privateering

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pri·va·teer

 (prī′və-tîr′)
n.
1. A ship privately owned and crewed but authorized by a government during wartime to attack and capture enemy vessels.
2. The commander or one of the crew of such a ship.
intr.v. pri·va·teered, pri·va·teer·ing, pri·va·teers
To sail as a privateer.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

privateering

Activities by armed but privately owned vessels commissioned for war service by a government. Really a species of legalized piracy.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
References in classic literature ?
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water."
Marshall, Putting Privateers in Their Place: The Applicability of the Marque and Reprisal Clause to Undeclared Wars, 64 U.
To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations; To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water.
The contemporary assumption that Congress has little role in war prosecution neglects the significance of the Marque and Reprisal Clause and the Capture Clause of the Constitution.
Constitution will remember the peculiar phrase used in Article 1, section 8, that gives Congress the power to "grant letters of marque and reprisal." A clue to the phrase's meaning and a sign of its importance may be surmised from the power granted immediately prior to it in the Constitution: Congress's power "to declare war."
In a frequently cited article published during the Vietnam War, Charles Lofgren argued that the Framers' grant to Congress of the power to issue letters of marque and reprisal created a residual category of all forms of undeclared war.
The Constitution grants Congress the exclusive power not only to declare war but "to define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations," and to "grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water."
On 10 February 1625, the Duke of Buckingham was empowered to issue letters of marque and reprisal, but this may have been simply a delegation of responsibility; a document dated 19 January implies that such letters had already been issued.(7)
Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) believes the Constitution's long-neglected "marque and reprisal" provision may offer a viable option.
Constitution of granting letters of marque and reprisal to private actors to pursue pirates.