Should Obama Send in the Troops to Handle the BP Disaster?

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Florida Sen. Bill Nelson on Tuesday called on President Obama to send in the troops on the Gulf oil spill. Nelson had suggested as much to reporters in the Capitol last week. Now that the top-kill effort failed (and the newest plan hit a snag Wednesday morning), Nelson says he wants Obama to put some military force behind the effort.

“While the Coast Guard, under the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Guard both are involved, it is my belief that the broader assets and command and control capability of the Department of Defense could better translate your directives into prompt, effective action,” Nelson wrote to Obama.

Nelson didn’t outline exactly what he thinks the military should do, just that he believes their presence would provide assurance that the federal government is handling the situation.

“I believe such an approach would help protect people’s livelihoods, as well as our coastlines, wetlands, and fisheries from the damages of this oil spill. Certainly no one thinks the problem in the Gulf is going to be solved in a few days,” he continued. “But Americans need to feel that their government is taking an all hands on deck response.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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