Let Us Not Forget Our Nation's Civil and Criminal Due Process

Article excerpt

Rod Blagojevich is guilty.

So is Jon Burge, accused police torturer.

Let's just set up some TV cameras and parade them into the federal lockup right now!

And Drew Peterson, he's guilty, too. Forget about his trial next month on charges he killed his third wife. Keep him in prison!

Why should they be treated any differently than Tony Hayward, the CEO of BP?

Mr. Hayward, of course, is the buffoon atop BP, whose company's deep water oil wells have fouled the Gulf of Mexico.

After weeks of decided inaction by the administration and Congress, BP CEO Hayward has been marshaled to Washington, browbeaten and prosecuted by President Obama, convicted by a bulging-in-the-middle bandwagon of Congresscreatures and then castigated and castrated by bloggers, i-newsies and legit media.

From sea to oily sea, the sentence has been passed: Off with his head!

Mr. Hayward's apparent reduction in executive power by BP is the only merciful act there has been.

But where is the justice in all this?

What in the United States Constitution gives President Obama the right to summon a business executive to the White House and kick his behind? Where in the government's EPA regulations does it say "the president may act as judge and jury when dealing with any oil company that springs a leak in the ocean?"

What is it in federal forfeiture laws that permits a president to personally extract billions of dollars from any scoundrel, American or not, to pay for current and future environmental and business damages?

Please don't construe any of this as a vote of approval or support for BP (of which I have never been a shareholder,) its corporate methods or practices or the shameful, tragically comedic behavior of its tousled executives, especially Mr. Hayward.

If there is a cause of action, he and they should be charged, sued, prosecuted, fined and/or imprisoned after legal proceedings that would follow certain rules and allow a vigorous defense.

This country IS affording those basic rights to dozens of accused terrorists, foreigners just like the BP boss, including the admitted mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. …