Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bush to Whales: Drop Dead (Updated, below)

Conservationists criticized President Bush's decision to exempt the Navy from an environmental law so that it can keep using sonar in its training in California, a practice they say harms whales and other marine mammals.
Photo Credit: By Reed Saxon -- Associated Press

The Bush Administration is pressing to overturn the federal court's ban on the Navy's use of sonar, which kills whales and other marine life in violation of several federal laws. It doesn't sound like Bush has a legal leg to stand on, but that hasn't stopped him in the past.

The whales, and the US, must survive another 368 days being ruled by the House of Bush.

Los Angeles Times: Bush sides with Navy in sonar battle
He cites national security in aiming to override a judge's injunction aimed at protecting marine mammals off Southern California. An environmental group promises to fight his move.

President Bush on Wednesday moved to exempt Navy sonar training missions off Southern California from complying with key environmental laws, an effort designed to free the military from court-ordered restrictions aimed at protecting whales and dolphins.

The president's directive was designed to short-circuit a long-running battle in which environmental groups have won court victories that frustrated the Navy's preparations for nine training missions over the next year, the first one set to begin next week.


Some legal scholars Wednesday questioned what they called the administration's self-manufactured emergency, noting that it had not surfaced as a legal argument until after nearly a year of litigation.

If the Navy had complied with the National Environmental Policy Act to begin with, it wouldn't be in an emergency situation, said Daniel P. Selmi, an environmental law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

At the same time, he said, he was impressed with the "full-court press" of the White House, the Pentagon and federal agencies, including the filing of a classified affidavit by Navy admirals that can be seen only by the judges.

"The federal government is pitching it as a full-blown matter of national security," Selmi said. "That puts an enormous pressure on judges to defer to the government."


Citing the Navy's own studies, [Federal District Judge] Cooper concluded that planned exercises off Southern California "will cause widespread harm to nearly 30 species of marine mammals, including five species of endangered whales and may cause permanent injury and death."

Mid-frequency active sonar, first developed in the later days of World War II, has grown more powerful and has been used increasingly in coastal waters, the habitat of most marine mammals.

NYTimes: White House Exempts Navy From Sonar Ban, Angering Environmental Groups

WaPo: Navy Wins Exemption From Bush to Continue Sonar Exercises in Calif.
President Cites National Security in Order

Looks like I wasn't the only blogger (and not the first, sorry) channeling the New York Daily News:

Lawyers, Guns & Money: Bush to Whales: Drop Dead

And the Ford to City: Drop Dead formulation is popular throughout the media: Bush to Arab world: Drop dead

The Nation: Bush to Children: Drop Dead

Counterpunch: Bush to New Orleans: Drop Dead

Will Durst, CommonDreams: Bush to Poor: Drop Dead Bush To Earth: Drop Dead

There are many more of these.

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