BP turning Gulf Coast into corporate police states
July 8 2010
Reporters and photographers are reporting numerous incidents where they have been prohibited from approaching areas where oil has fouled Gulf beaches and have been prevented from taking photos or gathering enough information to publish reports.
BP clean up workers have been forbidden from talking to the press. The incidents of BP officials and the U.S. Coast Guard barring reporters from recording the effects of the disaster have been recorded in mainstream media, and date as far back as the third week of May.
Who owns the Gulf coast, the American people or BP? One may be tempted to answer that the federal government owns it. Keep in mind, however, that all federal officials – elected, appointed or hired – supposedly work for the taxpayers that pay their salaries.
Apparently that is no longer the case in the corporatocracy known as the United States of America, because federal officials, police agencies and the U.S. Coast Guard seem to have pledged their allegiance to BP rather than the U.S. constitution and the American people.
At least the Obama administration has managed to plug one thing: the flow of information related to the oil disaster from the beaches of Gulf states. The ability to document a disaster, particularly through images, is key to focusing the nation’s attention on it, and the resulting clean-up efforts. Yet Americans are being denied this information.
Take, for example, this recent report that has been all-but buried in the sand. In response to an ongoing investigation between PBS’ Frontline and Propublica that reported that a trouble-plagued BP refinery in Texas that blew up in 2005 and killed 15 people also spewed tens of thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals into the skies just before the Deepwater Horizon disaster, a free-lance photographer named Lance Rosenfeld tried to get some photos of the site. The release of toxic fumes from the BP facility in Texas City, TX began April 6 and lasted 40 days. Here is his experience: