Like the tobacco executives - BP won't see jail or handcuffs....

The Obama administration announced yesterday that it has started civil and criminal investigations into the volcanic oil spill in the Gulf. AG Eric Holder says he will "prosecute to the fullest extent of the law" any people or companies that have broken the law. BP’s market value plummeted $21.1 billion yesterday as the Florida panhandle is bracing for oil slick expected to hit shore today. The oil slick arrival coincides with the Panhandle’s summer tourism season. While the White House is sounding tough about a criminal investigation, former prosecutors and other experts on environmental law suggest that BP executives probably won't see the slammer or wear handcuffs, but perhaps just pay some fines out of their multimillion dollar salaries. Like the tobacco executives who lied to congress then flew back to their private yachts on their private jets, the BP, Halliburton, and Transocean executives who each blamed the other for the homicides in the Gulf have already walked out of Congress as free men, back to their own private jets and private mansions. The giant pharmaceutical company Pfizer, for example, recently pled guilty to a huge felony and paid over a billion dollars - the biggest criminal fine in history - for taking actions that probably led to the death of people because of the illegal mis-marketing of drugs. But no Pfizer executives went to jail. If you're Martha Stewart and you support Democrats and you do a small-time crime, you hit the slammer; if you're an oil or drug billionaire and you kill people and destroy the world, you get to fly home to a private island while your company pays a fine that it gets from consumers by raising prices. Meanwhile, the Republican Five crazies on the Supreme Court say that if you're an average criminal - as opposed to billionaire criminals who have entire law teams to shield them - you must know the law before you can be protected from the police keeping you up to for twenty or thirty hours for prolonged interrogations, even if you're innocent.

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