Save the Somali victims of American piracy!

Glenn Reynolds' post about the happy Somali pirate reminded me of the media circus that's been developing these past few days.

I have to question the wisdom of bringing Somalian pirates like Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse to the United States for trial.

I mean, look at this:

He was all smiles when he landed on American shores, but his mood was a bit different when he appeared in court this afternoon: After telling a judge via an interpreter that he had no money to pay for a lawyer, he started to cry when his lawyers brought up his family back home in Somalia. Cry not, evil pirate! You've arrived in just the right place at just the right time.

First of all, Abduwali, you already have a famous lawyer--Ron Kuby--by your side, and for the sake of his own career, he'll do everything in his power to ensure you will remain in the news for a long time to come. If you manage to avoid a conviction, or you serve anything less than a life sentence, a reality show is a given. In fact, a Hollywood agent probably asked his assistant to find a Somali-English translator hours ago.

Your hand is seriously injured, which is no fun, but you can look forward to pretty decent medical care now that you're in an federal prison. They'll also tend to the other health ailments that must along with a life spent at sea off the coast of a Third World country. Free health care is your right in America. But only if you're incarcerated. So take advantage of it. Oh, and there's a dentist available, too, if you need one.

Ron Kuby. That's the activist attorney who represents guys like Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, and subway shooter Colin Ferguson, while suing Bernard Goetz for defending his life. I doubt it will take long for a "Free Wali Muse!" movement to emerge on the activist left.

Save the Somali victims of American piracy! That ship provoked these poor people who were only trying to deal with issues of survival!

With its penchant for deconstructing criminals and turning them into victims, the mainstream media ought to be delighted to help the cause. Already, a now-scrubbed CNN headline had obliged by uncritically parroting the false claim by the pirate's family that he was a boy of 15; they family is also being extensively quoted as saying the pirates tempted him into a life of crime...

But then, isn't that the same way they treat domestic criminals?

If I were an international pirate, I'd be happy too.

posted by Eric on 04.23.09 at 10:11 AM


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