Corporate Terrorism in West Texas


In his first statement in response to the Boston bombings, President Obama said that “Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss.”

In the his first statement in response to the explosion outside Waco, Texas, President Obama said that “our prayers go out to the people of West, Texas in the aftermath of last night’s deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant.”

In his statement on Boston, President Obama said that “any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.”

But when it came to the explosion in Texas, President Obama said nothing about responsible individuals, responsible groups or the full weight of justice.

Why not?

Because when it comes to street crime, President Obama is the top cop.

When it comes to apparent corporate crime and violence, he’s the enabler in chief.

Make no mistake, if it becomes clear that the Texas explosion was triggered by a terrorist attack, a la the Oklahoma City bombing, then Obama will begin talking about “the full weight of justice.”

But if the focus is corporate crime and violence, corporate recklessness, workplace safety,  “full weight of justice” rhetoric won’t see the light of day.

After all, it was Obama’s Justice Department that in December 2011 settled the case of the April 2010 Massey Energy Upper Big Branch explosion, which killed 29 miners, with a “non prosecution agreement.”

Outrageously, the Justice Department said it would not criminally prosecute Massey even though the Labor Department concluded that Massey’s “unlawful policies and practices” were the “root cause of this tragedy.”

Massey had a track record of skirting the law and even kept two sets of books for at Upper Big Branch — one for internal use, which kept track of workplace hazards — and one for law enforcement, which did not.

David Uhlmann, the former head of the Department of Justice’s Environmental Crimes Section, and now a Professor at the University of Michigan Law School, says had he been in charge of the Massey Energy case, he would have criminally prosecuted Massey.

In his tenure at the Justice Department, he criminally prosecuted many major corporations for wrongdoing arguably less serious than one that results in the deaths of 29 workers.

And he says that the Massey non prosecution agreement is just part of a disturbing trend, one that has accelerated under the Obama administration, toward settling major corporate crime cases with deferred and non prosecution agreements.

Russell Mokhiber edits the Corporate Crime Reporter.

Russell Mokhiber edits the Corporate Crime Reporter.

November 25, 2015
Jeff Taylor
Bob Dylan and Christian Zionism
Dana E. Abizaid
Provoking Russia
Oliver Tickell
Syria’s Cauldron of Fire: a Downed Russian Jet and the Battle of Two Pipelines
Patrick Cockburn
Trigger Happy: Will Turkey’s Downing of Russian Jet Backfire on NATO?
Robert Fisk
The Soothsayers of Eternal War
Russell Mokhiber
The Coming Boycott of Nike
Ted Rall
Like Father Like Son: George W. Bush Was Bad, His Father May Have Been Worse
Matt Peppe
Bad Policy, Bad Ethics: U.S. Military Bases Abroad
Martha Rosenberg
Pfizer Too Big (and Slippery) to Fail
Yorgos Mitralias
Bernie Sanders, Mr. Voutsis and the Truth Commission on Greek Public Debt
Jorge Vilches
Too Big for Fed: Have Central Banks Lost Control?
Sam Husseini
Why Trump is Wrong About Waterboarding — It’s Probably Not What You Think
Binoy Kampmark
The Perils of Certainty: Obama and the Assad Regime
Roger Annis
State of Emergency in Crimea
Soud Sharabani
ISIS in Lebanon: An Interview with Andre Vltchek
Thomas Knapp
NATO: This Deal is a Turkey
November 24, 2015
Dave Lindorff
An Invisible US Hand Leading to War? Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet was an Act of Madness
Mike Whitney
Turkey Downs Russian Fighter to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire
Walter Clemens
Who Created This Monster?
Patrick Graham
Bombing ISIS Will Not Work
Lida Maxwell
Who Gets to Demand Safety?
Eric Draitser
Refugees as Weapons in a Propaganda War
David Rosen
Trump’s Enemies List: a Trial Balloon for More Repression?
Eric Mann
Playing Politics While the Planet Sizzles
Chris Gilbert
“Why Socialism?” Revisited: Reflections Inspired by Einstein’s Article
Charles Davis
NSA Spies on Venezuela’s Oil Company
Barry Lando
Shocked by Trump? Churchill Wanted to “Collar Them All”
Michael Barker
Democracy vs. Political Policing
Cal Winslow
When Workers Fight: the National Union of Healthcare Workers Wins Battle with Kaiser
Norman Pollack
Where Does It End?: Left Political Correctness
David Macaray
Companies Continue to Profit by Playing Dumb
Binoy Kampmark
Animals in Conflict: Diesel, Dobrynya and Sentimental Security
Dave Welsh
Defiant Haiti: “We Won’t Let You Steal These Elections!”
November 23, 2015
Vijay Prashad
The Doctrine of 9/11 Anti-Immigration
John Wight
After Paris: Hypocrisy and Mendacity Writ Large
Joseph G. Ramsey
No Excuses, No Exceptions: the Moral Imperative to Offer Refuge
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS Thrives on the Disunity of Its Enemies
Andrew Moss
The Message of Montgomery: 60 Years Later
Jim Green
James Hansen’s Nuclear Fantasies
Robert Koehler
The Absence of History in the Aftermath of Paris
Dave Lindorff
The US Media and Propaganda
Dave Randle
France and Martial Law
Gilbert Mercier
If We Are at War, Let’s Bring Back the Draft!
Alexey Malashenko
Putin’s Syrian Gambit
Binoy Kampmark
Closing the Door: US Politics and the Refugee Debate