"In my view, Don Blankenship, and the mines he once operated, treated miners and their safety with callousness and open disregard," U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller commented after the recent indictment of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship on federal charges that he was to blame for the April 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine that killed 29 miners.
This is the same Jay Rockefeller, who as a longstanding member of Albert Gore’s Climate Change Cult, has contributed mightily to the ongoing war on coal, which shows its tender regard for the safety and welfare of miners by trying to destroy the industry that employs them.
Blankenship was charged with conspiracy to violate mandatory federal mine safety and health standards, conspiracy to impede federal mine safety officials, and making false statements to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as securities fraud. He pleaded not guilty Thursday in his first court appearance.
"As he goes to trial, he will be treated far fairer and with more dignity than he ever treated the miners he employed,” Rockefeller asserted. “And, frankly, it's more than he deserves."
Is that so? With our state's lame duck senior senator effectively pronouncing him guilty in advance, and the federal judge hearing the case an Obama appointee, it's not certain that Blankenship will be treated fairly, much less with dignity.
After so many years of holding a position of public trust, Rockefeller apparently remains ignorant of such basic American principles as “innocent until proven guilty.”
Unfortunately, thanks to a gag order from the Obama-appointed judge, Blankenship is prohibited from responding to Rockefeller's idiotically inflammatory comment.
Speaking on his behalf, his attorney affirmed that "Don Blankenship has been a tireless advocate for mine safety. His outspoken criticism of powerful bureaucrats has earned this indictment. He will not yield to their effort to silence him. He will not be intimidated."
Blankenship will have his day in court. In the meantime, others will have to speak for him.