I am told on good authority that the US Department of States Bureau of Arms Control has issued a Cease and Desist order to Top Cat Marine Security on their pirate-fighting contract with Somalia. I have called the Somalia Desk Officer (i. e. Officer for the East African Desk) at the Department of State to ask for confirmation.
I'll let you know when I hear back with confirmation. UPDATE: I'm told I might have to wait a bit for that. FURTHER UPDATE: The Uncooperative Blogger reports he has confirmed the Cease and Desist order.
(So is the New York Post now going to run the headline Pirate Busters Busted?)
EPILOGUE: I suppose it's time I got 'round to sharing Maryann Johnson's letter to me, responding to my intial post. At the time I received it, I was not aware that she is alleged to work for Fox News. Now I read it in a different light. I quote it in its entirely:
My goodness, what a nasty, angry piece you did on us. I can only wonder your motivation. This is a very positive move for the international community and your desire to defame and smear topcat must be motivated by some desire for your own personal gain... I just can't imagine what.
This contract benefits the international community at large. It is worldwide and will help a country like Somalia regain control of its people and assets.
The articles you quote were written by a reporter who's sole source of information is a convicted felon and disgruntled employee. Those other businesses you mention, well quite frankly, I don't know who they are or what you were driving at. I understand the media, and I guess you just need a story and if you can't get the facts, well, just make it up.
The places I worked, we did things a little differently. [UPDATE 12/7: I have written to Fox News's attorney to ask for confirmation of her employment there.]
12/13: Anyone know what to make of this? Is it an attempt to use Google AdSense for damage control? Or is it an automated blog aggregator surviving on Google AdSense revenue? I don't know what it is. But it is interesting that the lead lumps together both of Casini's Top Cat companies, implying that some human agency went int the creation of this page.
MEANWHILE: Quiet diplomacy.