Consider all the ruined lives, wasted oil, the staggering
costs of cleaning up this mess.
Consider the contempt for world treasures, the environment.
Mostly, though, consider his sickening lack of judgment.
Even when sailing blindly through dense fog he stays the course.
Even among icons of world heritage, he cries "Full speed ahead."
Against the advice of cooler heads, his motto is the same.
When told about deficiencies in equipment before launching,
he went ahead anyway.
Even after the magnitude of his errors became clear, he gave
out false information about the costs, the causes, the cure.
Even now he makes excuses. Even now he's clueless.
No, I'm not talking about President George W. Bush, I'm talking
about Capt. John Cota, pilot of the container ship Cosco Busan
when it ran into the San Francisco Bay Bridge five weeks ago and
spilt 58,000 gallons of deadly fuel oil into the bay.
Still, the Cosco Busan may be the perfect metaphor for how this country
charged into Iraq to shock and awe people who'd done us
no harm. The pilot could be a stand-in for the commander-in-chief
on our ship of state. Their offenses are identical. Lack of judgment,
sailing blind, ignoring the cost, ignoring geography, failure to
understand the equipment under their control, telling lies, general
arrogance and worse. Of course there are differences, mostly of scale,
and the biggest one is this:
No one with any power has the guts to hold Bush accountable before
In Cota's case, there's a state agency, the Board of Pilot
Commissioners for the Bays of San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun.
They've suspended Cota's license and given him 15 days to respond.
On Dec. 6, they produced a six-page document called an "accusation"
that laid out the case against Cota. The board minced no words.
According to a story in the San Jose Mercury News, Dec. 7, the board
said the shipwreck was "a direct result of Captain Cota's piloting."
The U.S. could use such a board on the national level. The Senate,
the House, and Justice apparently are useless when it comes to
holding Bush accountable for invading Iraq based on lies, killing
lots of people there, and hinting he might try it in Iran. Toss in
kidnapping, torture, wiretapping, environmental damage, media
manipulation, attempts to cover up global warming, being asleep
at the wheel on 9/11, and you have a pretty strong bill of high
crimes and misdemeanors.
Still, hints on the breeze suggest members of the military, the media,
politicians and others are beginning to stand up to Bush and his
co-pilot Cheney, and for good reason. The arrogance of this crew
is breathtaking. Just hours after the National Intelligence Estimate
became public two weeks ago, and we learned that ALL our nation's
intelligence agencies combined had concluded that Iran ceased its
nuclear program years ago, Bush could still be heard saying, implicitly,
full speed ahead.
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