July 6, 2010
In the middle of June it was reported that BP hired private security contractor to keep the media away from sites the transnational corporation claims it is cleaning. “BP, in a move destined to go down as one of the bestest public relations moves ever, has apparently hired a private security company to help to keep pesky reporters from covering the unfolding catastrophe on the beaches of the Gulf Coast,” Adam Rawnsley  writes for Wired.
Last week the San Francisco Chronicle and CNN reported on the government’s effort to keep pesky journalists exercising the First Amendment from reporting on the supposed oil cleanup and the environmental impact of the worst oil disaster in history.
“Under threat of a federal felony, National Incident Commander Thad Allen has banned all media access to boom operation sites and clean up sites,” writes Yobie Benjamin . “Allen’s orders effectively bans all media — print, television, radio and Internet bloggers from talking to to any clean-up worker or to even come close to take pictures or videos of booms, clean-up workers, oil soaked birds, dead dolphins, dead marine life, burned and dead endangered sea turtles.”
In addition to acting as National Incident Commander Thad Allen is a retired United States Coast Guard four-star admiral. The Coast Guard is a branch of the United States armed forces and one of seven uniformed services. It operates under the Department of Homeland Security during peacetime. Allen was appointed deputy to FEMA director Michael D. Brown by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff during Hurricane Katrina.
The presence of the military in the wake of Hurricane Katrina was designed to violate the Posse Comitatus Act and condition the public to accept military integration within Homeland Security and the domestic response to natural disasters (and supposed acts of terrorism).
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Allen’s appointment as National Incident Commander by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano gives the federal response to the oil disaster a quasi-military cover. Allen’s decree banning the media has the appearance of a militarily-imposed command. It is no mistake Allen often wears a military uniform — even though he is retired from the Coast Guard — when he talks with the media.
Now citizens are reporting the presence of soldiers on Florida’s beaches. In the video below, several soldiers in combat fatigues were photographed driving vehicles on the beach in Panama City, Florida.
On May 4, up to 17,500 U.S. Army National Guard troops were mobilized by the Pentagon “to help various states with the oil spill,” according to the Associated Press . “Defense Secretary Robert Gates has granted requests to send troops of up to 6,000 by Louisiana, 3,000 by Alabama, 2,500 by Florida and 6,000 by Mississippi.”
The military pictured in the video do not appear to be engaged in clean-up activities. It appears their presence on a crowded beach during a holiday weekend has but one purpose — to acclimate citizens to the prospect of troops patrolling public spaces.
Florida has yet to experience oil washing up on beaches to the extent occurring in Louisiana and other Gulf of Mexico states.
No word if they are enforcing Allen’s command that the media will be arrested for a felony if they dare report the disaster to the American people.