446 pages

....Critics loosely charged that Sinclair had been sloppy with his facts in The Brass Check, and the book did not stand up to close scrutiny. Sinclair, a fanatic for factual accuracy, directly challenged any of those he criticized in The Brass Check to sue him for criminal libel—often in the footnotes of later editions of the book—if they could prove a single word in the text was false. No suits were ever forthcoming. Indeed, in 1921, the Associated Press announced it was appointing a commission to review, collect evidence, and denounce the charges Sinclair made about the AP in The Brass Check. The project was quietly abandoned without any report, formal or informal, being issued (p. 376).

http://books.google.com/books?id=hMXggWBtH...snum=5#PPA37,M1

Killing the messenger -Page 37

By Tom Goldstein

....On the other hand Sinclair accuses the Times of failure to review his Brass Check and refusing money for an advertisement for that same book. Here again it seems to me he has no case. But later when James Melvin Lee of the New York University school of journalism denounced the book the Times published two columns of vitriol and refused to give Sinclair the equal opportunity of rebuttal. In this point I believe Sinclair is right.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html...9649C946095D6CF

DR. LEE ATTACKS 'THE BRASS CHECK'; Upton Sinclair Accused of ...

Dr. James Melvin Lee, Director of the Department of Journalism of New York ..... a .al eulogy on the accuracy and fairness of Associated Press news. ...

February 28, 1921, Monday

View Full Article: http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/...9649C946095D6CF

http://news.google.com/archivesearch?q=upt...user_hdate=1921

SINCLAIR'S BRASS.

Pay-Per-View - Los Angeles Times - ProQuest Archiver - May 11, 1921

There dwells in Pasadena one Upton Sinclair, perfervid Socialist and propagandist, who, fancying himself gifted beyond most mortals, attempts to establish a ...

http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&ie...tab=wp&um=1

by Dennis McDougal - 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 528 pages

... of the anti-Sinclair effort — Los Angeles Times political editor Kyle Palmer. ... We're going to kill him." And they did. Not even President Roosevelt,

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m113..._16892067/pg_2/

Notes on writergate - harassment against League of American Writers

Monthly Review , May, 1995 by Franklin Folsom

......Nothing in the file on the anti-Nazi Renn suggested that he was doing anything to harm U.S. interests, but the U.S. office of censorship opened and copied his mail as it crossed the Mexican border. Hoover was informed, for instance, that Renn wrote Thomas Mann thanking him for a gift of two books. Other reports reveal that Renn's office was "under the constant care of an armed watchman who neither drinks nor has proved amenable to bribing." That information came from the Civil Attache of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico. He even sent specimens of Renn's typing and handwriting to the FBI laboratory to be tested for evidence that secret ink might have been used in order to transmit secret messages. The results of the tests were negative.

Paranoia of this kind was not new at the headquarters of the political police in Washington. As long ago as 1920 Hoover had created what became known as the Book Review Section, which has been noted by Natalie Robins. What did the files in this section reveal about books by the anti-fascist writers in the LAW? Because many of the pages were largely blacked out, and because the FBI has been so slow in producting them, I have not made a full survey of its book reviewing. But here is a sample:

In 1923, Upton Sinclair, later a vice-president of the League, complained vigorously in a long telegram to the FBI that the agency was interfering with his right to freedom of speech. Sinclair had been scheduled to talk about his novel, The Goose Step, at a meeting of the University Club in Pasadena, California. The engagement was canceled when the chairman got information that Sinclair was "disloyal to the government" and was "under constant surveillance." What Sinclair did not know was that FBI had in its file a report on another of his novels, The Brass Check. The book was, said the report, "a Socialist commentary upon American journalism" that "attempts to show that the press is capitalized." Nor did Sinclair know that the directing manager of the Associated Press, according to a memorandum in the file, "has in his possession a confidential report on the book, The Brass Check." (Another item in the Sinclair file provides a sad contrast to Sinclair's earlier protest. In a letter, written in 1952 during the McCarthy period, he humbly asks Hoover to check his anti-communist novel, The Return of Larry Budd. Hoover obliged and had eleven single-spaced typewritten pages full of "corrections" and suggestions sent to the author. Sinclair, of course, had long since resigned from the League. He did this at the time when attacks on it were particularly heavy.)......

Bill, I'll rethink my opinion of the US press if you'll point me to where I can find the "report" the Associated Press promised in it's 1921 annual convention that exposes the inaccurate accusations of the Associated Press monoply contained in SInclair's book, "The Brass CHeck", because....as far as I know, most of Sinclair's accusation were accurate the , and seem accuate today.

Remember this one, it's only 15 months old -

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/14/world/mi...clear%20Program

Bush Urges Unity Against Iran

Published: January 14, 2008

....but Iran has loomed large in his travels, particularly after a confrontation in the Strait of Hormuz a week ago between three American warships and five Iranian speedboats.

