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Gulf oil spill: Hearings on BP disaster canceled as witnesses say they won't show

None of the five witnesses called to testify will appear at Wednesday’s hearing of the U.S. Coast Guard-Interior Department probe into what caused the Deepwater Horizon oil rig to explode.

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Hung Nguyen said the panel was notified shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday that four of the five people set to appear, all employees of Transocean, the owner of the rig, said they had changed their minds and would not appear. A fifth employee, Daun Winslow, had already been rescheduled to appear at hearings scheduled for Aug. 23-27 in Houston.

The panel has been set back by a handful of key witnesses failing to attend, calling in sick or refusing to testify on 5th Amendment grounds that they have the right not to provide testimony that could be self-incriminating. Two of BP’s top officials on the rig the day of the explosion, Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine, failed to show up Tuesday, with Kaluza invoking his 5th Amendment rights, and Vidrine’s doctor supplying a medical note.

Both men gave the same reasons in May, when they also were called to testify before the panel, which has been meeting in suburban New Orleans.

Testimony from both men, who represented BP’s interests on the Deepwater Horizon, would shed light on what happened in the crucial hours before the explosion.

U.S. Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike O’Berry said the four Transocean employees “chose to not voluntarily come in to testify,” and their decision came about 40 minutes before the conclusion of Tuesday’s hearings. As a result, Wednesday’s hearings were canceled. They are expected to resume Thursday and conclude Friday.

It was not immediately clear late Tuesday whether the four were invited to testify or had been subpoenaed.

David Adler, a lawyer for Mark Hay and Billy Stringfellow, both Transocean employees, said he did not have access to documentation that would be used to question his clients.

“I’d like to be able to sit down with my clients and read the documents,” Adler said, adding that his clients were willing to testify.

-- Rong-Gong Lin II in Kenner, La.
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Great job chronicling this Eco-Terror — we need to flood the web w/as much Intel as possible, seeing as BP has completely co-opted the media; there’s more info/pics/vids from the recent spill in Communist China, than here in Obama-land!

They telegraphed this move in the 2009 release of “Knowing” and now Global Mgt. Team is using sleight of hand, as a pretext to far more sinister actions…

Be Well & Stay Vigilant

There are some BIG players behind all of this: People are runnibg scared!

The Oil Cartel’s Goal: Toppling the Obama Government

The largest oil spill in US history was caused by British Petroleum (BP), a prominent member of the international Oil Cartel. While this environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has lasted for months, the decisive question still remains unanswered: Who benefits from this escalating crisis? This public health information here provides an answer from a historical perspective.

Were these people paid not to testify, there are some people who have no scruples and go for the buck, if this is the case I hope they reconsider and tell the truth, it would be an awful thing to live with for the rest of your life, that you sold out companions who gave their life.

These witnesses were probably less worried about self-incriminating themselves and more concerned about the continued health and safety of their families. I'm just saying. We see how BP has somehow got Coast Guard officials and local police to stop journalists and citizens from viewing spoiled public areas under "orders from BP." BP has been a dictator sometimes more powerful than The Constitution. How much would BP or it's allies flex muscle to prevent the worst parts from being exposed?

Sounds like contempt of court. Sure they don't have to incriminate themselves, but if ordered by a judge they do have to show up. This is BS via BP.

This is an old trick from the book, and it is just like 9-11. If the oil companies can't take the oil from the gulf, then they just create a way to do it even cause life. This is trillion dollar business since oil at $70/barrel, and they pay less than $20 billion for the claim. It is well worth it. Money talk! We all support them every day at the pump.

The price of silence doesn't cost that that much when it comes down to trusting hungry people...

Just wait until criminal charges are leveled against Trans-Ocean and BP and their employees. "It ain't over till it's over and until the fat lady sings." She isn't even warming up.


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