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Old 15-03-2011, 10:14   #16
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Re: Pirates get easy treatment by US Government

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Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
I have written the US Department of Justice and asked why the pirates were not charged under Title 18, 2280. I will share their response assuming I actually get one.
I truly hope you get a response as I too am curious as to the reasoning behind the decision. I just hope you have the patience to wait them out as I understand it can be a glacial process getting anything under the freedom of information act.
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Old 15-03-2011, 10:15   #17
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Re: Pirates get easy treatment by US Government

I think, possibly, what is known to have happened and what can be proven in court are two different things. May be better to go with a sure conviction than to take a chance on acquittal.

I wouldn't think there is a plea bargain arranged with the Somalis back home either, considering the lack of any real government, diplomats, etc. I would prefer not to think we have back room contacts in such a place as pirate headquarters, making deals, and undermining justice.

I think it's important to bring formal charges soon in the US system, and others can be added later, when the evidence supports a greater chance of success.
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Old 15-03-2011, 10:18   #18
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Re: Pirates get easy treatment by US Government

Title 18 part 2280 ➥ United States Code: Title 18,2280. Violence against maritime navigation | LII / Legal Information Institute

(b) Jurisdiction.— There is jurisdiction over the activity prohibited in subsection (a)— (1) in the case of a covered ship, if—

(A) such activity is committed—

(i) against or on board a ship flying the flag of the United States at the time the prohibited activity is committed;
(ii)in the United States; or
(iii) by a national of the United States or by a stateless person whose habitual residence is in the United States;


(B) during the commission of such activity, a national of the United States is seized, threatened, injured or killed; or

(C) the offender is later found in the United States after such activity is committed;

Perhaps the authorities feel that jurisdiction may be in doubt.
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Old 15-03-2011, 10:40   #19
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Re: Pirates get easy treatment by US Government

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Title 18 part 2280 ➥ United States Code: Title 18,2280. Violence against maritime navigation | LII / Legal Information Institute

(b) Jurisdiction.— There is jurisdiction over the activity prohibited in subsection (a)— (1) in the case of a covered ship, if—

(A) such activity is committed—

(i) against or on board a ship flying the flag of the United States at the time the prohibited activity is committed;
(ii)in the United States; or
(iii) by a national of the United States or by a stateless person whose habitual residence is in the United States;


(B) during the commission of such activity, a national of the United States is seized, threatened, injured or killed; or

(C) the offender is later found in the United States after such activity is committed;

Perhaps the authorities feel that jurisdiction may be in doubt.
I believe that A(i) covers the jusridiction issue. It would be be interesting if the reason they could not indict on this statute because the owner on a circumnavigation had not sent in their latest documentation renewal, thus were not technically flying under the US flag. Hopefully, I'll get a response from the DOJ with a reasonable explanation.
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Old 15-03-2011, 11:08   #20
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Re: Pirates get easy treatment by US Government

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Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
I believe that A(i) covers the jusridiction issue. It would be be interesting if the reason they could not indict on this statute because the owner on a circumnavigation had not sent in their latest documentation renewal, thus were not technically flying under the US flag. Hopefully, I'll get a response from the DOJ with a reasonable explanation.
It looks like Bill could be correct. Quest owned by Adams does not appear here:

You asked for a vessel with a name like "QUEST". That selection resulted in 537 matches.

However, there are 130vessels with an exact match for "QUEST". Only those are listed below.

Following is a summary of vessels that match your selection criteria. The selections are sorted by Vessel Name and Coast Guard Documentation Number. Also shown are the year built, service type, home port, and length in feet.

An asterisk (*) means data not available.

