SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

October 12, 2013

3 kills, 3 shots? SEALs rescue in 2009 not so tidy

(Continued)

Attorney Philip L. Weinstein, who represented the surviving pirate later prosecuted in federal court, said his legal team had an expert examine photographs the government provided of the dead Somalis. The expert estimated about 19 rounds had been fired into the bodies, Weinstein said.

“There were clearly not three shots fired,” Weinstein said. “They were riddled with bullets.”

The $30,000 was never recovered.

Nobody was exempt from questioning. Investigators interviewed Capt. Frank J. Michael, the executive officer of the Boxer and among the highest-ranking Navy personnel to enter the lifeboat after Phillips had been saved.

The case was ultimately closed without evidence of wrongdoing.

Kevin Speers, a spokesman for Maersk Line Ltd., said the missing money remains a mystery: “We simply don’t know.”

In the new film “Captain Phillips,” viewers shouldn’t look to the movie for the complete story. It doesn’t depict the aftermath inside the lifeboat or the criminal investigation that followed.

Director Paul Greengrass said the movie wasn’t intended to tackle every twist and turn, but hews to the truth.

Greengrass said he was aware of the shooting that took place inside the lifeboat and grappled with how much bloodshed to depict. In the end, he made narrative judgments, including that the final violence wasn’t necessary. The result was the same: Phillips was saved, and the pirates were killed.

And what happened to the money didn’t concern him.

“Movies are not journalism,” Greengrass said. “Movies are not history.”

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