July 27th, 2010
04:55 PM ET

Outgoing BP executive blames 'many companies' for Gulf crisis

Allan Chernoff

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/europe/07/27/bp.hayward.blame/story.hayward.afp.gi.jpg caption="Hayward: "Many companies" in energy industry responsible for Gulf oil disaster" width=300 height=169]

Outgoing BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward declared Tuesday that the Gulf of Mexico oil well disaster represents a failure for the entire deepwater oil and gas drilling industry, not just for BP alone.

"The industry needs to re-evaluate safety," Hayward told investment professionals in a webcast. His comments came after the BP board decided to replace him October 1 with Robert Dudley, the head of the company's Gulf cleanup effort. "Everyone will re-evaluate the business model to reduce risk associated with deepwater drilling," Hayward added.

BP maintains that it alone does not deserve all the blame for the April 20 accident and its aftermath, and it intends to pursue legal action to have drilling partners share in the cost of containment and cleanup. Those partners include Transocean, which operated the rig; Cameron, which built the blowout preventer that failed to shut down the well; and Halliburton, which cemented the oil drill into place underwater.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
July 27th, 2010
01:26 PM ET

Opinion: WikiLeaks: An epic yawn fest

Clint Van Winkle
Special to AC360°

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/TECH/web/07/26/afghanistan.wikileaks/smlvid.afghanistan.firefight.gi.jpg caption="Perhaps the real issue the WikiLeaks fiasco has brought to light is this: the leaks are revelations to far too many people." width=300 height=169]

We sent troops to Afghanistan to avenge the 9/11 attacks and few people objected. Now, the Nation is having second thoughts. People want timetables and quick victories, not a prolonged war. Well, it doesn’t always work that way. War isn’t always quick and it is never neat. When you send U.S. troops to fight, they are going to fight. There will be blood. Americans are going to die. Civilians are going to die. Why did anybody need 91,000 pages of documents to figure that out? Because very few have been paying attention to Afghanistan.

Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I don’t agree with the WikiLeaks Intel dump and I'm not here to debate the war in Afghanistan. Furthermore, to call the person who leaked the papers to the site a whistle-blower, as some media outlets have been doing, is absurd. The act was traitorous, especially since early indications suggest a former U.S. soldier is responsible. Still, there are some circles of thought that believe WikiLeaks is helping bring transparency to the war. Apparently, these people live in a world that doesn’t include people who could be affected by sensitive leaks. Thankfully, the information seems rather run-of-the-mill.

I’m not the only person who isn’t impressed by the current leak. There seems to be a general consensus that this is much ado about nothing. A plethora of intelligence analysts and people-in-the-know concur. For instance, Tom Ricks only dedicated a handful of words to the matter in his “Underwhelmed by WikiLeaks Leaks” blog post; he also cited/linked to Mother Jones’s and Andrew Exum’s lack of enthusiasm.

Perhaps the real issue the WikiLeaks fiasco has brought to light is this: the leaks are revelations to far too many people. It seems too many Americans know, and care, more about the cast of The Jersey Shore than they do about the war in Afghanistan and hold those characters in higher esteem than the men and women who have, and continue to, fight in that war.

While it is still too early to gauge the fallout from the leaks or know how it will impact our troops, at least Afghanistan is being talked about again and that is a good thing. We can only hope this conversation continues.

This isn’t the last we’ve heard from WikiLeaks and it is only a matter of time before they get their hands on something that will have a greater impact on our national security. You can count on that. In the meantime, it might be a good idea if the U.S. reviewed who has access to certain documents and started improving current practices.

Editor's Note: Clint Van Winkle is the author of Soft Spots: A Marine's Memoir of Combat and Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder. His website is www.clintvanwinkle.com.

Filed under: Afghanistan • Clint Van Winkle • Opinion
July 27th, 2010
12:00 PM ET

Long fight ahead over Arizona law

Jeffrey Toobin
CNN Senior Legal Analyst

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/07/27/toobin.arizona.immigration/tzleft.toobin.cnn.jpg caption="Jeffrey Toobin says argument is over whether law infringes on federal power on immigration" width=300 height=169]

The Arizona immigration law goes into effect on Thursday - maybe. On July 29, it will be 90 days since the end of the legislative session - which is the time when Arizona laws go on the books - but the controversial measure has already drawn the first of many court challenges.

The question, then, is whether a judge will stymie the will of Arizona's legislators and governor.

There is no simple or obvious answer, in part because the law has many separate provisions and some are more controversial than others. And while the Obama administration and several civil rights groups are both challenging the law, they have very different rationales for why the law should be struck down. Sorting out all the possibilities may take some time.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Arizona • Immigration • Jeffrey Toobin • Opinion
July 27th, 2010
11:54 AM ET

Who is Bob Dudley?