The Pentagon has appeared to back away from part of its initial account of that encounter. In Bahrain, where Mr. Bush began his day on Sunday, the commanders of the two American ships involved said that a threatening radio message may not have come from the Iranian boats.

The commanders said they took the radio warning seriously nevertheless, because it was broadcast as the Iranian speedboats were maneuvering in what they viewed as a provocative manner around the American ships. Because the warning, that the American ships would explode, was broadcast over an open maritime radio channel, it could have come from another ship in the area or from somewhere on shore.

In a news conference at the headquarters of the Fifth Fleet, the officers also said they had determined that boxes dropped into the water by the Iranians were not dangerous, as feared at the time, and were probably a ruse to study the reaction of the Navy warships. “Whether it was coincidental or not, it occurred at exactly the same time that these boats were around us,” Cmdr. Jeffery James of the Hopper, a destroyer, said of the radioed threat, “and they were placing objects in the water so the threat appeared to be building.”

For the second time in two months, Mr. Bush found himself making a case about Iran’s threat in the face of developments that seemed to undercut it. In December, an American intelligence report concluded that Iran had suspended a nuclear weapons program in 2003, a finding that has delayed a new round of United Nations sanctions.....

......Except for Iran, though, Mr. Bush did not single out any country, including his host, the United Arab Emirates, whose record on human rights “remained problematic,” according to the State Department’s most recent human rights report.

http://thinkprogress.org/2008/01/14/iran-speedboats-mullen/

In the days following the initial media reports of the Iranian encounter in the Persian Gulf, the Bush administration has offered a dissembling response to three key elements of the alleged threat:

1. The Dangerous Verbal Threat. Initial media reports said that a “threatening radio call from the Iranians” warned that the U.S. “ships would explode.” Later, we learned that the verbal threat may not have come from an Iranian, and may instead have been the voice of a famous heckler.

2. The Boxes In The Water. After the verbal threat, the Iranian boats were observed “dropping objects in the water.” But as the Washington Post reported, U.S. ships at the time of the incident determined the boxes “posed no threat to the American vessels.” “After passing the white objects, commanders on the USS Port Royal and its accompanying destroyer and frigate decided there was so little danger from the objects that they did not bother to radio other ships to warn them.”

3. Boats Coming At The Ships. Initial media reports said “the Iranians ‘maneuvered aggressively’ in the direction of the U.S. ships.” But as the video shows, “the only boat that was close enough to be visible to the U.S. ships was unarmed.” “The footage of the boats maneuvering provides no visual evidence of Iranian boats ‘making a run on U.S. ships.’”

Piggybacking off the media reports of the “provocative” encounter with Iran in the Strait of Hormuz, Bush has sounded the urgent need to confront Iran at almost every stop along his Middle East journey.

Edited by Tom Scully
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I honestly don't understand the point of all this, Tom. Are you trying to say this was a manufactured incident? Well, if it was, it would have to be one of the lamest in history. I mean, four guys in a lifeboat who were so inept they let one of their own be taken hostage by an unarmed crew does not exactly rise to the level of danger or evil that would make this Captain's rescue "miraculous" and the stuff of legend. Some stupid criminals messed with the wrong guys. These guys fought back. The cops arrived, and shot the criminals in the head. It's really everyday stuff.

The only thing that pushed it up a notch or two was media interest, and that's as unpredictable as the wind. A few years ago the big rage here in Southern California was car chases. They'd stop all the local programming whenever some guy in a mini-van decided he didn't want to stop for a speeding ticket, and then follow him for hours via helicopter as he dodged the police. In 1999, I went to Australia. I flicked on the tube. And what did I see? A car chase in Southern California. Evidently, local news teams in California had figured out that if they followed a car chase, they'd get interest around the world, and make money off the feed. So that's what they covered. Unfortunately, some depressed guy ended up shooting himself in the head on live TV, which led to a few moms complaining and threatening to turn off their set if it happened again, and now the coverage is more cautious.

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I honestly don't understand the point of all this, Tom. Are you trying to say this was a manufactured incident? Well, if it was, it would have to be one of the lamest in history. I mean, four guys in a lifeboat who were so inept they let one of their own be taken hostage by an unarmed crew does not exactly rise to the level of danger or evil that would make this Captain's rescue "miraculous" and the stuff of legend. Some stupid criminals messed with the wrong guys. These guys fought back. The cops arrived, and shot the criminals in the head. It's really everyday stuff.

