Whiling attending the World Cup tournament in South Africa, former President Bill Clinton took time off to attend a media forum hosted by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. When asked about BP oil spill, Clinton said “Unless we send the Navy down deep to blow up the well and cover the leak with piles and piles of rocks and debris, which may become necessary – you don’t have to use a nuclear weapon by the way, I’ve seen all that stuff, just blow it up – unless we’re going to do that, we are dependent on the technical expertise of these people from BP.” He acknowledged that there are unknown risks in using explosives. But Clinton also acknowledged that other countries have offered us help and equipment we do not have and that we should be utilizing their help.

A case in point is the world’s largest oil skimmer ship, the “A Whale”. The Taiwan-flagged vessel is currently anchored in Norfolk, Virginia, and is capable of processing some 500,000 barrels of oily water per day, nearly equal to the entire oil skimmer fleet currently in the Gulf of Mexico. However, while it is ready to sail there to lend a hand, it cannot, due to the Obama Administration’s refusal to waive the Jones Act of 1920.

Now, we’ve been talking about the Jones Act here for about three weeks. Those in the know have probably been discussing it ever since the Dutch offered to send us their ships and equipment on Day 3 of the disaster. It is now Day 71. Thirteen nations have offered help. Yet, Obama still won’t waive the Jones Act, which prevents foreign flagged ships and crews from operating in the Gulf.

Just as the Obama Administration likes to talk about how many jobs they’ve “saved” with their stimulus package, I have to ask, how much death and destruction has been caused by Obama’s refusal to waive the Jones Act? How many pelicans, dolphins, fish and wildlife have died? How many oyster beds have been ruined for the next 30 years? We’re already getting reports now of people, mostly from the fishing, shrimp and oyster industry, are committing suicide, distraught over the destruction of their ways of life. Whole islands of wetlands are dying and disappearing forever because of the oil reaching our coast line.

While stopping the leak itself is a problem probably best left to the experts at BP, and I’m skeptical on that, there is no doubt in my mind that the efforts to contain the spill and clean up the leaked oil has been completely mismanaged. As I have written before, that responsibility is defined in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 under Section III. It falls on the Federal government, specifically that department which oversees the U.S. Coast Guard, being Homeland Security. Clearly part of the executive branch, which falls under the direct responsibility of President Obama.

Why won’t Obama waive the Jones Act? Bush did so immediately during the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Is protecting Obama’s allies in the unions so much more important than protecting our coast lines? Protecting the wildlife? Protecting our wetlands? Protecting our citizens, now so distraught from this disaster that they’re committing suicide? This is Day 71. Why is the world’s largest oil skimmer ship sitting in Norfolk rather than trying to protect our shores in the Gulf? There was a 30-mile long slick of oil spotted off the coast two days ago. Why are not the Dutch and everybody else who can help not out there trying to stop it?

This is beyond ridiculous now. Beyond pathetic. This now borders on criminal negligence! Every American citizen, regardless if they live in the Gulf or not, should be screaming at the White House to waive the Jones Act! If Bill Clinton is right and it’s time to send the Navy in to blow up the well, then fine, let’s get the ball rolling. But there is absolutely not one single good reason why the clean up and coastal protection should not be as aggressive as humanly possible. This is Day 71! Wake up, Obama! Take out your little golden pen and sign the damn waiver to the Jones Act!