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Monday, April 13, 2009

President Obama Determined To Halt Piracy

President Obama Determined To Halt Piracy
Monday
, April 13, 2009
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White House Photo by Pete Souza
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Obama Commends Military, Other Agencies
for Maersk-Alabama Captain Rescue
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President Barack Obama today praised the U.S. military for the Navy’s successful efforts over the weekend to rescue the kidnapped captain of the Maersk-Alabama cargo ship from Somali pirates.
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“I am very proud of the efforts of the U.S. military and the many other departments and agencies that worked tirelessly to resolve this situation,” Obama said during a visit to the Transportation Department here.
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Capt. Richard Phillips was rescued by Navy SEALS aboard the USS Bainbridge yesterday after being held hostage for a reported $2 million ransom in a lifeboat about 18 miles from the Somali coast for five days. SEAL snipers shot and killed the three pirates holding Phillips captive.
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Phillips and his 20-member crew were about 300 miles from the coast, when the pirates engaged. He offered himself to the pirates as a hostage to deter aggression toward his ship and crew, who eventually regained control of the ship.
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“I share our nation’s admiration for Captain Phillips’ courage and leadership and selfless concern for his crew,” the president said. “His safety has been our principal concern. And I know [the rescue] came as a welcome relief to his family and his crew.”
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Obama said the United States is “resolved to halt the rise of piracy” off the Somali coast and in the Gulf of Aden, where pirates have become more defiant and regular in their attacks against unarmed vessels.
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“We're going to have to continue to work with our partners to prevent future attacks,” he said. “We have to continue to be prepared to confront them when they arise. And we have to ensure that those who commit acts of piracy are held accountable for their crimes.”
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Piracy is a growing concern for the United States and internationally, but the issue may worsen without a solid solution, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters here today.
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“If that last couple of days have taught us anything, it reinforces the fact that [piracy] is a complicated and international problem that needs to be addressed broadly,” Whitman said. “I am fairly certain in the days ahead that this will be an issue that not only this department, but the government at large … could be doing as a national [effort] and with other international organizations, and with allies in the region as well.
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Whether it’s humanitarian aid to Somalia or possible military training to Somalis, Whitman said, there’s no shortage in ways and means the United States and international partners could approach the piracy issue and Somalia’s lack of a legitimate government. The pure size of the region presents difficulties, he added.
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“Clearly, it’s a big challenge when you’re talking about a coastline and body of water as large as it is, and you’re dealing with a country that is largely ungoverned -- that certainly is a complicating situation,” Whitman said.
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“We’ll just have to see in the days ahead,” he added. “There are going to be a lot of smart people in this government that examine [the piracy issue] closely and see what else we might be able to do to prevent things like this from happening in the future, at least mitigate the number [of attacks] and seriousness.”
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Related Articles:
> Navy’s Rescue Mission ‘Textbook,’ But Piracy Still Looms, Gates Says
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Hostage Captain Was in ‘Imminent Danger’ at Time of Rescue
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Above taken from a DoD’s American Forces Press Service news article that was written by Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
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This news Video by DODvClips.mil
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VOANews.com reports it this way…
U.S. President Barack Obama says he is determined to halt piracy in the shipping lanes off the coast of Somalia. Mr. Obama spoke one day after the dramatic rescue of an American cargo ship captain who had been held hostage by the pirates since last week…
Read the full report at link below…
Obama Vows To Combat Somali Pirates
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NYDaily.com has this report today…
The wife of the ship captain rescued from pirates said Monday her husband is in fine spirits - even ribbing her for losing her voice just before holding a press conference… "He was kind of funny when I told him I was preparing a press statement and that I have laryngitis," Andrea Phillips croaked to a room in Vermont packed with reporters… She relayed Capt. Richard Phillips' thanks to the crack military team that saved him, and said he once again shrugged off the mantle of hero… "He wanted me to tell you, 'I'm just a small part in this. The real heroes of the story are the U.S. military.'"…
Read the rest at link below…

Captain Richard Phillip's wife: He says Navy Seals were the real heroes in Somali pirate standoff
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USAToday.com has this good read posted up on their website today and it starts off like this… Navy SEAL snipers endured some of the military's most rigorous training to enable them to carry out missions such as killing three Somali pirates holding a U.S. hostage with three precise shots Sunday… The making of a SEAL sniper involves more than three years of training, and that's only if the SEAL survives a process that culls three of four volunteers, said Cmdr. Gregory Geisen, spokesman for the Naval Special Warfare Command in Coronado, Calif…
Read the rest at link below…
SEAL snipers in captain's rescue had years of training
Also on the USA Today website is this article…
Calls mount for solutions to Somalia
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Read more HERE
This News Video by FOX4KC.com
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AubreyJ.........

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