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Letters of Marque and Reprisal
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Roland
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2016 10:35 pm    Post subject: Letters of Marque and Reprisal Reply with quote

Article I, section 8 of the US Constitution grants Congress the power "To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water".

I just heard a Libertarian candidate propose that the US should deal with ISIS/ISIL/Da'esh by having Congress issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal! Might there be opportunities for privateering in the 21st century?!
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Captain Teague
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2016 11:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Letters of Marque and Reprisal Reply with quote

Roland wrote:
Article I, section 8 of the US Constitution grants Congress the power "To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water".

I just heard a Libertarian candidate propose that the US should deal with ISIS/ISIL/Da'esh by having Congress issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal! Might there be opportunities for privateering in the 21st century?!

I remember bringing that fact up to my Dad after I read the Constitution for the first time. I asked if it would still be possible to be a privateer in this day and age. That would be so cool!
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Rusty Edge
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought that we signed the treaty against it, but apparently not the case.

From Wikipedia-

21st-century American reconsideration of letters of marque[edit]
Article 1 of the United States Constitution lists issuing letters of marque and reprisal in Section 8 as one of the enumerated powers of Congress, alongside the power to tax and to declare War. However, since the American Civil War, the United States as a matter of policy has consistently followed the terms of the 1856 Paris Declaration forbidding the practice. The United States has not legally commissioned any privateers since 1815, although the status of submarine-hunting Goodyear airships in the early days of World War II created significant confusion. Various accounts refer to airships Resolute and Volunteer as operating under a "privateer status", but Congress never authorized a commission, nor did the President sign one.[34]
The issue of marque and reprisal was raised before Congress after the September 11 attacks[35] and again on July 21, 2007, by Congressman Ron Paul. The attacks were defined as acts of "air piracy" and the Marque and Reprisal Act of 2001 was introduced, which would have granted the president the authority to use letters of marque and reprisal against the specific terrorists, instead of warring against a foreign state. The terrorists were compared to pirates in that they are difficult to fight by traditional military means.[36] Paul on April 15, 2009, also advocated the use of letters of marque to address the issue of Somali pirates operating in the Gulf of Aden. However, the bills Paul introduced were not enacted into law.
Former New Mexico Governor and 2012/2016 Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson quipped in his reddit AMA[37] that letters of marque and reprisal would be an effective way to apprehend Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony instead of using US troops.


I suppose I could live to see contractors like Blackwell and Haliburton privateering for profit, such as the rewards posted for particular terrorists.
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Roland
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. It sounds like the idea is to use letters of marque and reprisal to commission bounty hunters to apprehend specified terrorists, pirates, and other foreign troublemakers. Perhaps the private sector would be more flexible and innovative in carrying out such missions than the bureaucratic military establishment.
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