View Full Version : Bye bye 1st amendment, censorship and the spill

July 03, 2010, 09:23
Well, you don't have to be a constitutional scholar to understand this article from a New Orleans paper today.

The Coast Guard has put new restrictions in place across the Gulf Coast that prevent the public - including news photographers and reporters covering the BP oil spill - from coming within 65 feet of any response vessels or booms on the water or on beaches.
gulf_oil_boom_lake_borgne.JPGView full sizeScott Threlkeld, The Times-PicayuneWorkers lay protective boom in Lake Borgne near the Mississippi line on Thursday.

According to a news release from the Unified Command, violation of the "safety zone" rules can result in a civil penalty of up to $40,000, and could be classified as a Class D felony. Because booms are often placed more than 40 feet on the outside of islands or marsh grasses, the 65-foot rule could make it difficult to photograph and document the impacts of oil on land and wildlife, media representatives said.

But federal officials said the buffer zone is essential to the clean-up effort.

"The safety zone has been put in place to protect members of the response effort, the installation and maintenance of oil containment boom, the operation of response equipment and protection of the environment by limiting access to and through deployed protective boom," the news release said.

The Coast Guard on Tuesday had initially established an even stricter "safety zone" of more than 300 feet, but reduced the distance to 20 meters - 65 feet - on Wednesday. In order to get within the 65-foot limit, media must call the Coast Guard captain of the Port of New Orleans, Edwin Stanton, to get permission.

Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander for the oil spill, said in a press briefing Thursday that it is "not unusual at all" for the Coast Guard to establish such a safety zone, likening it to a safety measure that would be enacted for "marine events" or "fireworks demonstrations" or for "cruise ships going in and out of port."
gulf_oil_bird_boom_barataria_bay.JPGView full sizeGerald Herbert, The Associated Press archiveA heavily oiled bird struggles to climb onto a boom from the waters of Barataria Bay on June 26.

Allen said BP had not brought up the issue, but that he had received some complaints from county commissioners in Florida and other local elected officials who "thought that there was a chance that somebody would get hurt or they would have a problem with the boom itself."

Associated Press photographer Gerald Herbert, who has been documenting the oil spill, raised concerns about the restrictions within his news organization on Wednesday. He has asked for a sit-down with Coast Guard officials to discuss the new policy - and the penalties - but has not received a response.

Photographers have had similar problems viewing the oil's impacts from the air. Photographer Ted Jackson of The Times-Picayune was trying to charter a flight with Southern Seaplane in late May to photograph oil coming ashore on Grand Isle, but the pilot was told that no media flights could go below 3,000 feet, due to restrictions from the Federal Aviation Administration.

That FAA policy has remained in effect, requiring media outlets to get special permission in order fly below 3,000 feet.

"Often the general guise of 'safety' is used as a blanket excuse to limit the media's access, and it's been done before," Herbert said Thursday. "It feels as though news reporting is being criminalized under thinly veiled excuses. The total effect of all these restrictions is harming the public's right to know."
gulf_oil_pelicans.JPGView full sizeMatthew Hinton, The Times-Picayune archiveThese pelicans were photographed May 23.

Matthew Hinton, a Times-Picayune photographer who has been on boats throughout Barataria Bay and Breton Sound in recent weeks, said it is already difficult to capture images of oiled birds when at the edge of the boom. Adding an additional 65-foot buffer would mean "You'd have to mount a telescope" to the camera to get a clear picture, he said.

And from a practical standpoint, the 65-foot safety zone could serve to block photographers and reporters from accessing some waterways altogether. Boom is often placed along the water's edge in some bayous that are less than 20 meters wide.

"Just to go through a bayou, you'd need more than 20 meters," Hinton said. "Your whole path would be blocked."

Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser said he feels media access is important to getting the word out about the local impact of the spill, and said the Coast Guard's safety measures were an "overreaction."

"I think somebody came up with a good reason of how to justify keeping the press away," Nungesser said. "But guess what? That isn't gonna keep us away. Anytime you all want, you all can come in there wherever we go, on our boats.''

Although the order mandating the safety zone was carried out by the captains of the Ports of New Orleans, Morgan City and Mobile, Ala., a spokeswoman at the joint information center for the unified command said the order was a Coast Guard-wide directive from the top.

July 03, 2010, 11:15
So what happened to the guy flying his plane low and slow over the gulf yesterday? I saw some of his footage on the Communist News Network and so wonder if he is in the slam or just lost his license. He had some kewl footage of dolphins trying to avoid the oil slicks.

RG Coburn
July 03, 2010, 11:57
I've worked in marine salvage,and gawckers can be a pain. Everybody is an expert in what you are doing.

one hand clapping
July 03, 2010, 13:03
Gawckers YES- but legit news gathering crews / individuals should NOT be limited on public grounds /waters. It is preicisely the compromise of our media/news organisations that has allowed the growth of facisism here.

