Obama knew. That is what an Obama Big Media sycophant says. Obama knew. An investigation is needed. If Obama indeed did know, as alleged by his biggest boosters and defenders, then we get rid of the question mark. Impeach, Remove, Imprison Barack Obama.
Richard Wolffe, the near defunct Newsweek Magazine‘s man on his knees at the White House, sensed the danger to his belovéd. Wolffe ran to his White House
bosses sources for a defense of Barack Obama. But instead of protection, Wolffe might just have put a torpedo into the dingy which is the S.S. Obama.
Wolffe is sensitive to the danger the oil gusher poses to his amour Obama. Today ABC/Washington Post released a new poll with bad news for B.O.:
“More Americans have given negative ratings to federal reaction to the BP spill then poll respondents gave to the government’s initial handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.”
Aware of danger to Obama, Wolffe leap into the action saddle. Wolffe came up with this extraordinary defense, which if proved correct, instead damns Obama:
“Critics have bashed President Obama for being slow to seize the political initiative in combating the BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast, now widely believed to be the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. The White House has battled back, releasing a timeline of events showing that Obama was briefed—and deploying the Coast Guard—within 24 hours of the Deepwater Horizon blowout.
What has not been previously disclosed: The president was not only briefed on the real-time events of the spill, but also on just how bad it would be—and how hard it would be to plug the hole.”
Obama knew. Obama knew. Obama knew.
“Carol Browner, director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, told Obama at one of the earliest briefings in late April that the blowout would likely lead to an unprecedented environmental disaster, senior White House aides told The Daily Beast. Browner warned that capping a well at such depths had never been done before, and that they ought to expect an oil spill that would continue until a relief well was drilled in August, the aide said.
That early briefing on the scope of the spill—and enormous technical challenges involved in fixing it—might help explain the sense of fatalism that has infused Obama’s team from the start.
Little that has happened since has changed their mind-set. Now six weeks later, the president’s top advisers expect the oil spill—and the negative stories—to continue through August.”
Obama knew. Obama thought of damage to his Cult of Personality. It was not fatalism, it was as ever with Obama, political self-interest. Obama knew. Wolffe tries to concoct a defense but the bottom line is Obama knew:
“The fact that Team Obama was warned of the extent of the disaster so early on suggests that White House officials were aware of the environmental challenge long before they decided to demonstrate concern via presidential visits to the Gulf.”
Obama knew but kept quiet. Obama distracted. The oil gushed. Obama golfed. The oil spread. Obama partied. The crude grew and moved slowly to shore.
Obama in a calculated manner decided to distract. As Wolffe so sickeningly puts it Obama’s team focused on “methods of news management and presidential communication.” Impeach, Remove, Imprison.
What could Obama have done? For starters: tell the truth. Obama’s team continues to downplay the disaster caused by Obama inaction. Obama could have immediately alerted the nation and ordered an armada of ships outfitted to skim the oil off the Gulf waters. But the truth, told to the American people at the time the blowout occurred, should have been the first step. Instead the lies and “news management” continues:
“Why do the Obama folks lowball the size of the oil spill? [snip]
The successful severing of the riser from the blowout preventer on Thursday increased the flow, perhaps by 20 percent (this recalls BP’s petulant insistence in the middle of last month that estimates of higher than 5,000 bbd had to be wrong, in part because kinks in the riser were slowing the gusher). So assuming that 20 percent increase, the worst case scenario now would be a leak of between 14,400 bbd and 30,000 bbd. Or, at the high end, 63 percent more than the figure the “senior official” used Monday with those journalists in Miami.
This is no esoteric argument. Browner explained on Sunday why it’s important to know how much oil is spewing: BP will owe fines based on how much is spilled, and court cases are likely to turn on the number as well — a fact that had largely escaped the administration until McClatchy reporters Marisa Taylor, Erika Bolstad and Renee Schoof pointed out on May 20 that BP had a major financial interest in keeping the oil leak’s size unknown and preferably unknowable (see their story here). The White House press office howled when that story appeared, though it would have been more appropriate to say “Thanks, we missed that one.” The next day was when the administration finally broke away from BP and appointed an independent task force to figure it out.
Today, Erika Bolstad points out another reason for the Obama folks to be diligent in learning how much oil has leaked: BP owes us, the American taxpayers, royalties on all that oil that’s been “extracted” from the well, whether BP got to sell it or not (and if the “top hat” works in corralling some of the spewing oil, BP can make a little offsetting revenue on it as well). Bolstad’s story is here.
If you’re kind, you might think only that the administration was, well, just not very quick on the uptake here and that it needed some newspaper reporters previously unschooled in deep water blowouts to figure out what was going on (for another example click here for McClatchy’s Shashank Bengali’s exploration of the huge loophole in the administration’s most recent drilling moratorium). But the pattern suggests that the administration, from the White House and various Cabinet secretaries right down to the NOAA administrator, whose task it was to figure out how much oil was leaking and yet remained stubbornly uninterested in finding out until a university professor from Indiana testified before Congress, was deliberate in its efforts to downplay the size.”