Vessel Name Built Service Home Port Length Doc. No. 122 QUEST 2006 Recreational Aberdeen 75.3 1187669 13 QUEST 1970 Recreational Dover 67.2 527083 79 QUEST 1986 Commercial Fishing Vessel Grand Isle 65 907674 86 QUEST 1988 Recreational Gloucester 64.8 935488 123 QUEST 2006 Recreational Guntersville 64 1189978 41 QUEST 1979 Recreational Wilmington 58.3 614711 40 QUEST 1979 Commercial Fishing Vessel Seattle 56.9 604314 111 QUEST 2001 Recreational Drummond Island 53.5 1110173 65 QUEST 1983 Recreational Wilmington 52.9 665726 83 QUEST 1987 Recreational Stillwater 51 914963 80 QUEST Recreational Seattle 50.8 908259 121 QUEST Recreational Juneau 49.2 1174573 32 QUEST 1976 Recreational Montclair 47.8 576229 89 QUEST 1989 Recreational Portland 47.1 953673 91 QUEST 1992 Recreational Mystic 47.1 990207 127 QUEST 2006 Recreational Baltimore 46.6 1206104 129 QUEST Recreational Annapolis 46.5 1223093 17 QUEST 1971 Recreational Mobile 46 532640 22 QUEST 1973 Commercial Fishing Vessel Santa Barbara 46 551943 87 QUEST 1985 Commercial Fishing Vessel Houston 45.5 939523 48 QUEST 1972 Recreational Honolulu 45.4 631044 2 QUEST 1939 Commercial Fishing Vessel Westport 45.3 238884 88 QUEST 1989 Commercial Fishing Vessel Homer 44.6 946978 124 QUEST 2006 Recreational Essex 43.3 1192092 56 QUEST 1982 Recreational Clearwater 42.5 653402 90 QUEST Recreational Loudonville 42.5 970424 104 QUEST 1978 Unclassified Boston 42.5 1052406 102 QUEST Recreational Brookings 42 1047365 93 QUEST 1993 Commercial Fishing Vessel Westport 41.9 991869 84 QUEST 1987 Recreational Essex 41.4 918997 51 QUEST 1977 Recreational Roswell 40.9 637628 74 QUEST 1979 Recreational Huntington Harbor 40.8 689971 107 QUEST 1999 Recreational Corona Del Mar 40.5 1080148 14 QUEST 1970 Recreational Port Orchard 40 528469 106 QUEST 1964 Passenger (Inspected) St Petersburg 40 1062435 128 QUEST 2007 Recreational St Simons 39.8 1215725 69 QUEST Recreational Anacortes 39.7 669882 78 QUEST 1986 Recreational Belmont 39.5 906484 85 QUEST 1987 Recreational Key West 39.5 927421 113 QUEST 2003 Recreational Annapolis 39.5 1138667 118 QUEST Recreational Sandy Point 39.3 1152612 7 QUEST 1964 Recreational Dauphin Island 39.2 501062 38 QUEST 1978 Recreational Ft Lauderdale 39 596524 71 QUEST 1984 Recreational Anacortes 39 676809 76 QUEST Recreational Santa Cruz 38.9 904646 95 QUEST 1994 Recreational Anacortes 38.8 998443 105 QUEST 1985 Recreational St Augustine 38.8 1062020 1 QUEST 1929 Recreational Deltaville 38.5 233847 60 QUEST 1983 Recreational Green Harbor 38.3 658075 119 QUEST 2004 Recreational Miami Beach 38.3 1162546 70 QUEST 1983 Recreational Padanarm 38.1 672861 103 QUEST 1996 Recreational Destin 38 1049616 114 QUEST Recreational Havre De Grace 37.9 1142447 117 QUEST 2003 Recreational Perrysburg 37.8 1151629 3 QUEST 1947 Commercial Fishing Vessel Astoria 37.6 253843 4 QUEST 1961 Passenger (Inspected) Tavernier 37.5 284283 55 QUEST 1982 Recreational Daytona Beach 37.5 651568 81 QUEST 1986 Recreational Trapper Creek 37.5 908995 19 QUEST 1969 Recreational Sheboygan 37.1 539415 49 QUEST 1976 Recreational St Marys 37 633610 100 QUEST 1996 Recreational Annapolis 37 1041266 54 QUEST 1981 Recreational Whittier 36.9 649157 125 QUEST 2006 Recreational Newport 36.9 1195141 94 QUEST 1992 Recreational Vineland 36.8 992961 99 QUEST 1995 Recreational Miami 36.8 1033494 50 QUEST 