One hand clapping

Live free or die trying

July 03, 2010, 13:19
Hey China has censorship, and since China has it we should too ,,,,, Well according to Joe Whinerman, everyones fav Demo turned Indy. :tongue:

The press simply needs to ignore this BS, obviously a news idiot staying 65ft away from a working vessel is one thing, but a inert boom floating passively on the water is another.

Who is going to enforce this?

Ignore & nullify.


Right Side Up
July 03, 2010, 13:33
65 feet is very close.

They should make exemptions for rescuing an oil soaked animal though. Actually I'd make my own exemption. They can come slap the bracelets on me at the shelter.

July 03, 2010, 14:56
The MSM is finally figuring out the honeymoon they gave Obama was just an opportunity for him to rape them.

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D P Six
July 03, 2010, 16:04
The God President of the 1860's was in favor of kicking the 1st Amendment's ass. It would be racist to suggest our first Black President shouldn't be able to do the same thing.

July 03, 2010, 16:14
If anyone on the files is suprised at this, they must either hardly ever read them or is brand new. Nothing the feral gubmint does anymore surprises me, although I am SURE they have some more surprises up thier sleeve. However, tick marks of constitutional violations without cause or relief continue to mount.
No second term for Barry is on any horizion I can see. Even with binoculars.

RG Coburn
July 03, 2010, 17:37
Originally posted by one hand clapping
Gawckers YES- but legit news gathering crews / individuals should NOT be limited on public grounds /waters. It is preicisely the compromise of our media/news organisations that has allowed the growth of facisism here.

One hand clapping

Live free or die trying

Legitimate? The same media clowns who don't know the difference between a Brown Bess and an AK? That labels your collecion an "arsenal"? That thinks 100 of ammo is a "stockpile"?

FAL freek
July 03, 2010, 20:45
Originally posted by one hand clapping
Gawckers YES- but legit news gathering crews / individuals should NOT be limited on public grounds /waters. It is preicisely the compromise of our media/news organisations that has allowed the growth of facisism here.

One hand clapping

Live free or die trying Not so sure. Media can be a PITA as they think they have a free ticket to mingle wherever they please and quite often get in the way. And they're sooooo concerned with reporting an unbiased story and not overhyping a story to sell papers and magazines. Imagine the sh*tstorm some news crew will throw up if one of their boats accidentally gets hit or swamped with water. If you get a decent telephoto lense on your camera even 300 feet will be like looking into your neighbors back yard.

The media was told not to release the footage they shot on Tarawa of all the dead soldiers and piles of their helmets that were collected for the benefit of the population back home and the First Ammendment is still around.

Hopefully in November the purge of elected officials will start making the rest start adhering more closely to the Constitution and the Ammendments.

July 03, 2010, 21:01
I really can't muster up much sympathy for the media. So they have to stay the f*** out of the way for once and keep back 65 feet - boo-frikkin' hoo.

Self-important, lying little bastards - fuggem.

July 03, 2010, 22:25
I for one am enthralled listening to people who don't have a clue tell me about what they call the worlds worst disaster. Some people have a narrow or erroneous point of reference and are not qualified to speak of what they witness.

July 04, 2010, 13:26
The .gov does this all the time, it is for the safety of the crews, (which should be paramount) for instance the FAA DOES and WILL restrict the airspace above major wildfires, usually 3000 FT AGL and lower, this is for the safety of the air tanker and lead plane crews, why should it be any different for the spill cleanup crews 65 feet is still awfully close to a large ship operating off shore, so the news crews have to use a larger telephoto lens, not a big deal, it's not like they are keeping them 5NM or further!

July 04, 2010, 14:12
Originally posted by AndyC
I really can't muster up much sympathy for the media. So they have to stay the f*** out of the way for once and keep back 65 feet - boo-frikkin' hoo.

Self-important, lying little bastards - fuggem.


They'll have to use longer lenses and keep the cameras out of the workers' faces. It breaks my heart...

July 05, 2010, 20:38
I found this today- pretty interesting and to the point.

Jul 5
They Must Be Hiding Something Really Big
Author: Mac Slavo- July 5th, 2010 Comments (15)
As the BP oil leak continues to gush into the Gulf, and the only solution being actively pursued seems to be relief wells that are about 30 days from completion, the nation is starting to wonder - what is really going on down there?

The initial BP report at the time of the oil rig explosion was that 1,000 barrels of oil per day were leaking into the Gulf. Over seventy days later, we now know that it is roughly 100 times bigger than BP originally “estimated.” Our readers were aware that the problem was much bigger than originally reported had they read the article The BP Oil Disaster is a WAY BIGGER Problem Than You May Think published on May 6, 2010. Still, there were BP and government officials who completely denied that the leak was severe and were adamant about being able to shut it down with top kills, junk shots and a dome.

Last week, the US government essentially suspended first amendment rights in spill-affected areas by restricting access to photographers and journalists. Anyone found violating the 65-foot safety zone will be charged with a Class D Felony, punishable with jail time and a fine of up to $40,000.

