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Real Leadership for the Deepwater Horizon Disaster

I’ve been a fan of Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen for a while now. His blog, iCommandant, provided a window into a world few of us glimpse. His openness, honesty, and no nonsense attitude made the iCommandant blog one of the best blogs on the internet. Which is why I began today disheartened to see that he was relieved as Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard by Admiral Robert Papp. But that sadness was short lived when it was announced the Admiral Thad Allen will continue serve as National Incident Commander for the Gulf of Mexico.

It was no surprise when Admiral Allen dove directly into the fray, taking on the tough questions and giving the answers that few career politicians would be willing to admit:

Last week he did something rarely seen today; something that probably disqualifies him from public office – he told the American people the truth – the government doesn’t know how to stop the Gulf oil leak.

Asked at a news conference if British Petroleum should be pushed aside, Admiral Allen asked, “And replace them with what?”

“The United States Government is not in the oil business. The Coast Guard doesn’t cap blowouts 5,000 feet under the sea. The Army Corps of Engineers doesn’t have the skills or equipment to stop the leak. Like it or not, the only people who know how to do this are the people who did this – BP. Not very comforting, but reality is often uncomfortable.”

Admiral Thad Allen

Admiral Allen is the kind of leader we need during this catastrophe. His appointment is the first good news the Gulf has seen in more than a month.

~Southern Fried Scientist


Deep-sea biologist, population/conservation geneticist, backyard farm advocate. The deep sea is Earth's last great wilderness.


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