1981 Recreational San Diego 36.7 636311 53 QUEST 1974 Commercial Fishing Vessel Long Beach 36.7 643300 116 QUEST 2003 Recreational Punta Gorda 36.6 1150992 115 QUEST 2003 Recreational Charlotte 36.4 1145914 34 QUEST 1977 Recreational Madeira Beach 36.2 582987 108 QUEST 1999 Recreational Salem 36.2 1085650 20 QUEST 1972 Recreational Dunkirk 36 545661 31 QUEST 1969 Recreational San Diego 35.8 575020 24 QUEST 1973 Recreational Houston 35.2 559523 25 QUEST 1974 Passenger (Inspected) Kemah 34.5 560629 27 QUEST 1975 Recreational * 34.5 566426 47 QUEST 1980 Recreational Dartmouth 34.5 628775 77 QUEST 1986 Recreational Marinette 34.5 906048 61 QUEST 1983 Recreational Silver Spring 34.4 659513 10 QUEST 1968 Recreational Tampa 34.3 517660 52 QUEST 1981 Recreational Charleston 34.3 641175 126 QUEST 2006 Recreational Punta Gorda 34.2 1199547 67 QUEST 1984 Recreational Marion 34 668278 112 QUEST Recreational Sandpoint 34 1119856 130 QUEST Recreational Harrison Twp 34 1224645 45 QUEST 1975 Recreational Philadelphia 33.8 625282 64 QUEST 1969 Recreational Norfolk 33.5 663000 42 QUEST 1980 Passenger (Inspected) Manchester 33.3 617355 21 QUEST 1973 Passenger (Inspected) Portland 33.1 548279 33 QUEST 1977 Commercial Fishing Vessel Ward Cove 33.1 582676 30 QUEST 1975 Recreational New York 33 571355 62 QUEST 1983 Recreational Eureka 33 659718 63 QUEST 1983 Recreational Naples 33 661117 120 QUEST 2005 Recreational Holland 33 1172104 12 QUEST 1969 Recreational Providence 32.9 521635 36 QUEST 1976 Recreational Boston 32.9 586222 28 QUEST 1964 Recreational Savannah 32.7 566719 92 QUEST Recreational San Diego 32.5 990927 57 QUEST Recreational Seattle 32.2 654708 43 QUEST 1977 Recreational St Michaels 32 621643 72 QUEST 1975 Recreational Auburn 32 677603 109 QUEST 2000 Recreational Sarasota 31.6 1095964 59 QUEST 1982 Recreational Fairport Harbor 31.2 655496 101 QUEST 1996 Recreational Duxbury 31 1042731 110 QUEST 2000 Recreational San Diego 30.8 1100932 6 QUEST 1963 Recreational Portland 30.7 299525 58 QUEST 1982 Recreational Lewis Bay 30.3 654973 15 QUEST 1965 Recreational Fremont 30.2 528518 16 QUEST 1970 Recreational Mathews 30.2 531288 97 QUEST 1981 Recreational Newcastle 30.2 1028836 26 QUEST 1975 Recreational Menemsha 30 562632 5 QUEST 1939 Recreational Key West 29.9 294170 37 QUEST 1977 Recreational Philadelphia 29.9 593203 46 QUEST 1980 Recreational Santee 29.9 626756 66 QUEST 1983 Recreational Boston 29.9 667577 96 QUEST 1988 Recreational New York 29.9 1000240 23 QUEST 1971 Recreational Oswego 29.8 558682 35 QUEST 1977 Commercial Fishing Vessel Haines 29.8 585601 73 QUEST 1975 Recreational Annapolis 29.8 686251 68 QUEST 1973 Recreational * 29.7 669461 18 QUEST 1970 Recreational Wilmington 29.5 535779 8 QUEST 1966 Recreational Fort Myers 29.3 504250 9 QUEST 1968 Recreational San Francisco 29.1 515255 98 QUEST 1995 Recreational Manassas 28.1 1032860 75 QUEST 1986 Passenger (Inspected) Sarasota 27.5 900997 11 QUEST 1967 Recreational Alexandria 27 518642 39 QUEST 1978 Recreational Onancock 27 602588 44 QUEST 1980 Recreational Hato Rey 27 623183 82 QUEST 1987 Recreational Boston 26.8 909954 29 QUEST 1975 Recreational St Louis 26 570586
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Old 15-03-2011, 11:09   #21
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Re: Pirates get easy treatment by US Government

