When Is The BP Perp Walk?

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

It’s no secret.  I, who have devoted much of my professional life to defending people accused of horrendous crimes; I, who generally feel that nobody should ever go to prison; I, who have spent decades fighting against state killing; I confess.  I want to see BP executives indicted, perp walked in New Orleans in handcuffs before a howling and pressing media, convicted by juries and then locked up.  Locked up for a very long time.  Like Bernie Madoff.

I don’t care particularly what federal and/or state crimes the BP and Transocean and MMS folks have committed.  I want them to be given a full and fair trial in a federal court, and I want them imprisoned.  For a very long time.  I want them to be an example that this kind of environmental destruction will never be tolerated in a civilized society.  There, I’ve said it.

And the good news for me, and for you if you feel this way, is that apparently the current administration has finally decided to move in the direction of criminal prosecutions.  It took long enough.  It only took 53 days of spillage and a world record, man made environmental catastrophe.  Goodness, even WFAN Sports Talk Radio in NYC today was complaining about BP and the spill and the tepid federal response.  So finally, today, at long last, the administration is at last starting to pursue the criminals who have attempted to murder an entire ocean and all of the life in it and surrounding it.

You have some choices in how to think about this crime. You can think of it as a crime of greed.  You can think of it as a crime of recklessness.  You can think of it as a crime of stupidity.  You can think of it as a mix of all of these.  Maybe you find other motives.  But regardless of the motivations, regardless of how one characterizes it, it’s a crime.

The New York Times reports:

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Tuesday that federal authorities have opened criminal and civil investigations into the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

“We will closely examine the actions of those involved in the spill,” Mr. Holder said after a meeting with state attorneys general in New Orleans. “If we find evidence of illegal behavior, we will be extremely forceful in our response.” snip…

Earlier Tuesday, President Obama vowed to pursue criminal inquiries into the cause of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, as the crisis he called “the greatest environmental disaster of its kind in our history” threatened to engulf his second year in office.

“We have an obligation to determine what went wrong,” Mr. Obama said, appearing in the Rose Garden after meeting with the two men he has appointed to lead an inquiry into the cause of the spill, former Senator Bob Graham of Florida and William K. Reilly, a former Environmental Protection Agency administrator.

“If laws were broken, leading to death and destruction,” Mr. Obama said, “my solemn pledge is, we will bring those responsible to justice.”

If laws were broken. If we find evidence of criminal behavior. What a joke.  If only these attempts to sound tones of restraint and impartiality and fairness could be the last vestige of federal dithering and misinformation and indecisiveness in this case.

For 53 days we’ve all watched as the Gulf of Mexico is ruined, we’ve watched while BP has demonstrated beyond cavil that it has no clue whatsoever how to stop the leak, we’ve watched them lie and fabricate and evade and lull and protect their sorry behinds.

I personally have no intention of reading all of Title 18 of the United States Code, and all of the other possibly relevant federal statutes, to ferret out each of the many laws that may have been violated by Transocean and BP and MMS.  Sadly, unlike virtually all other cases, it’s that clear to me: if global corporations can befoul an entire ocean and it doesn’t violate several federal laws, the US Code isn’t worth a cup of warm spit.  We’ve been told repeatedly that you can presume intent from the natural and logical consequences of the accused’s acts.  Here we have a thoroughly poluted, destroyed ocean, vast destruction of fish and birds and wildlife.  Those are the consequences.  You’re warranted to think of the way this happened as intention.  

I’ve been hoping for almost two months that a criminal investigation would be launched.  I look forward to the arrests.  I look forward to the perp walks.  I look forward to the courthouse steps statements of innocence.  I look forward to the contrition at sentencing.  Bring it on.  I can hardly wait for a jury foreperson to rise in the jury box and speak.  And I can’t wait for a New Orleans judge after that verdict to impose sentence.


simulposted at The Dream Antilles and dailyKos


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  1. please, lock those MFers up.

    Thanks for reading.

  2. from the people who were on board the rig when it blew. They cut corners, they ignore troubles weeks before the blow out. It was willfull  negligence born out of greed! Obama’s words are just that, WORDS. No substance behind it. He’s worried about his second term now, that is his motivation for coming out ‘strong’ now.

    I want to see them perp walked, but why in Nola. Nola has nothing to do with this other then smelling fumes. Let them walk in Cajun Country where the actual disaster is taking place. Make them help with clean up without safety equipment, like they do to the men who work and get sick. And then we call it ‘minor illness’ and ‘food poisoning’! Freeze their assets, because they will get away with the little they have shelled out so far and the people down there will have to pick up the pieces and try to get through like they have so many times before.

    I’ve never been one to advocate violence in any shape or form, but I want to hurt these BP thugs and I’m surprised by my own emotions. Of course I will calm down eventually and no one will be hurt because I wouldn’t be able to live with myself, but man, I’m beyond angry!

  3. In my old age, I’m coming full circle, I don’t really see that laws and such are ever going to be equally applied.  

  4. BP, through their total lack of regard for faultiness in the “cementing” and other problems having to do with the rig (which they were aware of), thus, total lack of regard for “life” and responsible for so much death to it (the extent of which we do not know, nor the extent to which it will go) are not only guilty of criminal negligence, but “serial” criminals to mankind and the environment.  And, no one ever talks about the “food chain” and what happens when you disrupt the food chain — without mention of all that which provides us with food, but the innocence and beauty, nature’s gift! Now we have to fear that the entire ocean will become tainted, poisoning . . . . !

    Like Phillippe Cousteau, Jr. admonished, “the oceans had all they could stand 50 years ago . . . .”

    “If laws were broken, leading . . . . ”  Haven’t we heard those exact same words somewhere before?

    Oh, the latest efforts to stop the “gusher” just got delayed!  Seems a saw got stuck in the riser — see here.  Nothing but screw-ups!  Now 43 days’ worth.  Why haven’t the experts been called in if they really were intent on getting this thing stopped.  Experts from 12 countries offered their help, but were politely refused.


  5. Battle of New Orleans and run those damn ‘Red Coats’ out of town/state.

  6. Right after one for the perpetrators of the Iraq and Afghan wars.

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