FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Corporate Terrorism in West Texas

by RUSSELL MOKHIBER

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.

More articles by:

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter..

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

June 22, 2017
Jason Hirthler
Invisible Empire Beneath the Radar, Above Suspicion
Ken Levy
Sorry, But It’s Entirely the Right’s Fault
John Laforge
Fukushima’s Radiation Will Poison Food “for Decades,” Study Finds
Ann Garrison
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party, and the UK’s Socialist Surge
Phillip Doe
Big Oil in the Rocky Mountain State: the Overwhelming Tawdriness of Government in Colorado
Howard Lisnoff
The Spiritual Death of Ongoing War
Stephen Cooper
Civilized, Constitution-Loving Californians Will Continue Capital Punishment Fight
Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla
Cuba Will Not Bow to Trump’s Threats
Ramzy Baroud
Israel vs. the United Nations: The Nikki Haley Doctrine
Tyler Wilch
The Political Theology of US Drone Warfare
Colin Todhunter
A Grain of Truth: RCEP and the Corporate Hijack of Indian Agriculture
Robert Koehler
When the Detainee is American…
Jeff Berg
Our No Trump Contract
Faiza Shaheen
London Fire Fuels Movement to Challenge Inequality in UK
Rob Seimetz
Sorry I Am Not Sorry: A Letter From Millennials to Baby Boomers
June 21, 2017
Jim Kavanagh
Resist This: the United States is at War With Syria
James Ridgeway
Good Agent, Bad Agent: Robert Mueller and 9-11
Diana Johnstone
The Single Party French State … as the Majority of Voters Abstain
Ted Rall
Democrats Want to Lose the 2020 Election
Kathy Kelly
“Would You Like a Drink of Water?” Please Ask a Yemeni Child
Russell Mokhiber
Sen. Joe Manchin Says “No” to Single-Payer, While Lindsay Graham Floats Single-Payer for Sick People
Ralph Nader
Closing Democracy’s Doors Until the People Open Them
Binoy Kampmark
Barclays in Hot Water: The Qatar Connection
Jesse Jackson
Trump Ratchets Up the Use of Guns, Bombs, Troops, and Insults
N.D. Jayaprakash
No More Con Games: Abolish Nuclear Weapons Now! (Part Four)
David Busch
The Kingdom of Pence–and His League of Flaming Demons–is Upon Us
Stephen Cooper
How John Steinbeck’s “In Dubious Battle” Helps Us Navigate Social Discord
Madis Senner
The Roots of America’s Identity and Our Political Divide are Buried Deep in the Land
June 20, 2017
Ajamu Baraka
The Body Count Rises in the U.S. War Against Black People
Gary Leupp
Russia’s Calm, But Firm, Response to the US Shooting Down a Syrian Fighter Jet
Maxim Nikolenko
Beating Oliver Stone: the Media’s Spin on the Putin Interviews
Michael J. Sainato
Philando Castile and the Self Righteous Cloak of White Privilege
John W. Whitehead
The Militarized Police State Opens Fire
Peter Crowley
The Groundhog Days of Terrorism
Norman Solomon
Behind the Media Surge Against Bernie Sanders
Pauline Murphy
Friedrich Engels: a Tourist In Ireland
David Swanson
The Unifying Force of War Abolition
Louisa Willcox
Senators Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Tom Udall Back Tribes in Grizzly Fight
John Stanton
Mass Incarceration, Prison Labor in the United States
Robert Fisk
Did Trump Denounce Qatar Over Failed Business Deals?
Medea Benjamin
America Will Regret Helping Saudi Arabia Bomb Yemen
Brian Addison
Los Angeles County Data Shows Startling Surge in Youth, Latino Homelessness
Native News Online
Betraying Indian Country: How Grizzly Delisting Exposes Trump and Zinke’s Assault on Tribal Sovereignty and Treaty Rights
Stephen Martin
A Tragic Inferno in London Reflects the Terrorism of the Global Free Market
Debadityo Sinha
Think Like a River
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail