Congressman Barton’s Capacity for Betrayal

At age 56 with a few political and advocacy battles under my belt I’d grown confident in my belief that I could no longer be surprised by a person’s capacity for betrayal and idiocy. I was wrong.

This morning I am watching the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing dealing with BP CEO Tony Hayward. Committee members have already referenced hard data documenting BP’s conscious decision to cut short safety measures for the sake of profit. There is also no doubt that BP’s actions are responsible for the largest environmental disaster in my country’s history, and the death (murder) of eleven human beings.

The moment of betrayal and idiocy that brought me up short, or made the street part of my persona boil up and clench fists, was not when some of the Republican’s on the committee criticized President Obama’s moratorium on offshore drilling and blame the president for the fact the spill has not been stopped, that’s just run-of-the-mill juvenile political dopiness, a skill possessed by members of both parties.  The moment that brought me up short was when Republican Congressman Joe Barton of Texas apologized (apologized!) to Tony Hayward for the $20 billion escrow account the administration pressured BP to create in order to assist those in the Gulf whose livelihoods and lives have been brutalized by the oil spill (did Barton want American taxpayers to pay?).

Barton, who come to think of it might serve as the very plug needed to stop the spill, called the $20 billion escrow account a shakedown of BP, a slush fund. Now, if you need to ask me why Barton’s apology falls into the category of idiocy, you may want to join ancestry.com because you may find out Barton’s a family member. As for why his apology is a betrayal? The escrow account is for the American people, for those American people in the Gulf whose lives and dreams have been destroyed or are in danger of being destroyed. Making the despicable choice of apologizing to the victimizer – BP – while turning your back on the victims is an act of betrayal.

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One thought on “Congressman Barton’s Capacity for Betrayal

  1. I disagree with some of your analysis. I agree that BP deserves a kick in the teeth and I suspect it is bad karma for the nasty things corporations like BP have done over the years. What I find strange with whole seize BP campaign is that it was based on racism against the British people. I feel offended by the nasty stuff coming out from Americans 'like Boycott Britain' – How did the ordinary British man in the street have anything to to this oil spill???? Ironically BP is 40% american after is merged with an american oil company. I am sure BP would have employed local americans rather then flying in staff from Britain.I found it strange when Mr Barton said that people have to pay for "bad behaviour". So okay, tell me about all the American companies what have paid for "bad behaviour"???. As usual Americans have double standards. Demanding justice for Americans, but what about when American companies cause environmental disasters?. In 1984, an American company managed to kill 20,000 human lives and 500,000 suffered inhalation problems in Bhopal disaster in India. The poor Indians are still waiting for compensation since 1984. The water is still poisined and still not cleaned up. And when these Indians see Americans angry over BP, they ask why no justice for us?. They ask how did Americans citizens get £20bn when 11 people got killed, but when Union Carbide killed 20,000, not a penny has been paid out. Why??If you have seen movie Slum Dog millionaire, then you will get a taste of the harsh realities falling into poverty. Kids growing up without parents is a though life. I heard of one the radio, that the sole survivoring girl who lost 11 members of her family was offered just 5 cents!!! Is this how American value human life?.As for the hatred towards British people. It really angers me. I was angry at BP for the oil spill, but when I read about ordinary american saying nasty things about the British, it has makes me angry about American attitude. You would think that American would be ashamed of forcing Britain to Iraq into a useless war, they would be apologitic to the British nation. Or do American have short memories?It is time American paid out the the victims of Bhopal!I hope you can help re-educate fellow American about the injustices…

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