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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/18/10

Oval Office Duplicity: Cover for Corporate Criminality

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To a nationwide audience, he said nothing about regulatory laxity, BP's disregard for worker safety, its shoddy history of dangerous practices, the disrepair of its equipment by cutting corners on maintenance and proper controls, years of manager warnings to top officials ignored about safety concerns risking serious accidents, employees pressured to be silent, say nothing, or be fired, and the company's single-minded pursuit of bottom-line issues, everything else be damned - to such an extreme that it got former EPA debarment attorney, Jeanne Pascal, to say after investigating company practices:


"They are a recurring environmental criminal and they do not follow US health safety and environmental policy. At what point are we going to say we are not going to do business with you any more, bye? None of the other supermajors have an environmental criminal record like they do."


So why did Obama provide BP cover from day one, and in his 18 minute nationwide address? Why hasn't he held a corporate scofflaw accountable, run the cleanup from the start, demand BP provide full information on the problem and cooperate with Washington in charge or face criminal prosecution, huge fines, and nationalization? Why hasn't the public been fully informed? Why do the administration, its officials, the Congress and Coast Guard work for BP instead of the other way around?


Why has he unquestioningly accepted all BP pronouncements on faith, including deliberately falsifying gush estimates - first, 1,000 barrels a day, then 5,000, then 25,000 - 40,000, and now 30,000 - 60,000 when reliable evaluations are double these numbers or higher and explain a problem that may turn the entire gulf and beyond into dead zones, as well as contaminate the entire Atlantic coast and waters well beyond?


Why hasn't he explained Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen's offhand comment that most oil isn't flowing up BP's pipe but is "in communication" with the sea floor and surrounding formations, meaning it's gushing from multiple ruptures, perhaps more to come because of the enormous pressure eroding the well's walls? Why hasn't he announced that perhaps nothing can stop them short of technologies that don't exist, other than perhaps a nuclear option that might fail and magnify the problem as well as irradiate the Gulf and regional shorelines?


Why did he said nothing about noxious air and toxic rain if one or more hurricanes hit the Gulf? Why isn't he warning residents and providing help in case of the worst? Why doesn't he use the military for cleanup, restoration and other aid, and bring home US forces from Iraq and Afghanistan to do it?


Why does he repeat BP's lies, censor the media, conspire to destroy evidence, and keep the public in the dark when they have every right to know anytime, let alone when there's an unprecedented disaster affecting this and other nations?


Why hasn't his Justice Department indicted BP officials, ordered their arrest, and imprisoned them where they belong? Why did he deliver shameless boilerplate to a nationwide TV audience, instead of a detailed action plan, with facts and hard numbers, including seizing BP's assets, mandating all be used to cover recovery and restoration costs, even if it bankrupts the company? Why hasn't BP, and perhaps the entire industry been nationalized - one responsible for global environmental disasters, mostly where victims aren't compensated and get shot if they complain?


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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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