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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pirate Chooses Prison Over DOE

April 23, 2009 (GBN News): The Somali pirate who just yesterday agreed to perform community service for the NY City Department of Education as part of a plea bargain has now opted for a life prison sentence instead. Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse, the sole surviving pirate from the hijacking of the merchant ship Maersk Alabama, was being counted on by the DOE to raise millions of dollars in ransom to be used for charter school conversions. However, Mr. Muse has apparently succumbed to pressure from his compatriots in Somalia to renounce the deal.

GBN News spoke through a translator to a top Somali pirate leader, who refused to be quoted by name out of fear of reprisals by the DOE. The pirate leader confirmed that he and a number of his colleagues had pleaded with Mr. Muse not to work for the Education Department. “We may be pirates, but we have our standards,” he said. “We run a good, clean operation. But to have one of our number work for Joel Klein at the DOE – no self-respecting pirate would be associated with an organization that sleazy.”

J. Fredrick Runson, Dean of the Manhattan University Law School, is a recognized expert on piracy and author of the definitive Joel Klein biography, “Hijacking the Ship of Schools”. Professor Runson is not surprised that the pirating community back home had flexed its muscles over this issue. “Pirates depend on the fear and respect of their victims,” he told GBN News. “What credibility would they have when they board a ship, and the crew realizes their captors are the ones whose colleague sold out to the DOE? They’ll be laughed out of the water!”

There was no official comment from the DOE as to who would be taking a plea bargain to replace Mr. Muse. However, one source with knowledge of the situation told GBN News that offers to both Bernie Madoff and Rod Blagojevich were rejected; apparently neither was any more willing to risk his reputation than Mr. Muse.