The following is a summary of investigative journalist Wayne Madsen’s latest exclusive (for subscribers only) reports from the Gulf coast, dated July 12-14, 2010:
- “BP and Obama administration committing ecocide on islands in Gulf“
- “Photographic evidence of hydrochloric acid spraying by BP on Gulf barrier islands“
Madsen says BP has been conducting night aerial spraying of bleaching agents over sensitive barrier islands near Grand Isle and Port Fourchon, Louisiana, to give the impression that the oil has been removed. Around 2:30 to 3:00 am (local time), BP aircraft flying without lights — a clear violation of Federal Aviation Administration regulations and a threat to other aircraft in the region — would spray a compound of hydrochloric (muriatic) acid.
The Coast Guard and US Fish and Wildlife Commission, an agency of the Department of Interior, are well aware of the BP chemical spraying and have done nothing to stop it. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has done nothing to stop what amounts to ecocide being waged by BP against the sensitive and pristine barrier islands off the south coast of Louisiana.
Madsen has seen video footage taken by members of the Louisiana Humane Society showing the deadly effects of the night time covert aerial spraying — “all living things, including nesting birds, shellfish, and vegetation are killed in the process.”
The video evidence includes:
Egg shells left by starving male birds eating the eggs of their female mates because there’s no fish to eat in the surrounding seas.
Unopened eggs bleached white by BP’s acidic spraying.
Oysters on the rocky shores of the small islands have fled their shells, something that has been described as totally unnatural by local residents. The opened oysters shells have been bleached bright white by the bleaching agents dropped by BP aircraft.
WMR has seen other video evidence of BP contractors and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries personnel standing around idle as hundreds of birds, including pelicans, were dying from being covered in crude oil. Boom laid by BP was ineffective as there was as much floating crude on the island sides of the booms as there was on the seaward sides. In some cases, crude oil had washed ashore and covered shoreline vegetation, which also serves as nesting grounds for sea gulls and pelicans.
Without any fish to feed on, offshore birds were crowding onto small barrier islands where they died in mass numbers. Birds flying around the small islands aimlessly were clearly stressed and their flight patterns were highly unusual. The videos of the bird deaths was taken one month ago. Now, seeing any birds on some parts of the Louisiana coast is rare, as WMR witnessed in Venice, Louisiana, which lies to the east of Grand Isle.
The spraying of the bleaching agents has also turned the carcasses of dead birds a chalky white. Even the beaks of the dead birds have been turned a whitish orange color. Seashells, plant stems, and rocks have also turned an eerie white by the bleach.
BP, the Coast Guard, and Louisiana Fish and Wildlife Department have prevented Humane Society volunteers from assisting in extremis birds on the barrier islands. They have been threatened with arrest if they attempt to cross booms, which are ineffective at preventing the oil from reaching the islands. Other volunteer environmental groups have been similarly threatened.
Marine biologists told Madsen that there is another serious matter in the Gulf. A milky mucus-like substance has been sighted in the Gulf in waters to the west of Port Fourchon. Biologists have determined the substance is not a by-product of the spraying of dispersants by BP but being emitted by coral, which releases the substance when under severe stress. The dying of Gulf coral reefs spells further disaster for the marine eco-system of the Gulf of Mexico.
Also, the use of dispersant in Gulf waters and the resulting clouds that are created has blocked sunlight from getting through the water column. This has resulted in the death of many underwater animals and plants that rely on the sunlight to survive.
Local residents who have seen the devastation of their environment and livelihoods by BP are also blaming the federal and Louisiana state government’s inaction. Held most responsible for the lack of action are BP, national incident commander retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden — who, it is claimed, has shown little or no interest in the Gulf oil disaster, perhaps an outgrowth of his longtime commitment to the interests of his native Delaware’s petro-chemical industry, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.
The corporate news media, particularly the local New Orleans television stations, are embedding their reporters with Coast Guard and BP teams in the Gulf. The corporate media reports essentially serve as public relations outreach for BP. A number of New Orleans and Louisiana groups are trying to get the actual news about the disaster out but face limited resources.
Madsen concludes that “To call the Gulf oil disaster the worst environmental disaster in the history of the United States is an understatement. And with the connivance of the Obama White House, the Gulf of Mexico is being turned into the Gulf of Death.”