David Ellis
Staff Writer, CNNMoney.com

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/2010/07/27/news/companies/bp_dudley/bob_dudley_gi.top.jpg]

So just who is Bob Dudley, the man named Tuesday to replace Tony Hayward as BP's chief?

A chemical engineer by training, Dudley got his start in the oil business working for Amoco, where he spent nearly two decades before the company merged with BP in 1998.

Since then, he's worked with various BP (BP) divisions, including a brief stint helping to oversee the company's solar, wind and hydrogen businesses. Most recently, he headed up TNK-BP, a joint venture that would become Russia's third-largest oil and gas company. He was named to BP's board in 2009.

Dudley's breadth of work experience and tenure within the oil industry make him a natural choice to succeed Hayward.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
July 27th, 2010
11:28 AM ET

Video: A fence no one can agree on

Gary Tuchman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Ismael Estrada
AC360° Producer

Program Note: Tune in to AC360° tonight and all this week for special coverage on illegal immigration in this country. We will have reports from the U.S.-Mexico border and Arizona. AC360° tonight at 10pm ET.

There isn't a noticeable difference between the United States and Mexico here. The cacti, animals and plant life are all mirror images of each other. They share the same rugged desert landscape that provides spectacular views when the sun rises and sets each day. It's the same landscape that can prove to be unforgiving for those trying to walk through it during the hottest and coldest times of the year.

A towering steel brown fence is what separates the two neighboring countries in the middle of this vast, dry land, separating the state of Arizona and the Mexican state of Sonora. The fence runs seven miles to the east of Nogales, AZ where a smaller fence made of steel rail road ties mixed with small patches of barbed wire fencing continue into the mountainous desert.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/27/fence_cows.jpg]

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/27/border.fence.jpg]

This is a portion of the fence that covers two thirds of the Mexico/U.S. border, across California, New Mexico, Texas and Arizona.

It's what many people call the first line of defense against a criminal element entering the United States. Others call it a giant waste of money.

"The wall took two and a half billion dollars that could have been used technologically. That could have been used for higher security, more personnel along the border, and diverted it." Says U.S. Congressman Raul Grijalva, whose district includes a portion of the Arizona border where the fence has been completed.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/27/fence_open.jpg]

Grijalva says that the fence has only sent those seeking to get into the country out to areas where they are left to wander a treacherous desert. Many end up dying in the extreme conditions.

"It's a pathetic loss of life and anywhere else it would be a humanitarian crisis."

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada says while the fence has helped lower crime in the city of Nogales, the majority of people moving into the country are heading north to find employment, not to commit crimes. He says we need to be more concerned and focused on those ruthless criminals who will do anything it takes to get across the border. He goes on to say, smugglers moving illegal drugs into the United States are going around the fence into rural areas where they can use the desert as a shield and occasionally use illegal immigrants as mules to move the drugs.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/27/sign.jpg]

"They continuously manage to get their product across despite all that is being done here and it will continue," says Estrada, who also says that as long as there is a market in the United States for drugs, smugglers will bring them in.

That is exactly why Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu says more of the fence needs to be completed. A sign reading, "Travel Caution: Smuggling and Illegal Immigration may be encountered in this area," marks the entrance of what he calls a major drug trafficking route through the desert. What's remarkable about the route is that it's 80 miles north of the border fence, what could be a week-long hike in 110-degree heat.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/27/garbage1.jpg]

"This is basically, literally, unfettered access for smugglers and illegals," said Sheriff Babeu showing us an area where an enormous amount of clothes, plastic water bottles and backpacks littered what he called a resting point. It's the exact spot where he says a suspected drug smuggler shot one of his deputies 3 months ago and the reason more money needs to be spent to complete the fence.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/27/garbage2.jpg]

"How can we not budget for this here?" said Sheriff Babeu. "This is a huge public safety issue for our state and for our people".

Filed under: Border fence • Gary Tuchman • Ismael Estrada
July 27th, 2010
11:13 AM ET
July 27th, 2010
11:11 AM ET
July 27th, 2010
11:08 AM ET
July 27th, 2010
09:57 AM ET

Letter to the President #554: 'And you can quote me! Pt. 2'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/26/c1main.afghanistan.afp.jpg caption="A person’s desire to stay out of a fight ends the moment he is punched in the eye." width=300 height=169]

Reporter's Note: A lot of people like to quote from the Art of War; especially business-types who are about as far removed from actual warfare as I am from the Miss Teen America crown. War is serious and dreadful business, and as I note in my daily letter to the president… sometimes quite unavoidable.

