The FBI is preparing criminal charges against the Somalian pirates. This is reassuring too: “[O]ur Justice Department has said that it would favorably consider prosecuting such apprehended pirates.” That’s kind of them.
Of course, there is ample precedent for such criminal prosecutions. When Jefferson dispatched the Navy to the Mediterranean to stop Muslim pirates from enslaving Americans and others, he told them to make sure to bring the pirates back alive so they could stand trial. And above all, he instructed the Navy not to step foot on the Shores of Tripoli without a search warrant.
This is what happens, I suppose, when you have lawyers running everything. National defense becomes just another type of litigation. Let’s hope this isn’t a harbinger of the Obama administration’s approach to the problem of piracy.
UPDATE: Negotiations with the pirates reportedly have broken down, and the FBI is treating the hijacked ship, the Maersk Alabama, as a “crime scene.” That’s what they did with the Arizona, right?