The only thing that pushed it up a notch or two was media interest, and that's as unpredictable as the wind. A few years ago the big rage here in Southern California was car chases. They'd stop all the local programming whenever some guy in a mini-van decided he didn't want to stop for a speeding ticket, and then follow him for hours via helicopter as he dodged the police. In 1999, I went to Australia. I flicked on the tube. And what did I see? A car chase in Southern California. Evidently, local news teams in California had figured out that if they followed a car chase, they'd get interest around the world, and make money off the feed. So that's what they covered. Unfortunately, some depressed guy ended up shooting himself in the head on live TV, which led to a few moms complaining and threatening to turn off their set if it happened again, and now the coverage is more cautious.

I spent 20 yrs as a Detroit cop and always felt that people who want to committ crimes ought to to be atleast as much at risk as I was. good guys are safe and bad guys are no longer in a position to put good guys at risk-my kind of results.

Do I believe JFK, RFK, MLK, and Malcom X were murdered by conspiracies? you bet. do I believe in UFO's?-nope. spent severals week at the Nevada Test Site which is next door to Area 51-saw alot of "things" in the air at night-convinced they are CFO's-classified flying objects, not UFO's.

not everything is a conspiracy and often is simply what it appears to be-evil people, doing evil things.

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I honestly don't understand the point of all this, Tom. Are you trying to say this was a manufactured incident? Well, if it was, it would have to be one of the lamest in history. I mean, four guys in a lifeboat who were so inept they let one of their own be taken hostage by an unarmed crew does not exactly rise to the level of danger or evil that would make this Captain's rescue "miraculous" and the stuff of legend. Some stupid criminals messed with the wrong guys. These guys fought back. The cops arrived, and shot the criminals in the head. It's really everyday stuff.

The only thing that pushed it up a notch or two was media interest, and that's as unpredictable as the wind. A few years ago the big rage here in Southern California was car chases. They'd stop all the local programming whenever some guy in a mini-van decided he didn't want to stop for a speeding ticket, and then follow him for hours via helicopter as he dodged the police. In 1999, I went to Australia. I flicked on the tube. And what did I see? A car chase in Southern California. Evidently, local news teams in California had figured out that if they followed a car chase, they'd get interest around the world, and make money off the feed. So that's what they covered. Unfortunately, some depressed guy ended up shooting himself in the head on live TV, which led to a few moms complaining and threatening to turn off their set if it happened again, and now the coverage is more cautious.

I spent 20 yrs as a Detroit cop and always felt that people who want to committ crimes ought to to be atleast as much at risk as I was. good guys are safe and bad guys are no longer in a position to put good guys at risk-my kind of results.

Do I believe JFK, RFK, MLK, and Malcom X were murdered by conspiracies? you bet. do I believe in UFO's?-nope. spent severals week at the Nevada Test Site which is next door to Area 51-saw alot of "things" in the air at night-convinced they are CFO's-classified flying objects, not UFO's.

not everything is a conspiracy and often is simply what it appears to be-evil people, doing evil things.

THE PIRATES

"So perish All such self-declaired pirates"

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I honestly don't understand the point of all this, Tom. Are you trying to say this was a manufactured incident? Well, if it was, it would have to be one of the lamest in history. I mean, four guys in a lifeboat who were so inept they let one of their own be taken hostage by an unarmed crew does not exactly rise to the level of danger or evil that would make this Captain's rescue "miraculous" and the stuff of legend. Some stupid criminals messed with the wrong guys. These guys fought back. The cops arrived, and shot the criminals in the head. It's really everyday stuff.

The only thing that pushed it up a notch or two was media interest, and that's as unpredictable as the wind. A few years ago the big rage here in Southern California was car chases. They'd stop all the local programming whenever some guy in a mini-van decided he didn't want to stop for a speeding ticket, and then follow him for hours via helicopter as he dodged the police. In 1999, I went to Australia. I flicked on the tube. And what did I see? A car chase in Southern California. Evidently, local news teams in California had figured out that if they followed a car chase, they'd get interest around the world, and make money off the feed. So that's what they covered. Unfortunately, some depressed guy ended up shooting himself in the head on live TV, which led to a few moms complaining and threatening to turn off their set if it happened again, and now the coverage is more cautious.

I spent 20 yrs as a Detroit cop and always felt that people who want to committ crimes ought to to be atleast as much at risk as I was. good guys are safe and bad guys are no longer in a position to put good guys at risk-my kind of results.

Do I believe JFK, RFK, MLK, and Malcom X were murdered by conspiracies? you bet. do I believe in UFO's?-nope. spent severals week at the Nevada Test Site which is next door to Area 51-saw alot of "things" in the air at night-convinced they are CFO's-classified flying objects, not UFO's.

not everything is a conspiracy and often is simply what it appears to be-evil people, doing evil things.

THE PIRATES

"So perish All such self-declared pirates"

H. Dean

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What exactly does this absurd speculation have to do with the JFK assassination? The only thing I can think of is that the poster noticed this part of the forum gets more traffic than the political conspiracies one where this should have been posted.

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