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BP Hearing an 'Inquisition,' Congress 'Idiotic': Gartman

Congressional questioning of BP CEO Tony Hayward was "amazingly idotic, repetitive and ill-mannered," said hedge fund manager Dennis Gartman, who is "embarrassed today for being American."

A flare burns from a drill ship recovering oil from the ruptured British Petroleum oil well over the site in the Gulf of Mexico on June 9, 2010 off the coast of Louisiana. The spill has been called the largest environmental disaster in American history.
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A flare burns from a drill ship recovering oil from the ruptured British Petroleum oil well over the site in the Gulf of Mexico on June 9, 2010 off the coast of Louisiana. The spill has been called the largest environmental disaster in American history.

The author of The Gartman Letter, a daily investor guide, compared the questioning to the Spanish Inquisition and said Hayward—brought to Washington to defend his company's role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill—conducted himself admirably despite the circumstances.

"And yet Mr. Hayward was made to remain before this commitee for hours yesterday, subjected to idiocy of the first order, expected to remain gentlemanly and in complete control...(despite) hopes, apparently, that he'd make one slip of the tongue that would doom BP to a legal hell," Gartman wrote. "He did not. He kept his composure in a way we could not imagine that we could ever do under the same set of circumstances."

Gartman also said the Obama administration's ban on deep-water drillingwould send oil platforms elsewhere in the world, damaging the Gulf economy even more.

And he praised Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) who came under fire for apologizing to Haywardafter the administration strong-armed BP into putting up a $20 billion reserve fund for the spill cleanup.

"He was the only one on the committee with a sense of fair play, with a sense of honor and who was in fact embarrassed by what his fellow members of Congress were doing before the cameras yesterday," Gartman said. "We know nothing more about Mr. Barton but we know this: when others were taking the lowest road, he took the one much higher when the chips were down."

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