Apr 25, 2016
Three low-level public officials have been charged by Michigan’s attorney general for their role in the Flint water catastrophe. One of them was the Flint city water supervisor, who originally had warned against the shift to Flint water, writing that if it were done, it would be over his objection. The second was a Department of Environmental Quality official who sent emails to the federal EPA, warning against what was being done. The third was the DEQ official who ordered both of these guys to go ahead anyway.
In other words, out of the first three charged, two basically made the mistake of following a supervisor’s order which they knew to be wrong.
That pretty much tells you the aim of this investigation: blame the disaster not only on the little guys, but on the ones who let it be known they disagreed, even if only quietly.
No wonder people working in state offices are uneasy. They know that the state, looking for more scapegoats, may grab anyone. And they get threatening emails, the point of which is implicitly obvious: keep quiet.
Behind this charade is an attempt to cover the ass of the one person who hasn’t been investigated yet, nor even interviewed: the governor, Rick Snyder.
Snyder proclaimed when he ran for office that he would take full responsibility for everything that happened on his watch.
Well, Flint did happen on his watch. His closest advisers were warned of the dangers at Flint all along, and gave orders that magnified the problem. Snyder’s policies were what underlay all the decisions made, whether by his advisers or by the “emergency managers” he imposed on Flint.
Snyder, like governors before him, imposed policies that cheated cities and counties out of the money they needed to run basic services.
But the responsibility does not stop with Snyder. Nor with earlier governors, Democratic and Republican. They were all carrying out a policy whose aim was to provide cheaper water for GM, for DTE, for big agriculture and, perhaps, for some mining companies who want lots of cheap water for fracking – as well as many more tax breaks and subsidies for some of the biggest companies in the state, including Snyder’s favorite, Amway.
Snyder is a criminal, yes, but behind this petty sniveler are the big criminals who hold the whole society in their clutches.
They won’t be charged. They own this society – its prosecutors, its judges, its whole police apparatus. Not to mention the media.
They will be brought to answer for their crimes the day the working class takes over and begins to build its society. And the working class will do just that.