Dear Mr. President,

You must be unhappy to hear about this massive leak of classified military documents out of the Afghan war. I assume these papers were being kept secret for a reason and I don’t suppose it was so they could be popped open like a piñata and spilled all over the Internet just now. Of course it’s an embarrassment to the military and to you as Commander in Chief, but more importantly it raises questions as to whether or not this exposes our troops (or anyone else ) to increased danger. I know it’s war and danger is part of it, but still that would be a terrible shame.

Many opponents of the war and staunch believers in wide-open information at all times, clearly think the airing of these papers is wonderful. From their point of view it will make us all more informed, our government more accountable, our laundry 50 percent whiter, and on and on it goes.

I won’t pretend to say who is right, and all kidding aside, I don’t intend to denigrate anyone’s heartfelt and honest position. As is so often the case, the rights and wrongs are for you and your political pals to hash out.

But it does bring me to another quote that I want to write about. As you may recall, I mentioned yesterday that I intend to run through a series of ideas over the next few days spurred by some of my favorite sayings. And just as it was yesterday, I’m not sure where this one comes from, although I think it is actually mine.

A person’s desire to stay out of a fight ends the moment he is punched in the eye.

I know that many pacifists will disagree. They will argue that even under assault one might respond in a non-violent way, with say reason, or negotiations, or financial sanctions. Although, let me tell you my nearly complete lunch-money-lending blockade against Helmut Einsdorfer in third grade did not even slow down his “meet me on the playground after school” blitzkrieg.

Still, even non-violent or diplomatic measures are a type of retaliation, and arguably a type of warfare. So when people say they are against war, unless they favor complete capitulation to any bully who comes around the block, I think what they really mean is that they are against warfare as most of us know it, meaning with guns, bombs, ships, planes, and lots and lots of troops.

My point is that when you are attacked, no matter how much you may be against any type of war, you are at that point in one. If you do nothing and accept the damage, you could say that you chose to lose. But you were in a war. In you decide to fight back, and you utterly destroy your assailant, you could say you won. But you were in a war.

The acceptance of this simple fact, I think, prepares us all better for the honest discussion of what response would be proper, commensurate, and hopefully effective when an attack of any sort comes. Think back to that playground I mentioned. The student who simply cowers, or runs, or takes the beating, can often expect more of the same because after all, what reason does the bully have to stop? The same, on a broader scale, applies to countries. Whenever one nation, or political group, or cultural armada sails uncontested in to slam another, the victory is invariably hailed as a measure of the rightness of their victor’s cause. And if you are right, why not continue spreading your rightness to others?

Some of the greatest names associated with peace, actually waged extraordinary battles against enormous powers. Lincoln. Ghandi. Martin Luther King, Jr. These were not men who passively sat by and watched their fellow human beings get socked in the eye. They were men of action who chose the right battle plan to fight back against their enemies and triumphed. Whatever language they used, their actions made it clear that they fully understood they were at war.

It is much to the credit of Ghandi and King that the wars they waged came without guns and cannons on their side; much to the honor of Lincoln that he spokes endlessly of his respect for Southern Americans, mindful that the Union would need their cooperation once the shooting was done. But they were all warriors.

Starting a fight can be a great sin; whether in our private lives, in the workplace, in politics, or the world theater where missiles can fill the sky. But allowing others to crush the hopes, dreams, homes, and lives of anyone simply because we want to avoid a fight seems equally wrong.

After all, the minute a blow is struck against an undeserving soul, the fight has started whether we wanted it or not. And being mindful of that, perhaps we can move more swiftly to a plan to end it.

Hope all is well. I don’t say it often enough, but when I do, I mean it: May God bless our troops.


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

July 27th, 2010
09:43 AM ET

BP ousts CEO Hayward and taps an American

Ben Rooney
Staff Reporter CNNMoney.com
Grace Wong
Contributor, CNNMoney.com

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/2010/07/27/news/companies/bp_hayward/hayward_dudley.gi.top.jpg caption="BP said Hayward will be replaced by American Robert Dudley effective Oct. 1." width=300 height=169]

Tony Hayward will step down as chief executive of BP, the company announced Tuesday, amid ongoing outrage over the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP said Hayward will be replaced by American Robert Dudley effective Oct. 1.

Like Hayward, Dudley is a long-time BP employee with more than 30 years in the oil business. A chemical engineer by training, Dudley was put in charge of the day-to-day leadership of the Gulf Coast clean-up operation in June.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • T1
« older posts
newer posts »