April 12th, 2009
03:27 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama: 'We remain resolved to halt the rise of piracy'

President Obama issued a statement Sunday about the release of Captain Richard Phillips, who had been held for days by Somalia pirates.

President Obama issued a statement Sunday about the release of Captain Richard Phillips, who had been held for days by Somalia pirates.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama issued a statement Sunday about the release of Captain Richard Phillips.

"I am very pleased that Captain Phillips has been rescued," Obama said. "His safety has been our principal concern."

The president also said his administration wil continue to fight back against piracy. "We remain resolved to halt the rise of piracy," the statement also said.

Related: Captain jumps overboard, Navy SEALs shoot pirates, official says

(Read Obama's full statement after the jump)


I am very pleased that Captain Phillips has been rescued and is safely on board the USS Boxer. His safety has been our principal concern, and I know this is a welcome relief to his family and his crew.

I am also very proud of the efforts of the U.S. military and many other departments and agencies who worked tirelessly to secure Captain Phillips’s safe recovery.

We remain resolved to halt the rise of piracy in this region. To achieve that goal, we must continue to work with our partners to prevent future attacks, be prepared to interdict acts of piracy and ensure that those who commit acts of piracy are held accountable for their crimes.

I share the country’s admiration for the bravery of Captain Phillips and his selfless concern for his crew. His courage is a model for all Americans.

Filed under: Obama administration • piracy • President Obama
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Paul Coate

    Well, I guess the fact that Capt. Philips has been rescued and that the pirates are dead or captured answers all of Obama's critics who said he was a coward, weak, unable to stand up to terrorists, etc. I suppose now you'll accuse Obama of taking credit for this rescue. In truth, he stayed out of the way and let our Navy do its job (although Fox News just said the White House did sign off on the order to rescue Capt. Philips).

    I guess it's 2 points for Obama, Capt. Philips, and America
    ZERO points for those who think Obama is a failure

    April 12, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. Dan, TX

    Why didn't Obama negotiate a release? What is this cowboy attitude Obama. Shoot em up and ask questions later. Worse than Bush.

    April 12, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. Nick

    Congratulations to Captain Richard Phillip, the military and President Obama. Good job.

    April 12, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. JIM

    Now President Obama wants comment,now that everything went well. Too bad he didn't have the guts to talk about it while the whole thing was going on.

    April 12, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. Saul- Virginia

    Great job to the Navy and all the parties that make the rescue of such a brave captain a success. Never underestimate the power and dedication of our military men and women.

    for those of you who were busy attacking the president for not saying much during this perod, just remember that you don't have to talk tough, but be smart and put a collaborative efforts to do what is best to achieve desired goals.

    A lot of planning and collaboration has taken place in the last 5 days which resulted in such a heroic success.

    April 12, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Jack

    Terrorists and Al-Queda do not attack us from other countries. They come here, infiltrate inside our country and attack us. The 9/11 terrorists were living here and had entered USA on visitor / business visas. Therefore we need a better Homeland security to prevent them from entering, rather than going after them in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    Going after terrorist in other countries costs money and puts our troops on harms way.
    If Al-Queda attacks us from other countries, it would be an act of war, from the soil of that country and we will have the right to defend ourselves by bombing that country. Therefore other countries will never dare to let Al-Queda use their soil to attack a Superpower USA.
    Infiltrating into our country is “Covert War”. Probably Russia and China is helping Al-Queda to infiltrate inside USA. Now our intelligence agencies should be working on this.
    But unfortunately our intelligence agencies were working for Bush and Cheney to fabricate false and misleading intelligence reports regarding WMDs in Iraq. Bush and Cheney are war Criminals and should be in Jail. Bush and Cheney mislead Americans into Iraq war by fabricating an intelligence report that Iraq has WMDs. None of the 9/11 terrorists were from Iraq. Iraq was attacked for Bush’s greed for oil. Thousands have died, including 4200 US Troops due to the unjustified war.

    April 12, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Bravo to Capt. Phillips.... what a story! Meanwhile the sour Repukes all safe and cozy in the USA continue to carp at Obama over trivial drivel.

