Larry Johnson - Hillary was right. Obama was not and is not ready to answer the 3am call. The evidence, especially with respect to his failure to properly manage the response to the blow out of B.P.’s Deep Horizon well, is damning. Tim Dickinson’s lays out the evidence methodically and in depth in his recent piece in Rolling Stone, The Spill, The Scandal and the President.
Dickinson makes it clear that Obama failed in every regard to even answer the damn phone. He let it ring while the oil flooded the Gulf.
Let’s review the key points:
On March 31st President Obama trotted out his plan to support drilling in the Gulf. He said, “it turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills . . . they are technologically very advanced.” Unfortunately, Obama failed to ensure that the Department of Interior had the proper safeguards and procedures in place and that the existing regulations on the books were being enforced. He trusted the oil companies.
Before he took office Obama vowed to clean up the cronyism and corruption rampant in the Minerals Management Service of the Department of the Interior. Obama did not create the mess. The Bush Administration’s hands are filthy on this count. George W. and his band left Obama with a steaming turd. And what did Obama do when he assumed office? As Dickinson notes, “Obama left in place many of the top officials who oversaw the agency’s culture of corruption. He permitted it to rubber-stamp dangerous drilling operations by BP . . . with virtually no environmental safeguards.” He did nothing and, on the day that the head of the MMS resigned (or was fired) Obama did not have a clue what was going on. He said as much at a press conference.
Obama and his team continued the negligence of the Bush Administration. Wilkinson reports that, “MMS continued to issue categorical exclusions to companies like BP, even when they lacked the necessary permits to protect endangered species.” Moreover, Obama’s Department of Interior did not even ensure “that the MMS had a written manual–required under Interior’s own rules–for complying with environmental laws.”
Obama and his team knew from day one that the blown rig, under a worst case scenario, was spewing as much as 110,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico. And what did the intrepid Captain Kick Ass Obama do? Did he mobilize a fleet of ships to start capturing the oil? Did he get on the phone to BP and demand they move immediately to prepare for a worst case scenario? Did he act as if this could be worse than the Exxon Valdez? Nope, he and the wife took off for a weekend excursion in Asheville, North Carolina to play golf and eat barbecue. And when he got back from vacation did he demand that BP give him a current status report? Nope. Instead he hosted the New York Yankees at the White House. In the ensuing weeks he glad handed with the men and women champions from the NCAA basketball tournament instead of accepting offers from other countries to provide oil skimmers. Oh, did I mention the parties and concerts? He had Sir Paul in to sing “Hey Jude.” Captain Kick Ass was just a party animal who couldn’t be bothered with the particulars of harnessing all public and private resources to fight the oil spill.
More than a week passed before Obama’s team declared the BP disaster an “Oil Spill of National Significance.” As Dickinson notes, this was “required to draw on regional resources and to appoint an incident commander to coordinate a federal response.
Who was in charge, on May 3rd of cleaning up the oil spilling into the Gulf? According to Robert Gibbs said, “the responsible party is BP.” Swell. One little problem. According to the National Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution Contingency Plan an “oil company like BP cannot be left in charge” and the “government must direct all federal, state or private actions to clean up a spill where a discharge or threat of discharge poses a substantial threat to the public health or welfare of the United States.” Captain Kick Ass and his crew of buffoons dropped this ball and the oil continued to flow.
On May 21st the President’s vapid mouthpiece, Robert Gibbs, said that Obama lacked the authority to play anything more than a supervisory role. Obama and his team, four weeks into the disaster, were still sitting on the sidelines.
Less than a week later Obama summoned the press and announced, “I take responsibility.” He stated further, “I was wrong in my belief that the oil companies had their act together when it came to worst-case scenarios.” That, boys and girls, is known in intelligence circles as “NO SHIT ANALYSIS.”
Dickinson also reports that the Obama Administration waited six weeks before deploying its own research vessel to investigate whether or not BP’s estimates of the escaping oil were valid. SIX WEEKS!!
This is not about partisanship. This is about competence and Obama does not possess it. Please be sure to read the DIckinson piece in its entirety. He has done America a service and exposed Obama for the vacuous fraud he is.