Friday, June 18, 2010

Political Circuses While the Gulf Burns

The Congressional hearing and questioning of BP CEO, Tony Hayward yesterday was combination joke and disgrace.

As predicted, a very lawyered up, Hayward mostly took the Fifth Amendment, though not in so many words.

Instead of "I refuse to answer that question because it might incriminate me," Hayward deftly answered, "I wasn't part of those decisions." "I don't know who made them." "I don't recall." "I can't judge until investigations are completed." "No one's been fired, so far."

In other words, the CEO (smartly) didn't say much of anything at all, despite the so-called hearing going well into the afternoon.

That was the joke part of yesterday. If anyone expected useful information to come out of this "investigation," there is a bridge in Brooklyn that can be sold to that person.
(Serious investigations after all, usually start from the bottom and go up. They don't go from the top down.)

But, the disgraceful part of yesterday had more to do with the interviewers than the interviewee.

That some Congresspeople (both, Republican and Democrat) decided to use this important hearing as a platform to score political points or push November election agendas was utterly disgraceful and underscores why so little is actually accomplished in Washington and why so many voters (including myself) are "fed up" with both parties.

I refer of course to the political shenanigans of Texas Republican, Joe Barton (apologizing to BP and then later having to retract that apology) and the Democrats immediately jumping on that to focus and score political points.

This political circus, thus took up most of the media coverage of the event, diverting attention away from the oil still spewing out in the Gulf and the slow destruction of our marshes, wetlands, sea and wildlife.

This is particularly inexcusable in light of the fact, there were a few Congressmen who actually took this hearing seriously and asked very timely and pertinent questions.

Most noteworthy was Louisiana (Republican) Congressman, Steve Scalise, who, holding up a picture of an oil-drenched Brown Pelican poignantly asked who was actually in charge of the clean-up in the Gulf? BP or the Government?

Hayward's evasive answer (if we can believe it) was that Admiral Thad Allen and the various governmental agencies were mostly in charge of clean-up, though most reports indicate that BP and the government are working in collusion together (or more accurately, working in "cahos" together).

Yesterday's hearing, in fact, raised far more questions than it answered.

But, if the Congress and our President thought it was Hayward and BP that were going to be the only "whipping boys" here, they need to think again.

That this company was given governmental permit to drill in the Gulf when BP already had a long history of serial violations of safety protocols, as well as numerous accidents behind them is something that should raise not only question, but alarm.

Fact is, that the disaster in the Gulf should not only have been predicted by BP, but more importantly, our government, based upon past history and behavior of the errant and rogue corporation.

Where are the "criminal charges" against the Minerals Management Services and/or whoever else is in charge of issuing the governmental permits to drill?

Reality is, that the Deep Water Horizon gulf disaster once again becomes a tragic situation of "Everyone is to Blame and No One (specifically) is to Blame."

Meanwhile, a dead sperm whale (an endangered species) just washed up along the Gulf shores today and the tiny Island where Brown Pelicans breed is now saturated with oil.

Politicians play, while the Gulf (quite literally) burns. -- PCA


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