Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bush Record on "Fair & Transparent" Probes

On ironically the same day as Senator Larry Craig's return to Washington and its "hallowed stalls of government", U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice promised the Iraqi Prime Minister a "fair and transparent probe" of the Blackwater Security Company incident where eight Iraqi civilians died. Why should the Iraqi people place their faith in a Bush launched investigation as their record is dismal? The internal investigation into the CIA agent leak never occurred as promised and convicted perjurer Scooter Libby received a presidential pardon, but there's much more.

After Hurricane Katrina, the Bush team created their Lessons Learned report with the aim of preventing such a disastrous response from happening again. Sec. Rice used the same language regarding the Blackwater incident. Yet, the author of the Katrina report left out the hospital with the largest death toll post landfall. That hospital company had just been purchased by The Carlyle Group weeks before the deadly storm struck. The White House also omitted the trade group that coordinated the evacuation of acute care patients in FEMA's place.

The Bush administration contracted out the investigation into British Petroleum's Texas City refinery explosion that killed 13 people. James Baker of The Carlyle Group headed up the $2 million taxpayer funded inquiry. While the oil company failed to invest in process safety equipment and establish rigorous safety procedures, management got a free pass in the report. Guess who hired the BP CEO on duty when the tragedy occurred? He's now heading up The Carlyle Group's European energy portfolio.

So Mr. al Maliki, be very wary of a Bush led investigation. The pattern involves whitewashing what happened and exonerating their friends. Who is Mr. Bush closer to, Blackwater execs or the Iraqi people? As for Condi Rice, she's been irrelevant on the world stage for how long now?

No comments: