Is this even legal?

Posted by preimert1 4 years, 12 months ago to News
33 comments | Share | Flag

300 miles out in international water? "Unflagged"
small boat? What if it was "unflagged" in the South China sea? Seems like over-reach ti me.
SOURCE URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/29/nyregion/fast-boat-tiny-flag-governments-high-flying-rationale-for-a-drug-seizure.html?emc=edit_th_20151029&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=70270656&_r=1


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  • Posted by $ Abaco 4 years, 12 months ago
    I recently, just literally in the past couple days, came to the harsh reality that laws are only written to control the livestock. Here in California we are passing laws that are in direct conflict with our state Constitution. But, they'll remain on the books. It's surreal...like something out of a movie. Harsh realization...

    With the fishing I do it is not too uncommon for the Mexican Navy to board our boats and hold us at gunpoint while they go through our stuff. And, we fly the American flag on permit to fish there.

    Every nation is just a tax farm, really. Or, graft farm...
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  • Posted by $ Susanne 4 years, 12 months ago
    Of course - as long as you accept the premise that the United States claims jurisdiction over internatonal waters. Of course, the US makes such claim as "the world's policeman"... and having no onther nation who would challenge such acts of Pirac... er... "Law Enforcement". What if another nation decided to post it's coast guard in the same location (or, say in international waters just off the US coastline) ... Say China, or Canada, or Russia, or North Korea... and decided to enforce their laws there, boarding boats et al...

    As the song says (in American English)... We are the world...
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    • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 12 months ago
      Sadly for you the song is not admissable evidence. and smart ass stupidity is sadly only a contributing factor. You'll probably invite a full scale search which requires NO warrant and everything down to the last required flare and fire extinguisher better be in order. Finally whoever is the licensed or unlicensed skipiper will be bear the brunt and full weight of the law in which..ever of the 104 I think it is signatory nations you've decided to screw with.

      Those laws are somewhere around 250 years old dicking around with them makes me wonder where all the energy was that could have gone to simply following one dictum. If you don't like the law change it. (Oh my but that's such hard work) Sorry Barbie you lose.

      Not knowing you subject area would have more than something to do with it.

      The MarPol laws are even more harsh than the ColRegs and the dude or dudette in charge gets to be the number one doer when the arrests begin.
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  • Posted by broskjold22 4 years, 12 months ago
    From the Coast Guard's perspective, the point was to intercept the drugs before it's points of sale where the entire shipment would be broken into smaller shipments that would be difficult to track. The Ecuadorian ship captain would know the rule of the sea. With what purpose would he choose a small flag? To avoid identification. I am no maritime expert, but if other nations follow the same rule, then international waters, small flags, and cocaine seem to go together like eye patches and peg legs.
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  • Posted by $ Susanne 4 years, 12 months ago
    Let me ask you this, then... as a fer instance...

    I am taking our boat, The Taggart Express, homeported in San Francisco, to the Farralons. Once outside of the 3 mile limit, I hoist a Russian flag. Does that make my boat Russian territory? If boarded by the Coastie Toasties, can I seek redress by the nation under which the flag is flying?

    Or even better... I hoist the flag of some nation declared "rogue" by the dotgov (Syria? Somalia? North Korea?) when I cross the boundary, but then on recrossing it going home drop said "rogue" standard and hoist a US standard?
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    • Posted by DrZarkov99 4 years, 12 months ago
      Under admiralty law, flying a flag that is not a true representation of your ship's national registry is illegal, and grounds for arrest and ship confiscation. I think that has to do with the old days when pirates would fly a nation's flag to approach a target vessel of that nation, usually called flying false colors.
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    • Posted by jdg 4 years, 12 months ago
      So long as you're in US waters (and I believe the limit is 12 miles, but 200 if you're doing "economic" things such as fishing), the Coast Guard or Navy can stop you regardless of any flag or no flag.

      In international waters, if you're flying a Russian flag, it means that a US navy ship that wanted to stop you would ask the Russians for permission first. If the Russians tell them your ship isn't really registered there, that's good enough for permission. In effect your flag is fake.

