Thursday, April 09, 2009

Fighting Pirates: Look to the Constitution !

...because our Founding Fathers really were freakin' geniuses....

Did you know what “letters of marque and reprisal” were? No, me either, it's a handy little section tucked inside the constitution that affords for just this type of eventuality:

The letters, specifically authorized in the Article 1 section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, allow private parties to attack and seize the property of other parties that have committed violations of international law. Congress has the power to grant the letters.

The United States made significant use of them during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 and never joined 19th Century treaties in which European nations forswore their use. The U.S. issued letters of marque to ships during the Spanish-American War of 1898; and a civilian operated airship, The Resolute, operated under a letter marque during World War II.

The letters also have a long history prior to the establishment of the United States. Elizabethan-era explorer and adventurer Sir Francis Drake operated under a letter of marque.

Barack Obama should be down with this: it saves taxpayer money, that can be better spent on growing ACORNS!

CEI policy analyst Michelle Minton agreed. “American citizens have the right to defend themselves, regardless of their location,” said Minton. “If international governing bodies fail at the task, which repeated pirate attacks seem to indicate, the US government should do something,” she said. “Issuing letters of marque are one way to foster the protection of American citizens abroad without requiring an American military presence in foreign territory.”

Why not, Baracky? You knew about this option, right? Constitutional scholar and all....right?

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