What do you do with people who have committed one of history’s most egregious crimes against the environment? And managed to kill 11 empoyees in the process?
Realistically, when this BP mess is all over, the best punishment I’ve been able to dream up is some hard time in prison for those responsible. Not a Martha Stewart country club gig, but a year or two in a real cell. Assuming of course that an actual crime can be proven in a court of law. If a few top execs got tossed into prison for a while, they might think better of repeating or continuing their behavior when they got out. And it would be a lesson to other big corporate execs (of oil companies, Wall Street, Big Pharma, etc.) not to abuse the privilege of wealth and power. Fines and other monetary penalties mean nothing to these people.
However, it’s been demonstrated repeatedly that the powers-that-be are loathe to impose such penalties. Perhaps because they, too, are powerful people. Peers and colleagues of a sort. Fellow Good Ol’ Boys. They all have investments (literally) in each other.
So, what to do? As angry as I am, I’ll tell you what I’d like to see right now. I’d like to see a couple of those pompous BP bosses hauled out about five miles off the Louisiana coast and kicked overboard.
Tell them if they can swim to shore through all that oil, they’re free to go.
Let the punishment fit the crime.