image: CBS News
CBS News reporters have been turned away and threatened with arrest, prevented from reporting on the impact of oil coming ashore in Louisiana, by contractors from BP, apparently working in conjunction with the US Coast Guard. Earlier in the drama of the Gulf oil disaster, US Fish & Wildlife Service cut off access to certain wildlife refuges to limit the impact of troops of journalists marching over nesting habitat, but this seems different. Here's video of the incident:
Watch CBS News Videos Online
What's more, this doesn't seem to be isolated. Mother Nature Network:
Contacts in Louisiana have given me 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.
Unconfirmed until this CBS video at least. A man, apparently from the USCG, says "These are BP's rule. These are not our rules."
Massive Miscommunication or Fascist Collusion?
Given the general scale of the cleanup--a huge number of cleanup crews covering a large area--I wouldn't necessarily jump to the Feds being in bed with BP right away.
Yes, Obama has gotten a good deal of money from BP; yes, without a doubt, several government agencies have been too cozy with oil companies; and yes, there does seem to be a concerted media push to make it seem like the clean up is going well.
And in light of BP's reluctance to release underwater footage of the gusher itself--and then when it is released independent analysis shows official estimates of flow rates and underestimated by at least a factor of ten--it's easy to see some sort of fascist collusion going on, when it all may just be confusion.
That said, unless legitimate safety or wildlife protection concerns emerge which would necessitate prohibiting access to an otherwise public beach--and they may exist--I would have to agree with MNM's Karl Burkart:
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.
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More on the BP Oil Spill:
Must See Aerial Footage of BP Oil Spill Shows 'The Gulf Bleeding' (Video)
First Underwater Images of the Gulf Oil Spill (What BP Won't Show You)
Oil Spill Expert: BP Dangerously Using Two Conflicting Clean Up Technologies (Video)