I feel this is all wrong. When pirates are caught in the open sea I believe everything (guns, boats, clothes, jewelry, food, floatation devieces - everything) should be confiscated and they should be immediately released. Immediately. Right where they were found. Seems fair to me.
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Old 15-03-2011, 11:13   #22
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Re: Pirates get easy treatment by US Government

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One has to wonder if the US government puts a higher value on the life of Somali Pirates or if it puts a lower value on the lives of "rich yachters". Apparently the killing of 4 yachters does not merit even one charge of murder. I guess we can't expect that the US government will charge anyone with murder for killing us as long as it is done on the high seas.
I'm not a US citizen, but the US government seemed to deliver:

-A destroyer deployed about a 1000 meters away;
-A couple of other war ships;
-They knew it happened and had hostage negotiators in place;
-Satellite photos.

And, something went terribly wrong yet the government is at fault?

I'd met the people involved and I don't know what happened. You've neither met the people nor do you know what happened.
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Old 15-03-2011, 11:17   #23
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Re: Pirates get easy treatment by US Government

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I have two thoughts on why they might not be charging them with murder.

1. A deal, where the Somalis provide information in return for their lives.

2. A conviction is a forgone conclusion, and they don't want to antagonize the pirates still out there.

Chris
Since deaths resulted from this piracy act, I believe it is in the best interests of US, (or world) citizens that a higher price be put on an act resulting in death. If the consequences are the same whether the hostages are shot or not there is no benefit to the pirates trying to resolve a rescue attempt peacefully. If a peaceful resolution results in life imprisoment, and a hostage death results in a murder charge, we have at least one card left to bid for their keeping hostages alive.

It appears in this case that killing the hostages was a deliberate attempt to discourage rescue attempts.
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Old 15-03-2011, 11:27   #24
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Re: Pirates get easy treatment by US Government

Quote:
Originally Posted by muskoka View Post
I'm not a US citizen, but the US government seemed to deliver:

-A destroyer deployed about a 1000 meters away;
-A couple of other war ships;
-They knew it happened and had hostage negotiators in place;
-Satellite photos.

And, something went terribly wrong yet the government is at fault?

I'd met the people involved and I don't know what happened. You've neither met the people nor do you know what happened. What the hell do you think you know?
Perhaps not being a US citizen, English is not your first language and you did not understand my point. I in no way stated or implied that the US goverment was responsible for what happened aboard the Quest. My complaint was that the US appeared to being treating the pirates leniently in that they had not charged the pirates with murder in the incident. This is clearly in the pervue of the US government. What I know is that 19 pirates hijacked the SV Quest and that in the course of that hijacking eight people died, four crew and four pirates. Under US law the persons participating in the hijacking of a US flagged vessel in which people die can be charged with murder, yet were not. I initially had not considered the possibility that the vessel documentation might not have been in force at the time of the incident, thus a jurisdictional problem might exist as a result.
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Old 15-03-2011, 11:30   #25
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the DOJ press release sheds some light

You can read the Department of Justice press release about the charges here: Federal Bureau of Investigation - The Norfolk Division: Department of Justice Press Release

In the press release, one of the FBI spokespersons is quoted, "Today's charges should send a clear message to those who attempt to engage in piracy against Americans or American vessels: even on the open ocean, you are not beyond the reach of American justice."

If this is indeed an attempt to send a message to "those who attempt to engage in piracy against Americans or American vessels," then it may have been felt that bringing the suspects up on charges of piracy had greater rhetorical value.
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Old 15-03-2011, 11:32   #26
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Re: Pirates Get Easy Treatment by US Government

I see this thread was already under warning. I had to edit discourteous remarks since the warning. I will have to assume that this topic cannot be further discussed without emotions running before thought, so it is closed.
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