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American Opinion: On the federal government's criminal investigation of BP

From The Associated Press

Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States and abroad:

On the federal government's criminal investigation of BP:

The Justice Department's investigation into possible criminal and civil violations related to BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is an important and necessary step. The more Americans learn about the decisions and missteps that may have contributed to the disaster, the more it seems that a wide range of infractions took place.

Visiting New Orleans June 1, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the criminal probe into the matter has been under way for several weeks. He said FBI agents and personnel from civil branches of the Justice Department have been in Louisiana since shortly after the well's explosion, collecting documents and other evidence.

Holder promised a "meticulous, comprehensive and aggressive" inquiry. "We won't rest until we're done," he said.

Residents of the Gulf Coast are owed that much.

There are already several inquiries into the disaster, including investigations by a presidential commission, by Congress and by a joint panel of the Coast Guard and the Minerals Management Service. Some are focused on determining what happened in order to prevent a similar disaster in the future. The criminal and civil investigations Holder announced may prove crucial in making sure those responsible for the disaster pay the cost of repairing the damage. Just as important, any company or individual who broke the law should be brought to justice and face stiff penalties. ...

Holder said the Obama administration wants to "make sure the American people don't foot the bill for this." That's why the Justice Department investigation is important.

-- The Times-Picayune,

New Orleans

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