05/27/2010 11:40 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Cheney's Chernobyl

Much has been said about the need to simply get the gulf oil geyser capped, and not to worry right now about whose fault it is, or was. I notice most of this seemingly noble sentiment is coming from those whose fault it might be, including the Obama Administration.

But there is one person at whose feet can be laid the entire disaster, and probably to the surprise of no one paying any attention at all since the year G.W. Bush was appointed, that person would be Dick Cheney.


Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer and son of the assassinated Senator, traced a clear path of oily footprints straight to the former "co-president" in a post on May 5th:

...between January and March of 2001, incoming Vice President Dick Cheney conducted secret meetings with over 100 oil industry officials allowing them to draft a wish list of industry demands to be implemented by the oil friendly administration. Cheney also used that time to re-staff the Minerals Management Service with oil industry toadies including a cabal of his Wyoming carbon cronies. In 2003, newly reconstituted Minerals Management Service genuflected to the oil cartel by recommending the removal of the proposed requirement for acoustic switches. The Minerals Management Service's 2003 study concluded that "acoustic systems are not recommended because they tend to be very costly."

For some reason, Americans seem to be intolerant of attaching blame for current events to actions by former administrations. It may be a part of our deep cultural desire to always be on the front foot, looking into the future. Or it may just be a deep and malignant societal A.D.D.

Regardless, Cheney needs to be hauled before a grand jury and forced under oath to tell us what deals he made, so that the people can see how ideologically radical free-market deregulation, (otherwise known as greed), is the fond of disaster. Of course, Cheney is a grand master at eluding such scenarios, but if the will can be found, if enough people want it, we just might get him on the stand. Grill, baby, grill.