In a free country, where the right to a free press is supposed to be protected by the very first of 27 amendments, all Americans should be alarmed.

No national security emergency has been declared (yet). Americans are (rightfully) alarmed by this latest development, which implies that something much more serious may be happening.

Reginald Kaigler at Demcad’s Corner says that Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire:

Here are the possibilities:

1. Incompetence
Maybe the government is trying to protect BP and themselves from looking incompetent. Perhaps they are worried that this will make Obama look incompetent and hurt the Democrats in the coming elections.

2. Malicious Intent
Perhaps Obama wants this disaster to cause the maximum amount of damage so that he can use this crisis to push for his cap and trade policy proposals.

3. A Greater Threat
The last explanation seems like the most probable cause. Maybe the reason why the cleanup effort is failing is because they are not focused on cleaning up. I’m starting to wonder if we’re doing with a crisis that is greater than an oil spill. We now have reason to believe that the oil is spilling from the ocean floor. So maybe BP created some kind of under sea volcano that threatens the health of the entire Gulf of Mexico and now the government is trying to prevent panic by controlling the information.

The government’s motives can be any one of these explanations or a combination. In any event, what the U.S. government is doing is a direct violation of the 1st amendment of the United States constitution. There’s a reason why we are being lied to about the amount of oil that is erupting from the scene. there’s a reason why we are not using supertankers to clean this mess up. There’s a reason why the government is blocking the media out.

The federal government has something to hide.

What is it?!

We’d love to know the answer to that.

•For those millions of us on the Gulf Coast, we’d really like to know if we should be preparing to evacuate and getting our affairs in order if we won’t be allowed to return due to oil-soaked cities or toxic air.
•Is there really a methane-gas oil volcano under there ready to explode, potentially causing a Tsunami anywhere from 20 - 200 feet high? If you’re a BP or government scientists evaluating this situation, you should have a theory on this. For those of us in the direct path of any such tidal wave, we’d like to know the probabilities of an event like this occurring.
•In all seriousness, what are the odds of plugging this leak with the relief wells? And please, stop lying to us. Everything you have said thus far has been grossly underestimated, including your percentages for the previous, failed attempts. We’ve heard that there is a 95% the relief wells will work. Is this true?
•And what if, in a worst-case scenario, this well is in the 5% and we can’t plug it? Then what? What is the government’s contingency plan? Should we expect another hamburger and fries luncheon with our comrades in Russia to discuss a nuclear detonation?
President Obama gave us a not so fantastic speech about the oil leak a few weeks back where he failed to answer any real questions about the spill. Other than trying to push an alternative energy agenda, the President didn’t tell us anything new and provided absolutely no plan going forward.

All of this side-stepping and diversion leaves us with the same takeaway as Reginald had, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Someone is hiding something, and we would really like to know what it is considering this leak will affect the lives of millions and will, without a doubt, lead to a complete economic disasters for all of those who directly and indirectly depend on the Gulf of Mexico to provide a living for their families. And when we say “disaster” we really mean it. Reports suggest that Pensacola, FL hotel and condo cancellations are at - get this - 100%. Raise your hand if you think you know what is going to happen to commercial real estate, residential real estate, jobs and small businesses in the Gulf areas over the next 0 to 6 months.

We are resigned to the fact now, that the government will not provide any substantial details that could be helpful. They’ve resorted to putting people in jail rather than giving us the truth. This suggests that for the prepper on the coast, you should be ready for anything, from nuclear undersea detonation and methane-catalyzed tidal wave, to hundred mile wide dead zones and oil-infused hurricane storm surges.

Unfortunately, the American people who will be directly affected by this disaster will likely have no warning about potential ramifications, and will experience them in real-time, as they happen - though it is likely the rest of the country will not be alerted because it is no longer out of the question that the government will institute a full media black-out of any adverse effects.

Author: Mac Slavo
Date: July 5th, 2010

J. Armstrong
July 05, 2010, 20:52
Originally posted by Right Side Up
65 feet is very close.

They should make exemptions for rescuing an oil soaked animal though. Actually I'd make my own exemption. They can come slap the bracelets on me at the shelter.

+1 and more !

With only the proviso that in so doing you aren't actually endangering or interfering with legitimate clean up ops. I gotta think that would be an unusual circumstance, though.

July 06, 2010, 00:23
65 feet from a boom or ship. 22.5 yards. It is not like they are saying you can't be with in a mile of the place. Police setup a cordon at an accident/crime scene that it usually a lot farther away than 22.5 yards. Is that an affornt to the first amendment as well? 65 feet from a ship may be too close depending on what kind of ship it is and what it is trying to do. I think that the administration would gladly say 100miles if they could, but that would not be reasonable and would get squashed. There is a legitamate safety issue in this case. Not to mention that some stuff needs to be left alone and many people in the media think that they can do whatever the want like touching stuff they shouldn't be.