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Ron Paul’s piracy plan: free for all

Everyone has an idea about how to go after the pirate avengers on the coast of Somalia these days, but the most unusual by far comes from Texas representative and former presidential candidate Ron Paul. Fearing that the incidents will expand the militarization of the region and lead to increases in U.S. military spending, Paul, ...

Everyone has an idea about how to go after the pirate avengers on the coast of Somalia these days, but the most unusual by far comes from Texas representative and former presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Fearing that the incidents will expand the militarization of the region and lead to increases in U.S. military spending, Paul, unsurprisingly, wants to privatize the fight.

It’s the ships themselves who choose to go into those dangerous waters; why not let them take on the cost of providing security? Let them carry guns and fight back. The U.S. government for its part, Paul suggests, would "arm" the private ships with a different kind of ammunition in the form of Letters of Marque and Reprisal.

The long-dead U.S. foreign policy tool, allows the government to write letters granting private citizens the authority to go after fugitives or others who do them offense. If applicable, the citizens could then collect government-issued bounty for their good work. In short, the letters would put the fight on piracy in the hands of the people. Or sailors.

Paul’s idea is not new. In addition to the founding fathers’ use against piracy centuries ago, the congressman suggested the Letters of Marque and Reprisal be used as a means to counter terrorism after 9-11 — allowing private citizens to "hunt down" terrorists on their own. 

Inviting people to play Pirates of the Caribbean is gonna get messy. Although then again, maybe it’s not any less organized than what is happening now?

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