If Congressional Report True, Jones Act the Least of Obama’s Worries
Granted, the allegations are coming from Republicans. But considering the Democrats’ large-scale refusal to oversee the Obama Administration’s activities, they should, at least, be considered. And if they turn out to be true, the oil spill will do more damage to Obama than Katrina ever did to Bush.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R – Cal.), the ranking member on the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, has announced that he will be releasing a report later today on the federal government’s response to the oil spill, and early reports aren’t pretty. Excerpts from the report reveal conduct spanning from bumbling to flat-out impeachable behavior on the part of the White House.
Some examples include,
“The number of assets claimed [by the White House], however, does not appear to match what is actually in the field. This is corroborated by Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, who shared a similar story with investigators. BP and Coast Guard provided Mr. Nungesser with a map of the Gulf allegedly pinpointing the exact locations of 140 skimmers cleaning up oil. Sensing that the chart may have been somewhat inaccurate, Mr. Nungesser requested a flyover of the assets for verification. After three cancelled trips, officials admitted to Mr. Nungesser that only 31 of the 140 skimmers were ever deployed. The rest were sitting at the docks. According to Mr. Nungesser, the chart appeared to have been fabricated.”
This alleged fabrication is significant, especially given the Administration’s recent attempts to refute claims that they’re refusing international help. We addressed Obama’s failure to waive the Jones Act here recently, and responded to a commentator who asserted, with dubious support, that those criticisms were unfounded. Well, if Issa is correct, it’s not just foreign aid being denied; Barry’s not providing domestic assistance either. The allegation would also provide an explanation as to why the air space above the spill is largely closed, with very few fly-overs permitted.
Resources Used as Bargaining Chip to Mute Criticism
“In some instances, it appears that equipment is provided simply to quiet public criticism. Mr. Nungesser, who has frequently appeared on local and national television, was apparently visited by two White House officials at his office on Fathers’ Day. According to Mr. Nungesser, the purpose of their visit was to find a way to keep him from calling attention to the lack of equipment. Specifically, they asked him, “What do we have to do to keep you off tv?” He simply replied, “give me what I need.” On another occasion, Placquemines Parish officials requested 20 skimmers at a town hall meeting held by the Coast Guard. According to Mr. Nungesser, “They gave us two skimmers to shut us up.” These accounts raise serious questions about whether the Administration is more concerned with fighting a public relations battle than combating the oil spill.”
This is a damning allegation, but one that shouldn’t shock anyone, considering the Chicago-style politics running rampant at the White House. If the two aforementioned allegations (and there are more if you read the linked article) turn out to be true, and I have little reason to question local officials at this point, I would argue that they amount to an impeachable offense. In fact, if the president is not making damn sure every available ship is down there, and even goes so far as to use Coast Guard vessels as bargaining chips, then he shouldn’t just be impeached, he should be in prison.
Rep. Issa is apparently releasing the full report later today. I have no doubt that the Administration will deny all of its contents, and blame its existence on partisanship. When Barry makes these claims however, ask yourself whether he provides any actual proof that the report is false; don’t simply take his word for it.