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BP and Coast Guard Threaten to Arrest Journalists for Covering Oil Polluted Shoreline in Louisiana
May 20, 2010
The U.S. Coast Guard’s motto is “Semper Paratus,” Latin for “Always Ready” or “Always Prepared.” In the case of BP’s Gulf oil disaster, the Coast Guard is apparently always prepared to prevent the media from covering Louisiana’s oil-soaked Gulf shoreline.
CBS journalists were threatened with arrest by BP contractors and the Coast Guard when they attempted to film the beach. See the video below.
“This is BP’s rules, it’s not ours,” someone aboard the boat said. In other words, BP is running the show, not the Coast Guard and the government.
Karl Burkart, writing for Mother Jones, reports numerous, unconfirmed reports of cameras and cell phones being confiscated, scientists with monitoring equipment being turned away, and local reporters blocked from access to public lands impacted by the oil spill.
“But wait,” writes Burkart, “isn’t that a public beach? From my viewpoint, it looks as if the Coast Guard has been given direct orders to protect BP’s PR interests above safety concerns over air and water quality, above the outcries of local governments in need of aid, and (worst of all) above the need for the American public to be informed about what is really going on in the Gulf.”
On May 7, Wayne Madsen, writing for Oil Price, reported that the Obama administration and BP are covering up the magnitude of the volcanic-level oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and working together to limit BP’s liability for damage. “Only after the magnitude of the disaster became evident did Obama order Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to declare the oil disaster a ‘national security issue.’ Although the Coast Guard and FEMA are part of her department, Napolitano’s actual reasoning for invoking national security was to block media coverage of the immensity of the disaster that is unfolding for the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean and their coastlines,” writes Madsen.
British Petroleum gave $71,000 to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, more than John McCain or Hillary Clinton.
Madsen cites federal and state sources that indicate Obama and BP have colluded to cover-up the extent of the oil leak. Satellite imagery is “being withheld by the Obama administration that shows what lies under the gaping chasm spewing oil at an ever-alarming rate is a cavern estimated to be around the size of Mount Everest. This information has been given an almost national security-level classification to keep it from the public, according to our sources.”
The effort to keep the magnitude of the leak from the public and limit political damage to the Obama administration is apparently working. “The Gulf of Mexico oil spill hasn’t stained President Barack Obama nor dimmed the public’s desire for offshore energy drilling, according to a new Associated Press-GfK Poll,” the Associated Press reported on May 13. “More people surveyed said they approved of Obama’s handling of the ongoing oil spill than disapproved, but not by large margins or with unusually strong feelings. It contrasts with the public’s reaction to President George W. Bush’s response to another Gulf disaster, 2005′s Hurricane Katrina.”
Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has characterized the leak as “Obama’s Katrina.”
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