The sole surviving Somali pirate, Abduhl Wali-i-Musi, came into New York last night
in preparation for his federal trail on hostage-taking and piracy charges. Photos show the teenage pirate to be near-skeletal, but smiling nonetheless, perhaps because even American prison represents a significant improvement in his quality of life. The New York Post
writers are fascinated by his smile
("JOLLY ROGER"), probably because the conservative paper strives to portray criminals as coddled whenever possible. Assisting in that perception are Wali-i-Musi's father and mother, who have been located and pleads for her boy's release
to Obama, as one might appeal to a saint or deity, claiming their son "just went with [the pirates] without knowing what he was getting into," which is what they all say, except usually about petty theft or vandalism, not piracy on the high seas. Also coming to Wali-i-Musi's defense is Somali Justice Advocacy Center, whose director says, "What we have is a confused teenager, overnight thrown into the highest level of the criminal justice system in the United States out of a country where there's no law at all," and radio host/lawyer Ron Kuby, who suggests it was no fair that the pirate came "onto the Bainbridge under a flag of truce to negotiate" and was then captured, as if he were playng Ring-a-levio. Meanwhile the pirate is being held in an unknown facility and heartily enjoying what you and we, fortunate as we are, might consider a meager breakfast.