      The only way in which this incident seems to depart from the norms, is that normally when the Coast Guard or Navy wants to stop an unflagged ship in international waters, they'd first radio and ask the ship to identify itself, thus giving its crew a chance to raise a flag if it has one. That's what they should have done, and in practical terms it would only have delayed the seizure. Once the ship hoists an Ecuadorian flag, they ask Ecuador for permission. If Ecuador says no, they either wait until the ship enters national waters, or with sufficient reason they go ahead anyway (which is an act of war, but do you really think Ecuador is going to declare war on the United States for seizing a boat full of drugs?)
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    • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 12 months ago
      Secondly are your sure the Farralons are outside the 3 mile limit. Are you REALLY sure! Part of the USA the limit would be 3 miles beyond the Farallons. North Korea would probably take up your cause and then ask why you had paid no taxes or done your requried national service or were outside the country without a passport. Three Strikes your out.
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    • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 12 months ago
      You're screwed and besides it's ill mannered to the customs of the sea. Any one flying false flags is subject to apprehension by any country. Thee is a specific accepted way of flying them. The flag of the country in which registration of the boat was made goes on the stern. The flag should match the hailing port painted ont he stern just under the name. One part we use in serious recreational boating circles, those that go further than three miles or like me live on our bats full time are more important. On the starboard side the flag of the host nation granting pratique is flown. Initially a solid yellow Q Flag is placed underneath signaling the host nation upon entry of your intent to ask for pratiquie until given you are in quarantine so it's called the Q Flag. for that reason. On the port side above al the yacht club etc stuff is flags of nations who have crew on board. US registered boat flys that flag on the stern Mexico flag when entering or in Mexico 'means under the protection of, and if a Canadian and a Lithuanian are on board those flags to port. Customs and Immigration, Border patrol units know exactly to look for and expect to see at least one US, one Lithuanian an done Canadian passport.

      Flying a false flag is a criminal act under I believe the piracy section of International Law .... As for fooling the coasties ....it will fool you into a set of handcuffs and your only redress will be dealt with by a defense attorney as your will be tried in a coast guard court.

      The non technical term would be smart ass or stupid. Neither of which are crimes but they are a contributing factor.

      The one thing you have going for you a sentence requiring the use of "Seasoned Gratings" is not longer in use.
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  • Posted by $ blarman 4 years, 12 months ago
    So after listening to the audio, here is the first conclusion I came to: don't run from a military vessel. Second: don't traffic in illegal drugs.

    At issue is a technicality of whether or not a tiny flag painted on the hull constitutes "flying one's colors" under admiralty law. I have to agree with the court's determination in this case, however, that one's colors must be prominently displayed or the vessel can be seen as rogue.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 4 years, 12 months ago
    The fedgov and their managers are the pirates.
    There is no rule of law, only force at gunpoint delivered by the fedgov against anyone that has property worth stealing.
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    • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 12 months ago
      Did you agree with the Tonkin Gulf Resolution or did you ask that LBJ be impeached tried and jailed for the fabrication? That was a classic example of force at gunpoint. Your statement would have worked if it hadn't involved the Congress as accessories.
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      • Posted by freedomforall 4 years, 12 months ago
        (Answering individually, although your question may have been for all to answer.) My passion against LBJ was appropriately powerless at the time since I was too young and I lacked experience and wisdom. (In that wisdom, I had an AuH2O sticker on the bag that carried my books.)
        However, GW Bush attack on Iraq had much the same basis and I have been steadfast in opposition to that false flag and the war of empire that has followed and continued. Impeachment is too lenient for traitors.
        'Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. '
        US Constitution, Article 3, Section 3
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  • Posted by $ richrobinson 4 years, 12 months ago
    I am starting to think that legal is what Homeland Security says it is. Wonder why they didn't just track the boat and notify authorities at the destination point?
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    • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 12 months ago
      Legal for them is 'no bill of rights, no probable cause. only a mere suspicion with no proof required. If you voted for Clinton, Bush, or Obama or any of the Senators or Representatives who voted for that Act ...that's what you voted for. Along with the 100 miles from any coat line or border exclusion of the civil rights.
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  • Posted by Esceptico 4 years, 12 months ago
    Of course it is legal under U.S. law. If a person has ever heard the words "United States" the courts rule the U.S. has jurisdiction. Isn't that what all imperial governments say?
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    • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 12 months ago
      Tht's really really really reaching but not grasping. They don't have to stretch the law in maritime situations it's already there. The fact you are ignorant of the law, as usual , means nothing.
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  • Posted by wiggys 4 years, 12 months ago
    what happened to the 200 mile limit for a country to control its waters. 300 miles is international and the coast guard should never have been out there in the first place.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 12 months ago
    He's committing an illegal act regardless of what the definition of what is is. (See Clinton vs the universe). Of course, this discussion from a philosophical point of view can get us into a truckload of conflicting proposals up to a discussion of the morality of drug laws in general. The Captain of the US ship was probably wrong, but according to the common sense of the laws he operated under, he was right. This is the type of mish-mash morality that comes when clearly defined basic premises do not propagate the law.
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    • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 12 months ago
      Maritime law is one of the most precise areas of all. Common sense has nothing to do with and usually is more common than sensible. If you wanted a poster child for clearly defined it would be maritime law. Enough where it's translated into all maritime nations languages with zero problems.
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