November 6th, 2013
09:16 AM ET

Britney Spears vs Somali pirates?

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The U.N. has released a report suggesting that piracy off the coast of Somalia has dropped to the lowest level in seven years. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon credited the decline to improving international policing and prosecution as well as better security and information sharing.

One Scottish merchant Navy officer reported last week that there might be additional reasons for the drop – Britney Spears. The officer told a U.K. paper that blasting songs like Britney Spears' "Hit Me Baby One More Time" and "Oops, I Did It Again," is effective in deterring approaching pirates.

This isn't altogether surprising. Loud noises have successfully fended off pirates in the past and repetitive music has been used as an interrogation tactic for years. One operative at Guantanamo reported that among others, "I Love You" by that cuddly purple dinosaur named Barney was used in interrogations at the Naval base there. A prisoner detained in Kabul told Human Rights Watch that Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady" played for 20 days on end. And in 1989, the U.S. Army played music to smoke out Manuel Noriega from the Vatican embassy in Panama City, while in the 1990s, the FBI used Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walking" to try and force cult leader David Koresh out of the Waco compound.

Somali piracy may be at a low, but just last week, the White House said it was concerned by a disturbing increase in piracy on the other side of Africa after two U.S. sailors were taken hostage in the Gulf of Guinea. If pop music is at all a useful tool, go ahead and as Britney Spears says, hit them, baby, one more time.

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Topics: Last Look

soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Felix Unger

    Another instrument of torture. Now these creeps are using loud music in order to torment these unfortunate guys in Gitmo in addition to their other methods of torture. This is truly a national disgrace and we Americans need to do something about it but won't, thanks to the ignorance of the general public. This is truly sickening!

    November 6, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • rightospeak

      It is the ignorance at CNN and in the monopolistic American media as well. Henry Ford Sr. warned us in the 1920s of such an outcome when the media becomes the tool in the hands of a few.

      November 6, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Phelix Unger

      The one thing these pirates need is more bomb, so the ships that run across these pirates on the sea, should just make sure every boat infested with this vermin, gets one or two dropped on them and guaranteed there would be less pirates, next year.

      George Patton 2
      Phunnie Boy

      You have to be more creative if you wish to keep up.

      November 6, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • biggerdawg

      I'd say they've learned not to mess with the U.S. We brought the fight to them and captured them. Done. Now give it a rest.

      November 7, 2013 at 5:14 am |
    • humtake

      I see no disgrace other than another American who thinks the world is full of puppies and unicorns. Calling people ignorant because they don't agree with your opinion only makes YOU the ignorant one.

      November 7, 2013 at 7:43 am |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Well said, Felix. Thank you.

      November 7, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • xyz

      Is not piracy, kidnapping and ransom a far worse torture. I would very much like if a few arm chair liberals were kidnapped for ransom.

      November 7, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • sly

      Felix – good one ... but I'm afraid there may be some folks on here that don't realize you are being sarcastic!

      Yuk yuk – 'all that Mozart made me crazy so I had to kill her'. Good one!

      November 7, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Oscar Pitchfork

      You need to go visit the World Trade Center Memorial site before lamenting those murderous pieces of trash RIGHTFULLY suffering in Gitmo, you unintelligent putz!

      November 7, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • jake

      Torture? The Bataan Death March was torture. Gitmo was a country club compared to real torture soldiers have endured. Ooh they're playing loud music. Oh the horror. Compare that to a 60 mile forced march where the stragglers got their heads chopped off. That's torture.

      November 9, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  2. JASC92

    use Justin bieber, and they will just commit suicide

    November 6, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Jason

      Hahaha, so true.

      November 7, 2013 at 9:18 am |
      • bobpitt

        That because they have not use their secret eapon yet.. SnoopeDog and Lady Gag Gag

        November 7, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • tiredofthis

      Can't we just bypass the middle man and GIVE them Justin Bieber? No ransom required.

      November 7, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • 2oj3ij

      Hey no that's just going too far! No should have JB inflicted on them.

      November 7, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
  3. rightospeak

    My comment was taken out because I thought the article is disgusting and describes war crimes and BARBARISM .

    November 6, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • HZD

      It's barbaric to play Britney Spears at armed pirates who are circling your ship to board it and take you hostage? Seriously? What do you want them to do?

      November 7, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
      • rightospeak

        Remedy the causes , HZD, and the problem will go away.

        November 9, 2013 at 6:48 am |
    • sly

      Duh – that's why they call it the Barbary Coast. All them Pirates ... and they are scared of a good looking singer.

      Yee haw. Rather than play music, a few AK47's would effectively eliminate the problem. Smear them back into the sand.

      November 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
  4. rightospeak

    I will not watch GPS this Sunday for this reason.

