Forwarded email criticizes Barack Obama's handling of the Somali pirate hostage crisis in April 2009, alleging that the President hindered the on-scene commander's ability to effect a rescue by withholding authorization to use deadly force.
Description: Forwarded email
Circulating since: April 2009
Status: Mostly false
Email example contributed by Elsie T., Apr. 19, 2009:
Fwd: Obama's Decision Making with the hostages
Rear Admiral Lou Sarosdy USN Ret. writes.....
Having spoken to some SEAL pals here in Virginia Beach yesterday and asking why this thing dragged out for 4 days, I got the following:
1. BHO wouldn't authorize the DEVGRU/NSWC SEAL teams to the scene for 36 hours going against OSC (on scene commander) recommendation.
2. Once they arrived, BHO imposed restrictions on their ROE that they couldn't do anything unless the hostage's life was in "imminent" danger
3. The first time the hostage jumped, the SEALS had the raggies all sighted in, but could not fire due to ROE restriction
4. When the navy RIB came under fire as it approached with supplies, no fire was returned due to ROE restrictions. As the raggies were shooting at the RIB, they were exposed and the SEALS had them all dialed in.
5. BHO specifically denied two rescue plans developed by the Bainbridge CPN and SEAL teams
6. Bainbridge CPN and SEAL team CDR finally decide they have the OpArea and OSC authority to solely determine risk to hostage. 4 hours later, 3 dead raggies
7. BHO immediately claims credit for his "daring and decisive" behaviour. As usual with him, it's BS.
Read the following accurate account.
Philips first leap into the warm, dark water of the Indian Ocean hadnt worked out as well. With the Bainbridge in range and a rescue by his countrys Navy possible, Philips threw himself off of his lifeboat prison, enabling Navy shooters onboard the destroyer a clear shot at his captors and none was taken.
The guidance from National Command Authority the president of the United States , Barack Obama had been clear: a peaceful solution was the only acceptable outcome to this standoff unless the hostages life was in clear, extreme danger.
The next day, a small Navy boat approaching the floating raft was fired on by the Somali pirates and again no fire was returned and no pirates killed. This was again due to the cautious stance assumed by Navy personnel thanks to the combination of a lack of clear guidance from Washington and a mandate from the commander in chiefs staff not to act until Obama, a man with no background of dealing with such issues and no track record of decisiveness, decided that any outcome other than a peaceful solution would be acceptable.
After taking fire from the Somali kidnappers again Saturday night, the on scene commander decided hed had enough.
Keeping his authority to act in the case of a clear and present danger to the hostages life and having heard nothing from Washington since yet another request to mount a rescue operation had been denied the day before, the Navy officer unnamed in all media reports to date decided the AK47 one captor had leveled at Philips back was a threat to the hostages life and ordered the NSWC team to take their shots.
Three rounds downrange later, all three brigands became enemy KIA and Philips was safe.
There is upside, downside, and spinside to the series of events over the last week that culminated in yesterdays dramatic rescue of an American hostage.
Almost immediately following word of the rescue, the Obama administration and its supporters claimed victory against pirates in the Indian Ocean and  declared that the dramatic end to the standoff put paid to questions of the inexperienced presidents toughness and decisiveness.
Despite the Obama administrations (and its sycophants) attempt to spin yesterdays success as a result of bold, decisive leadership by the inexperienced president, the reality is nothing of the sort. What should have been a standoff lasting only hours as long as it took the USS Bainbridge and its team of NSWC operators to steam to the location became an embarrassing four day and counting standoff between a ragtag handful of criminals with rifles and a U.S. Navy warship.
Comments: This text purports to offer an account of the "real" decision-making process behind the Naval rescue of cargo ship captain Richard Phillips from a band of pirates during a five-day armed standoff off the coast of Somalia.
It differs from the official version in alleging that President Obama, who has been widely hailed for his behind-the-scenes management of the crisis, effectively tied the hands of the on-scene Naval commander and prolonged the ordeal by withholding authorization to use deadly force.
Retired admiral disavows message
However, while the text claims inside information about the actual sequence of events came from military sources directly involved in the operation (specifically Navy SEALs), no such sources are identified by name, nor is any means of authenticating the divergent account of the incident provided.
Some versions of the message attibute its content to Ret. Rear Admiral Lou Sarosdy, who, although he publicly acknowledges receiving, reading, and forwarding the email, firmly denies having authored it. "I don't know any SEALs," Sarosdy said in a statement to the Virginian-Pilot. "I have no idea who transmitted that."
He further stated that he doesn't know if any of it is true.
Text was partly excerpted from partisan blog
The latter half of the message appears to have been clumsily copied from a posting by conservative blogger Jeff Emanuel, who argues that the Obama administration unduly claimed credit for a mission whose success was actually hampered by the indecisiveness and lack of experience of the commander-in-chief.
Once again, however, while Emanuel is entitled to his opinion, it appears at least in part to be based on unsourced intelligence which differs substantively from heretofore published accounts.