DON BLANKENSHIP

Don Blankenship Issues Explanation of New Benghazi/UBB Ad

Williamson, W.Va. - Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy, issued the following statement explaining a new ad that is being released today as part of the For the Sake of Coal Miners series:

The Benghazi ad seeks to notify the public that as horrible as the Benghazi cover-up is the Upper Big Branch (UBB) cover-up is worse in several respects. The ad also makes the point that President Obama’s administration and Mrs. Clinton have more than once demonstrated a willingness to mislead the public and the media. Mrs. Clinton even argued nonsensically that understanding the Benghazi truth no longer made any difference. A silly and ignorant proposition as future tragedies can only be reduced or prevented if their causes are understood. This fact is especially relevant to both the Benghazi and UBB tragedies.

The pictures in the ad show that U.S. Senator Joe Manchin is a colleague and supporter of the Obama/Clinton regime. But the pictures show even more: that Obama and Manchin have a close personal relationship. The ad asks an important question while Manchin is holding Mrs. Clinton's hand. The question is whether Manchin has "blood on his hands." This is a symbolic picture as many believe Mrs. Clinton "has blood on her hands" for failing to provide Ambassador Stevens with the protection he repeatedly requested.

Manchin on the other hand has failed to successfully advocate for effective mine safety regulations even as over 270 American miners have been fatally injured since the 2010 UBB tragedy. The phrase has "blood on his hands" is used in the ad because Manchin demanded that I be indicted and proclaimed "I believe Don has blood on his hands" just shortly after saying in an interview "I [Manchin] do not have the facts" about UBB.

Its obvious that a solid case can be made that the UBB cover up is even worse than the cover up of Benghazi. Twenty-nine Americans died at UBB versus four in Benghazi. But the UBB cover-up is worse not just because more Americans died but because if anyone's actions caused the deaths of the twenty-nine coal miners it was the government regulators themselves (who forced the air reduction) and not terrorists. The U.S. government actually blamed the UBB deaths directly on the American coal miners who died. Yes the government callously and falsely claimed that the miners failed to do their jobs and caused their own deaths, a preposterous and ridiculous claim to say the least.

Government officials then publicly called for UBB managers to be imprisoned including the very managers who "begged" the government not to reduce their mine's airflow. The government investigations of UBB which were conducted by the same government agency that regulated UBB everyday were never intended to report the truth, but instead to place blame on anyone but the government regulators. Both President Obama and the MSHA chief coal mine regulator made this perfectly clear when they stated prior to any UBB investigation that the operator was at fault. The Chief MSHA coal mine regulator even went so far as to say before an investigation was begun that "the operator blew up the mine, MSHA didn't" making it clear that his focus was on who to blame and not on what happened.

At UBB, as opposed to Benghazi, all the U.S. government investigation teams had to do was conduct a thorough scientific and forensic investigation - in America. They did not have to deal with the Libyan government in a hostile land. Instead of doing a thorough scientific based investigation, Manchin and Obama decided to use the deaths of the twenty-nine American coal miners to advance their political careers. The McAteer Report, which Manchin authorized, is a perfect example of transparent government propaganda. Mr. McAteer's politically motivated report, which was prepared at the behest of Senator Manchin, even went so far as to suggest that my political involvement in West Virginia contributed to the UBB explosion.

Explosive atmospheres in coal mines come about when methane reaches levels of 5 to 15 percent. Contrary to McAteer's twisted logic, the chemical makeup of the atmosphere in a coal mine is not impacted at all by whom I supported for election to the Supreme Court of Appeals in West Virginia. This was a suggestion made by McAteer in his incredulous UBB investigation report.

The question "why are Manchin and the media mum" is posed at the end of the ad. The reason Manchin is mum is because he knows the UBB truth and it is not what he has said for seven years. He knows a mine’s airflow being reduced cannot be ignored in a mine explosion investigation report of any credibility. He knows that the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reduced the airflow and that if he says otherwise he would have to argue that U.S. government witnesses lied under oath at my trial. He cannot do that.

He also knows by now that millions of cubic feet of natural gas exited the mine after the explosion. He knows any argument that UBB was a coal dust explosion at the same time this much natural gas was in the mine is laughable. He knows that if he engages me in a public dialogue that his calls for my prosecution will be exposed as what they were - an effort to prevent me from exposing the UBB truth.

As for the media being mum, I have learned first hand over the years that the U.S. government exercises great control over the media. Senator Manchin, both as a former Governor and a U.S. Senator, has had the opportunity to leverage the media. Government officials can threaten not to be interviewed by a media outlet in the future if stories are aired which are adverse to them. Government officials can threaten to support legislation adverse to the media. As Governor, they can threaten to pull lottery ads, or tourism ads, or to influence businesses to pull their ads. They can even pass the word along to station owners that certain reporters should be silenced or let go. In Manchin's words he might say these reporters need to "disappear" as he has said in regard to me.

In summary, the ad shows the willingness of the government officials to lie to us and about us if they fail to do their jobs or if they cause a tragedy. Politicians exclude themselves from far more than Obamacare. They also exclude themselves from responsibility for their actions and inactions - they have made themselves immune from much that they burden Americans with.

The Benghazi ad does not have time to touch on other similarities between UBB and Benghazi. For example, the quality of the investigations into both tragedies suffers from missing U.S. government emails, destroyed U.S. documents, and Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) manipulation of the truth.

For example, the FBI knew that the government's lead witness at my trial swore he had been told by an MSHA employee that her boss carried UBB ventilation documents out of the MSHA office in trash bags and destroyed them. Her boss was the very MSHA manager in charge of the airflow reducing UBB ventilation plan. Yes the same individual who had been adamant that changes in the ventilation system be made which cut the miners airflow in half just prior to the explosion.

The FBI testified under oath at my trial that they knew their lead witness had sworn under oath that he had been told that documents (which he personally knew were in fact missing) had been destroyed. The FBI agent was asked on the stand and under oath at my trial why he did not investigate the lead witness' claim. His response was that they simply "chose not to."

Our American governments frightening lack of integrity endangers our country and our way of life.

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