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Saturday, 21 August 2010 02:04

No Punishment for Deadly, Toxic Oil Spills or War Crimes, But a Baseball Player Faces Prison for Steroid Use

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JACQUELINE MARCUS FOR BUZZFLASH

Last night, it was reported that scientists discovered a twenty-two mile long plume in the Gulf that poses a continuing threat to wildlife for months or years. 

Truthout brought to our attention that other countries are investigating war crimes, specifically torturing detainees. The U.S. Justice Department is turning a blind eye.  

According to Shashank Bengali, McClatchy Newspapers: "While US courts and the Obama administration have been reluctant or unwilling to pursue [torture] cases, countries that once backed former President George W. Bush's war on terrorism are carrying out their own investigations of the alleged US torture program and the role that their governments played in it."  Read Article   

The famous baseball player, Roger Clemens, is not an oil executive.  Therefore, the laws will be executed.  If he lied about taking steroids, he will be punished to the full extent of the law—possibly a long prison sentence.  This man may spend the rest of his life in prison for lying to the government. By contrast, BP Execs can kill an entire ocean and everything in it, and then sail off into the sunset making toasts to the next deepwater drilling plans in the Gulf.      

Conclusion:  If you’re representatives of Chevron, Shell, Exxon/Mobile, if you’re Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, BP CEO Tony Hayward, or if you’re worth billions of dollars in the oil industry, you are free to invade countries and steal their oil, you are free to commit genocide and to initiate policies of torture for oil; in short, you’re free to break every national and international law in the book, and then you can play a round of golf with the President, the Supreme Court Judges, lawyers in the Justice Department, and with members of Congress.   

But! being rich doesn’t automatically get you off the hook.  This free pass, “above the law,” only works if you’re an oil tycoon.  Bill Gates, for instance, will not get a free pass nor will Oprah.  

If you’re BP, you can pollute hundreds of miles of ocean with toxic oil on account of gross negligence, but no one in the government will call it gross negligence, rather it’s just an accident that will quickly vanish.   

If you’re a Gulf Coast victim of the BP oil spill, you are not allowed to sue BP for illnesses such as cancer that may occur in the future. BP Settlements Likely to Shield Top Defendants To receive compensation from BP’s $20 billion fund, businesses and individuals will likely have to waive their right to sue the company and other major defendants. 

Thus, the role of the government, when Big Oil commits egregious crimes, is to help cover up those crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against nature—just as they cover up for the horrific war crimes that have been committed via an illegal occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan for oil. 

Conclusion: U.S. oil executives are above the law.  The laws apply to mostly everyone else, including famous baseball players.