McClatchy has been the most responsible of Big Media news services. They are to be commended for their news coverage which no one but us it seems covers. There’s more from McClatchy:
“On Thursday, we learned from the Center for Public Integrity, which got hold of Coast Guard logs from the early days of the spill, that within a very few hours the Coast Guard thought what was left of the Deepwater Horizon well might gush 8,000 bbd, a number that soon grew to, worst case scenario, 64,000 bbd (the Center’s article on the topic can be found here).
And we learn from ABC News that from the beginning the Coast Guard had ample access to videos that showed crude oil billowing out of the wrecked riser and blowout preventer, but didn’t think to come up with a better estimate of the leak and didn’t try to make the videos public so someone else could. (Interestingly, the Coast Guard told ABC that BP wouldn’t release the videos, saying they were proprietary, which is the same reason the Interior Department is using to refuse to identify the 33 offshore exploratory rigs in the Gulf that are supposed to shut down “when it’s safe to do so.” Without their locations and their operators’ names it’ll be hard for anyone to check to see if the Interior Department actually enforces that order.)”
McClatchy hits a home run for truth with this:
“When Congress is probing the whys and wherefores of the disaster, a few questions should be asked about why, from top to bottom and up to today, the Obama people don’t want to confront reality on the size of the leak.”
The best venue to get those answers is before an impeachment panel in preparation to remove Barack Obama and cart him off to imprisonment.
* * * * *
What could Obama have done beside tell the truth and prepare the nation immediately for this bigger than Katriina disaster? David Gergen, timid as limp fresh noodles and wet toast, had this to suggest last month:
“Enough is enough! After the latest failure by BP to plug the gaping hole, it is time for President Obama to take full command of this growing national catastrophe. Immediately!
The president in his press conference this past Thursday assured the nation that he and his administration were already in charge and he has manfully taken personal responsibility — “the buck stops here,” he said, echoing Harry Truman. Well, it may be true that BP has been acting all along under the oversight of the federal government, but that supervision has been loose and ineffective.[snip]
First off, who can now trust BP to do the job right? From the beginning, it has appeared to be more interested in shoring up its stock price than in playing straight and solving the problem. It took reckless short cuts in opening up the rig, had no serious plan in place for a disaster, low-balled early estimates of the spill, has high-balled its chances of stopping the leak and has kept both the government and the public too much in the dark. And its efforts on shore are increasingly pathetic — can it really have failed to protect the safety of beach workers and have stage managed the clean-up when Obama was there, as reported? It was a mistake to leave our fate in the hands of this company as long as we have.
Second, even if BP were reliable, the problem has clearly become too big for it to handle, as Colin Powell is now arguing on television. [snip] BP is especially not up to the task of protecting our precious shorelines and cleaning up the beaches. For that, we need the organizational strength of the U.S. military.
Third, this catastrophe is increasingly threatening the nation’s welfare. With a potentially dangerous storm season just around the corner, a continuing gush of oil will not only pose huge, long-term damage to the Gulf region but could easily wash the oil around the tip of Florida and up the East Coast. The loss to livelihoods, the economy and to ways of life would be immeasurable. It would be worse than Katrina and Exxon Valdez put together. [snip]
Finally, Obama’s leadership is increasingly at stake in this emergency.”
Gergen wrote before Wolffe’s article was published. Now Gergen and all Americans know Obama knew. Obama must be investigated before an impeachment panel. That panel should explore, with a probe as long as a Gulf rig, Obama’s connections to BP.
Obama knew from the beginning. Gergen advised last week what Obama should have done. If what Gergen advises had been done the moment Obama knew, the Katrina/Valdez/Hostage crisis could have been mitigated.
“What can the White House do? For starters:
— Set up a daily command center in Washington where a presidentially appointed leader runs the show, calls the shots, coordinates the overall effort, briefs the president and briefs the country
— Have two deputies, one to direct the leak-stoppage and the other to direct the clean-up. Ex-CEOs and generals would be excellent candidates
— Summon all the major oil and drilling companies to the White House for emergency efforts to get the hole plugged
— Get BP out of the picture for clean-up; just send it the bill. If it is still needed for hole-plugging, okay, but ensure that it answers every day to directions from the government. If BP needs new internal leadership, figure out how to get that done
— Employ the U.S. military for organizational coordination and where needed, for anything else such as clean-up
— Make more aggressive efforts to tap the best minds in the world for help
— Provide the country with the kind of daily briefings that the military has mastered for wartime — bring in people who are smart, straight and tough
— Ensure that economic assistance is provided to families, small businesses and communities that need it with dispatch and generosity
— Call off the finger pointing until we get out of this mess
— And finally, very importantly, exercise the powers of leadership every day from the Oval Office.”
Obama knew. If indeed he knew he must be investigated. Impeach, Remove, Imprison.
There is a lot of news these days. The Richard Wolffe story and the McClatchy story are falling between the cracks.
Many people are on vacation enjoying their lives. Helen Thomas has lost her job under the guise of retirement. How many anti-Israel stories did she write during her long and once distinguished career? Few Americans (only 19%) are blaming Israel for enforcement of the Gaza blockade. Obama is lifting the ban on whaling. Iran’s Ahmadinejad is off to Turkey for “New World Order” meetings
There is a lot of news this day, mostly bad. But we cannot forget the criminal negligence of Barack Obama.
Impeach, Remove, Imprison.