Meanwhile - in the multitudinous annals of corporate criminality:
Halliburton has admitted destroying evidence in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and will plead guilty to a criminal charge, the Justice Department announced Thursday.
Under the plea agreement, which requires court approval, Houston-based Halliburton will also face three years' probation, pay the maximum fine of $200,000 and continue to cooperate in the Justice Department's criminal investigation of the April 2010 explosion and fire on the drilling platform, which killed 11 rig workers off Louisiana.
The Justice Department said it would not pursue further criminal charges against Halliburton or its subsidiaries.
Separately, Halliburton made a $55 million "voluntary contribution" to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/07/25/halliburton-guilty-plea-destroying-evidence-deepwater-horizon/2588105/
Fascinating. If The Gadfly understands this story, with any cogent level of accuracy, it can be summarized thusly:
Former Vice President Dick Cheney's company Halliburton colludes with British Petroleum to destroy damning evidence of gross negligence related to the Deep Horizon oil spill disaster which claimed 11 human lives and befouled thousands of miles of U.S. coastline, including areas containing pristine nature preserves. As "punishment" no individuals are charged with a crime although the company itself (because corporations are people dontcha' know?) does plead guilty to a single corporate criminal charge, pays a $200,000 fine and is allowed to make a "voluntary contribution" of $55 million to a nature conservancy group. The Gadfly let loose with thunderous laughter reading those words - "voluntary contribution" - if for no other reason than the alternative involved the sudden onset of tightened stomach muscles and eventual voluntary vomiting.
According to The Gadfly's calculations, the total monetary payout ($55,200,000) that Halliburton is on the hook for as "punishment" for their criminal actions - is equal to .14% of the totality of the profits that they raked in for their role in providing military logistical support for George and Dick's wonderful and magical Iraq adventure.
Apparently the crime of negligent homicide in the lives of 11 men and treating America's precious natural resources like their own personal toilet can be languidly mitigated by admitting guilt (corporate person-hood style) and dashing off a check to the charity of your "choice." In this new world order of corporations are people too, it really is not all that different from paying your mechanic to repair the front end of your car after you deliberately ran over that 3-foot wide, 2-foot deep pothole. It's the simple cost of doing business.
In closing -- crime in America most certainly does pay dear readers, and if you are of the view it does not, then you really have some 'splainin' to do Lucy about this sordid Halliburton business.