Posted by: coastcontact | June 5, 2014

I take full responsibility!

What does, “I take full responsibility” mean?

Politicians use those words when a government function does not operate as expected.  Doesn’t taking responsibility mean facing a punishment?

As reported on AOL.COM General Motors CEO Mary Barra addressing employees at the automaker’s vehicle engineering center said that the company has fired 15 people associated with those failures and disciplined five others. Earlier documents had revealed that GM knew of the Chevrolet Cobalt ignition-switch problems for more than a decade, but had done nothing to fix the problem.

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (aka BP Oil Spill) was one of the worst oil disasters in history. More than 200 million gallons of crude oil was pumped into the Gulf of Mexico for a total of 87 days. BP CEO Tony Hayward was transferred to another job but were any of those working on the oil derrick fired? The answer appears to be NO.

The Upper Big Branch Mine disaster occurred on April 5, 2010 roughly 1,000 feet (300 m) underground in Raleigh County, West Virginia at Massey Energy‘s Upper Big Branch coal mine located in Montcoal. Twenty-nine out of thirty-one miners at the site were killed. Was anyone charged with a crime?

Shoddy care in Veteran’s Administration hospitals goes back to at least 1945 when President Harry Truman accepted the resignation of VA Administrator Frank Hines after a series of news reports detailing shoddy care in VA-run hospitals, according to a 2010 history produced by the Independent Inspector General. The latest action was the Veteran’s secretary resigning. Who is responsible for the loss of life?

This is all about people in high places not being held accountable for their actions or inaction. Not in every instance but too frequently when lives are at stake.

Ship captains seem to be the rare exception. Most recently the captain of the ferry, Sewol, sinking off the coast of South Korea, the captain of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy, and the captain of the Exxon Valdez sinking off the Alaskan coast have all faced criminal charges.

Everyone who is connected with the loss of life should be held responsible. To me that means fines, penalties, and some jail time too!



  1. Totally in agreement

  2. “First, let me say I take full responsibility for my own actions and for those of my administration. As angry as I may be about activities undertaken without my knowledge, I am still accountable for those activities. As disappointed as I may be in some who served me, I’m still the one who must answer to the American people for this behavior. And as personally distasteful as I find secret bank accounts and diverted funds – well, as the Navy would say, this happened on my watch.”

    Ronald Reagan, national TV address, March 4, 1987

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