    November 6, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Quinton

      No one can blame you, rightospeak. Those right-wing fanatics that Fareed Zakaria has on his Sunday morning show are enough to disgust anyone with half a brain as they take the rest of us for being total idiots for believing anything that they tell us!

      November 6, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  5. JAL

    I love music.

    November 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Quinton

      So do I JAL, but not the thug music that these sickos use to torture our political prisoners at Gitmo and elsewhere! These tortures are a national disgrace and need to end as soon as possible!

      November 6, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
      • 2oj3ij

        They are criminals and terrorists but hey that's acceptable. Play music to them and that's just inhumane eh?...go away

        November 7, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  6. Dooosh_Limpjaw

    Just play Dooosh_Limpjaw's radio program over and over again. They'll turn into mindless zombies.

    November 6, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  7. chrissy

    Lol, if they played some Lady Gaga those pirates would turn over the loot from prior piracys and THEN commit suicid!

    November 6, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  8. chrissy

    Having fun @ JR, ya poser! People are getting hip to your trolling ways so you may wanta retire that GP persona.

    November 6, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
  9. Real Musak

    Nuke them with Yoko Ono.

    November 6, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
  10. KieranH

    She scares Americans with her music, nevermind Somali pirates....

    November 7, 2013 at 7:32 am |
  11. rigney

    A little "o.t.," I admit; but anybody who watches her video "Hit Me Baby One More Time" and doesn't realize she's a genius didn't get it. At all. Yes, I know you disagree. But ask yourself honestly; is that founded in real taste for music or is it arrogance? And yes, the video WAS her idea; she re-wrote the whole concept after they approached her with something that never would have worked.
    Did YOUR parents like YOUR music? So that doesn't count; just because it doesn't suit your personal style doesn't make it invalid.
    Watch it again. Closely. She's *brilliant.*

    November 7, 2013 at 7:44 am |
  12. obama


    November 7, 2013 at 7:58 am |
  13. rightospeak

    If we had some real investigative reporters and a non-monopolistic media, we would find out the real reasons for the piracy there. These fishermen were deprived of livelihood by big fishing ships, just like the corn farmers in Mexico with NAFTA were deprived of making a living and turned to more violent ways of making a living. But it is too much to ask the monopolistic media. They need to be broken up and the people will finally see the light.

    November 7, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Thank you, rightospeak. Today, one would almost have to get and read a Mexican newspaper to get the truth. The Mexican reporters are objective at what they report.

      November 7, 2013 at 10:48 am |
  14. freedom_junkie

    It is SICK to have CNN Brag about a Britney Spear Song about LOVE used as TORTURE on ANYONE !! Soon National Anthem will be used for Interrogations in local police stations , MAYBE PUBLIC SCHOOLS on accused ADHD Kids as "Enhanced Subduing" ?? Looks Like 4th Reich has arrived to USA.

    November 7, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • rkfrom ny

      Thank you, freedom_junkie. That appears to only too true!

      November 7, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • sly

      Yeah, music sure is 'sick'.

      Gotta hate the influence that Mozart and the Beatles and Pop singers like Michael Jackson and Britney Spears have had on the young folks.

      Everyone knows that music like The Dixie Chicks and Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash is 'sick'.

      I think the Government should ban all music.

      November 7, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  15. Mike

    She was a lot cuter in her younger days . . .

    November 7, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  16. sly

    Britney still looks pretty hot to me ... aging well.

    Go get em' girl – with Muslims, you don't really have to sing though. Just show a picture of a woman without her headgear and they'll all scream and run.

    I'm not anti-Muslim in the least – but their social more's crack me up, and it's true – show them a naked girl and you're safe. (Probably works with Christians as well ... just to be fair).

    November 7, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  17. Oregonian

    And the Flying Spaghetti Monster said that global warming is inversely proportional to the number of pirates, which means climate change is obviously real.

    People who believe that pop music stops pirates from hijacking, torturing, ransoming and murdering people might as well believe in unicorns and leprechauns. Seriously, though, if it actually works then we should drop Brittney and Justin (a multinational coalition) into Somalia and they can stop terrorism and piracy once and for all.

    November 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  18. Oscar Pitchfork

    Just wait till they get close enough and open up with a 20 or 30 millimeter. Keep shooting until there's nothing on the surface anymore...

    November 7, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  19. sillyT

    simple solution...double the number of vessels in the area; paint false watermarks on each of the new ships, and instead of cargo fill their holds with soldiers armed to the teeth. when they encounter pirates, leave only flotsam, and say absolutely nothing about it to anyone. the heathens, after realizing that their comrades are simply disappearing will attribute their losses to sea monsters and forever fear going to sea...


    November 8, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  20. Hjemmeværnet SSR

    Funny click-able story that mixes up facts and fiction, or at least speculation. But funny it is!

    November 17, 2018 at 7:57 am |

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