WHAT TERMS THE CIRCA TWENTY BILLION DOLLAR SHAKE DOWN?
In the “Harrison Ford version” of the movie, Sabrina, Mother Larrabee observes a veiled threat from a family friend and sometimes business partner. How did the apparent extortionists veil their shake down of BP? They couldn’t very well say, “Give us five billion more and we won’t behead your children.” How would blackmailers imply, “Ten billion and we won’t hang your wife?” After prolonged and tormenting accusations, lies and innuendo, perhaps a decorous, “We strongly recommend that you accept our demands,” would be sufficient, when accompanied with evil tones, black-hearted stares and threatening gestures. (A hand in slicing motion or reaching toward an inner jacket pocket might impact the terms. Or one’s comrade withdrawing family photos and casually looking through them.)
The word “demand” could be a problem. Or would full-thug mode behind the closed doors of “transparency” be acceptable? They could make it alarmingly clear before the victim was allowed to leave the stench-filled room that “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” In this case, not Vegas, not Chicago, but D.C. which has become the District of Corruption. (Apologies to our brave patriots who daily confront the face of evil there.)
For one torturous moment, put yourself in CEO Tony Hayward’s shoes. Yours is a British company, which bought Standard Oil, not vice versa. You have the best attorneys beside you that money can buy. The law says you’re responsible for up to $75 million. What on God’s earth would persuade you to “volunteer” the obscene sum of $20 billion? (Not to mention exiting the shake-down room, the abuse you just endured still raging in your head, and speaking to the press like a kidnap victim on the phone to a loved one while your captor holds a gun to your head.)
Conjecture has it that heads at BP thought it might be more economical in the long run. Ironically, perhaps help avoid bankruptcy? The gamut lengthens. However, a dark cloak of secrecy and a far-reaching string of “convenient coincidences” prohibit many from drinking that particular glass of Kool-Aid. Logic contends that not each and every victim of a growing entity can be put down to “looking out for number one.” No, at least some of them were people of integrity, patriotic citizens who would have spoken out for the benefit of this nation and the safety of others had not something or someone sent horrific chills up their spines.