    April 12, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. quicker response

    I'm happy that the captain is safe and glad to see the dog hasnt slowed you down to much Obama. Obama Your response should have been quicker and with more force. Obama will now play this up as he was the one who negotiate this. We should have sent Seals in on the first day instead of letting it be milked this long. Be a leader Obama and quit blowing smoke.

    April 12, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. Lynn

    What an incredible statement in its recognition of the people involved including Captain Phillips and in the inclusive call for cooperation with "our partners".

    I applaud President Obama for his patience and his refusal throughout this ordeal to not make this a political issue.

    I await the nonsense the haters will make to try to make this a negative!!

    April 12, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. Wanderer

    It is good news to hear Captain Phillips has been safely rescued.
    Piracy is a wrong choice of occupation, so is cheating, lying, stealing, or robbing.

    April 12, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. Robert in New York

    Obama was in a Navy seal outfit and saved the captain!!

    April 12, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. Lori

    Under our President's leadership we got Phillips back safe and sound. Our President's leadership was tested. The Republicans doubted him but he succeeded yet again. Congrats to our U.S military!

    April 12, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. OKALH

    A fantastic outcome but not without its risks. I am actually disgusted that the shipping companies and the nations they represent have not made more of an effort to stop this piracy. It is not a matter of losses to shipping companies or customers or world trade, it is a matter of supplying $millions to build an economy based on armed thugs that will become ever more dangerous on the seas and in surrounding countries in Africa. Thank you Captain, crew, and the US military!

    April 12, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. Bill

    Bravo to the navy, as always the president's laser focus must be on the safety of a great citizen, not the media chatter with their endless opinions on what should happen. Good job Mr Prez

    April 12, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. Mark in Atlanta

    Obama shows us again what strong, smart, ethical leadership looks like. I'll take results over "swagger" any day.

    April 12, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  16. Katie

    I would have liked to hear from the President earlier and not just being read a prepared statement after the crisis is over.
    Obama showed very poor leadership skills and if this had been Bush , the media would have taken him to task.

    April 12, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. Belle

    I would have liked to hear from the President earlier and not just being read a prepared statement after the crisis is over.
    Obama showed very poor leadership skills and if this had been Bush , the media would have taken him to task.

    April 12, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  18. heartlight3

    The thing that disturbs me about all this is that it continues. There must be ways to keep the pirates from being so successful in their efforts. They say they can't protect the ships because the area is so big. They could do it if the ships weren't spread out over the whole area. Why can't they have the ships traverse the area in groups escorted by Navy ships that can blow the pirates out of the water if they make any attempt to get close to any of the ships in the group? It might interfere with the shipping schedules a bit, but better that than spending millions in ransoms.

    April 12, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  19. Joe

    Everyone did their job. No more, no less. As much as I don't like Obama's Socialist agenda, he did the right thing here. Let's not canonize him for letting the military do their job.

    April 12, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  20. anonymous

    For those saying that they wanted to hear from the president 24/7 on this issue are wrong. I would rather have the president and the navy work behind the scenes than give updates on tv. If we gave updates on tv all the time, wouldn't that be a security issue? God knows if the pirates had connections or people who watch cnn and watch us analyze and explain all the planning on tv. I would be concerned if this would jeopardize the safety of the captain. I am glad the captain is safe and I am glad our navy did their job. I know that this is something both republicans and democrats agree with.

    April 12, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. markens from NY

    my life is safe now with this president.

    April 12, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. Flo

    A great day for captain Phillips and his crew. I'm proud of our military and Pres. Obama for giving orders to bring the captain home by any means necessary. Happy Easter---–One that will be remembered for a long, long time..

    April 12, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  23. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Praise and gratitude to the Navy SEALS who successfully rescued the Captain. Hats off to our President who kept his cool throughout and did not respond to senseless critics. And Dan in Texas, JIM, and quicker response, your criticism makes you appear stupid – how can you criticize a success? The hostage was freed unharmed, the perpetrators killed or punished, and the world sees that our President does not 'go with his gut' like the last moron and invade Somalia.

    April 12, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. steve

    kudos to the commander-in-chief Barack Obama for his leadership for this safe rescue.
    The Republican fringe party had already blamed the President for this hostage situation but they are eerily silent now to give him the credit.
    Republican party fail again. President Obama won.

    April 12, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  25. Willy Brown

    Ok who let President Bush in the Oval Office. Good job W!

    April 12, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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