While Barack Obama is sucking up praise for the handling of the kidnapping Captain Richard Phillips, of the Maersk Alabama, questions are circulating on whether the situation was handled as quickly as it could have been.
The USS Bainbridge arrived on scene and yet the SEAL contingent was not dispatched until 36 hours into the kidnapping, despite the recommendations of an on scene the scene commander. Early in the incident when the pirates had demanded batteries and food, and the Bainbridge had ordered an inflatable to deliver those items. The inflatable came under fire from the pirates, but couldn’t return fire even though they had the pirates in their sights.
The President had ordered rules of engagement that said, “do nothing unless the hostage's life was in "imminent” danger.”
In the middle of the incident Capt. Phillips escaped into the water, but SEALS were ordered to do nothing lethal.
The White House had turned down two rescue plans from an on the scene SEAL commander and the commander from the USS Bainbridge.
Sources from the scene are less than impressed with President Obama’s action or inaction.