DON BLANKENSHIP RESPONDS TO QUESTIONS IN RESPONSE TO THE FOR THE SAKE OF COAL MINERS AD CAMPAIGN
Williamson, W.Va. - Many of the hundreds of thousands of watchers of the For the Sake of the Coal Miners Ad Series and visitors to my website (www.donblankenship.com) have raised a question that deserves an answer. The question is why did I not say at my trial what the ads say. The answer is a simple one. I tried to but federal Judge Irene Berger would not allow me to.
Most people do not know that the government took the position at my trial that the charges against me had nothing to do with the Upper Big Branch (UBB) explosion. By taking this position Judge Berger was able to rule that nothing about the explosion could even be mentioned. This was the Judge and the federal prosecutor’s way of continuing to cover-up the UBB explosion truth while at the same time trying to put me in prison for life. I was also not allowed to say anything about the false Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) investigation reports regarding the cutting of the air. In fact, at my sentencing hearing I started to tell everyone the truth of what happened but the Judge immediately stopped me.
As a matter of fact I was not tried for or convicted of having anything to do with the UBB explosion. I was not even convicted of directly committing any crime.
As bizarre as it is this is what the Judge and prosecutor orchestrated. They had a couple of miners testify that a piece of equipment was broken down. Some miners testified that they would tell one another when an inspector was on the property. Another miner testified that the mine did not have enough miners to do the job properly.
The jury was then told that I did not have to have committed a crime myself to be found guilty. Yes, incredibly the prosecutors told the Jury (over my attorney's objection which Judge Berger overruled) that I could be found guilty even if I did not commit any crime if I "did not prevent others" from committing a crime. The Judge agreed with the prosecutors.
My attorneys nor I are even sure of specifically what I was found guilty of doing or of not doing. It seems I was found guilty of not preventing miners from telling each other that inspectors were on mine property. However no one has ever been charged with this being a crime and most attorneys do not agree that it is a crime ie for miners to tell each other that an inspector is on the property. In fact, historically it has been considered a good safety practice for all miners to know that inspectors are in the mine so that the miners will not run equipment into them or in some other way injure them for example by putting off an explosive shot.
Anyway what I am now saying publicly I was not allowed to say during trial. But I did say most of what I am saying now in the American Political Prisoner booklet that I wrote while I was in prison.
My staff and I appreciate any questions you have. As the saying goes if you tell the truth you do not have to remember what you said. What these ads say is the truth and the truth is that MSHA cut the mine's airflow, the mine exploded, and Obama's friends, staff and appointed Judges covered up the truth. Thanks again for your interest in the truth.