Even conceding that the captain was inexperienced and edgy, how can one condone the slaying of a fisherman.
Nobody condones the slaying of innocent fisherman. For whatever reason the Capt. of the ship thought that he might be experiencing something of the sort that the U.S.S. Cole experienced. That is why I "suspect" that the captain made a very poor decision. Its called human error which in this case was more than likely due to poor judgement and inexperience. What you did was blame the Navy and the U.S Secretary of State which to be honest shows your ignorance of the situation. This is not a display of shoot first and clean up the matter later. I guarantee you this is most likely a case of individual human error and would guess that the Capt will more than likely be relieved of his command.
You say that the boat did not have a radio and even if it did chances are that the fisheman would not have understood the signals
That is correct and that is why one would have to know if the ship had enough sea room in the first place to maneuver or if the ship did maneuver but the fishing vessel also maneuvered to keep closing its range with the tanker. Most fishing boats don't answer the radio, even if they do speak English and other than warning shots there are no other signals so after trying to raise someone on the radio the protocol is to maneuver away if there is appropriate sea room...which is the crucial information that has not been reported and most likely won't be not only for security reasons but also legal reasons.
Smmothseas, has a point but I think he shits the blame to the civilian captain.
Of course I do...Who do you think was in charge? They were in a situation that happens on a regular basis and develops rather quickly. They don't pick up the bat phone to call Hillary or Barrack to make the decisions.
I can agree with you if there s any evidence to even remotely suggest that USS Rappanhannock was being attacked by the fishermen.
Like what a hole in the side of the side of ship after an explosion? You think it looked bad on the Cole imagine what it looks like when you have a tanker carrying several grades of fuel oil. Since the Cole incident the protocol has been updated to include similar situations not just days of lore which did not account for suicide bombing.