CNN reports:

U.S. forces killed three pirates and rescued cargo ship Capt. Richard Phillips, held hostage in a lifeboat since Wednesday, after seeing him in “imminent danger,” a senior defense official told CNN.

The official contradicted earlier reports that the captain jumped into the water off Somalia on Sunday.

Three of the pirates on the lifeboat with Phillips were shot and killed, the official said. A fourth pirate was aboard the nearby USS Bainbridge negotiating Phillips’ fate when the shootings occurred, he said.

The latest report makes this sound less like a rescue mission, and more like an improvisation by the SEALs at hand.  Either way, well done.

UPDATE: Tigerhawk remarks:

Great news, and — yes, I’ll say it — tip o’ the hat to President Obama for signing off on the mission.

(Via Instapundit.)

I was set to say much the same thing, but this latest report makes it sound more like an improvisation than a rescue mission ordered at the highest level.  If this was ordered by the President, then bravo to him too.

In any case, I agree with his following remarks wholeheartedly:

Now I have two questions. What will we do with the prisoner? Do we believe that this action is sufficient to restore deterrence against piracy?

I fear that, with this rescue, the President will put a mark in the win column and move on.  Until the next time.  I hope he’ll prove me wrong.

UPDATE: Fox News is reporting that President Obama did authorize the operation.  Well done.

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