Iraq War reporter in Gulf: “Apocalyptic” — “One of the more disgusting, vile scenes I’ve ever seen”; “What have we done?”

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
By Paul Martin
August 24th, 2010

Dahr Jamail is best known as one of the few unembedded journalists to report extensively from Iraq. His latest report from the Gulf is the most troubling account to date:

The scene is apocalyptic.
It is one of the more disgusting, vile scenes I’ve ever seen.
I look over to see Erika taking photos, tears running down her cheeks.
All of us are devastated.
Throughout the day, the question “what have we done” drifts into my consciousness.
What have we done? How has it come to this? Where do we go from here?
Rage at BP melds into a broader anger at all of us for having let it come to this.
What did Jamail and his crew see that caused these deep feelings of sorrow?

Casse-tete Isle, Lafourche Parish, Louisiana:

Oil-soaked marsh abounds, and the island smells like a gas station.
Piles of oiled oysters rest on the tide line.
Everywhere I step near the water, sheen bubbles up out of the soil.
Inland, we find tide pools filled with brown oil and sheen.
Timbalier Isle, Louisiana:

Huge mats of fresh tar.
The farther inland we travel, the worse things become.
It’s as though the entire island is a sponge filled with sheen and oil.
Several inland pools… are literally oil pits.
In one of the pools, brown liquid oil floats atop areas where the sand underneath is literally black with crude oil.
Sorbent booms blackened and browned with oil lay chaotically in the lagoon.
“This is some of the worst I’ve seen,” says Jonathan, who has been out investigating the results of the BP oil disaster every week since it started in April.
The article is a must read. The photos are must see. Go here.

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