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America's Gulf: A Toxic Crime Scene

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America's Gulf: A Toxic Crime Scene - by Stephen Lendman

On August 4, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a Department of Commerce agency, reported that:

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"The vast majority of the oil from the BP oil spill has either evaporated or been burned, skimmed, recovered from the wellhead or dispersed, much of which is in the process of being degraded....this is the direct result of the robust federal response efforts."

The same day at an AFL/CIO convention, Obama hailed the news, saying "the long battle to stop the leak and contain the oil is finally close to coming to an end."

False. From the start, the Obama administration conspired with BP, imposing censorship and cover-up, barring the public and news media from coming within 65 feet of clean-up of "booming operations, boom, or oil spill response operations under penalty of law" without Coast Guard-authorized permission.

The agency is a virtual BP arm, now retired Admiral Thad Allen its de facto representative as National Incident Commander, doing its bidding, suppressing the disaster's severity, including enforcing the FAA's mid-June announced no-fly zone, not needed if there was nothing to hide. There's plenty, why journalists and other violators faced up to five years in prison and a $40,000 fine for telling the truth, now mostly hidden, not gone.

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On August 4, responding to NOAA, Kieran Suckling, executive director of Center for Biological Diversity said the following:

"The overly rosy tone of (NOAA's) report may leave the false impression that this crisis is somehow nearing an end. But much of the oil that the government refers to has simply been broken apart and remains in the ecosystem. It's like taking separated salad dressing and shaking up the bottle so the oil and vinegar mix. You may not be able to see (it), but it's there."

"That unseen oil, though, is what will foul the Gulf for years, (perhaps generations), eating away at the basic elements of the food chain that are the building blocks for fisheries, birds, sea turtles and mammal populations."

Louisiana State University (LSU) biological oceanographer Robert Carney says scientists are finding plenty of oil, under Louisiana islands, beneath Florida beaches, and in unseen ocean reaches.

Biological oceanographers Markus Huettel and Joel Kostka discovered large oil swaths up to two feet deep on a "cleaned" Pensacola beach. With little oxygen, it'll remain for decades. It gets trapped underground when tiny droplets penetrate porous sand or when waves wash it ashore, burying it. Huettel explained further that previous oil under beaches migrates into groundwater, causing hazards to wildlife and humans, not knowing what they're drinking is contaminated.

He noted also that deep sea spills are "unchartered territory," dispersants for the first time used at depths down to 5,000 feet, settling oil on the seafloor, the mixture suspended and preserved, causing long-term harm for deep-sea animals, and disrupting a large part of the food chain.

University of South Florida (USF) chemical oceanographer David Hollander is also alarmed, calling the 75% claim "ludicrous." USF scientists and Vernon Asper, University of Southern Mississippi oceanographer, were "lambasted" by NOAA and Coast Guard officials when they reported a giant undersea plume, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco telling them to stop "speculating" when, according to Asper, "We had solid evidence, rock solid."

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Hollander said "What we learned completely changes the idea of what an oil spill is. It has gone from a two-dimensional disaster to a three-dimensional catastrophe," NOAA and other government agencies enforcing cover-up, denial, and distorted media reports.

On August 8, Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy Director Carol Browner told NBC's Meet the Press that "the vast majority of oil is gone." On the same day, Thad Allen, on CBS' Face the Nation, congratulated BP for a job well done, criticizing only its PR errors, smoothing the way to end the oil drilling moratorium, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation Director Michael Bromwich saying expect it "significantly in advance of November 30."

Hazardous Toxins Threaten Gulf Coast Residents

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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