According to Politico, Congressman Ron Paul calls on Congress to consider using letters of marque and reprisal to fend off the growing piracy movement that has captivated national attention over the last weeks. Letters of marque and reprisal, a power written into the Constitution that allows the United States to hire private citizens to keep international waters safe, serve as official warrants from the government to allow privateers to seize or destroy enemies in exchange for bounty money.
Days after September 11, 2009, Dr. Paul introduced legislation allowing President Bush to permit private citizens to go after Osama bin Laden and other identified terrorists and put a bounty price on the heads of targets responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Contractors would also be required to post a play-by-the-rules bond and turn over any terrorists — and their seized property —to U.S. authorities.
According to Paul, “The Constitution gives Congress the power to issue letters of marque and reprisal when a precise declaration of war is impossible due to the vagueness of the enemy … [and] once letters of marque and reprisal are issued, every terrorist is essentially a marked man.”