National and military leaders have praised President Obama’s steadiness in handling the Somali pirate standoff last week, a standoff that ended with Navy snipers shooting three of American Capt. Richard Phillips’ teenaged captors.

While most people celebrated Obama’s authorization of the shooting, radio host Rush Limbaugh yesterday used the showdown to smear Mr. Obama’s name. Via Limbaugh’s website:

They were kids. The story is out, I don’t know if it’s true or not, but apparently the hijackers, these kids, the merchant marine organizers, Muslim kids, were upset, they wanted to just give the captain back and head home because they were running out of food, they were running out of fuel, they were surrounded by all these U.S. Navy ships, big ships, and they just wanted out of there.  That’s the story, but then when one of them put a gun to the back of the captain, Mr. Phillips, then bam, bam, bam.  There you have it, and three teenagers shot on the high seas at the order of President Obama.

Limbaugh went on to say he believes Obama wouldn’t have given the order had he known the boys were Muslim: “If only President Obama had known that the three Somali community organizers were actually young black Muslim teenagers, I’m sure he wouldn’t have given the order to shoot. That’s the correct way to look at it. If only Obama had known.”