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Why is Obama’s Coast Guard Denying Media Access to the BP Oil Spill?

July 7, 2010

from this link:

Under threat of a federal felony, National Incident Commander Thad Allen HAS BANNED ALL MEDIA ACCESS to boom operation sites and clean up sites. 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.

Allen has issued a blanket order that bans anyone from getting close to any spill clean up site, boom site, areas where there are clean up workers or any other oil disaster related area or persons effectively shutting down the first amendment rights of the media. The zone of exclusion is 65 feet. There was rumor that Coast Guard bosses wanted to impose a 300 feet exclusion zone but later relented to a 65 feet no trespass and exclusion zone.

This is despite assurances from Thad Allen that there will be full transparency on all clean-up operations. Allen claims local officials were asking the Coast Guard to create a media-free buffer zone. However no media outlet — television, print, Internet or radio could find a single local official who requested the Coast Guard to ban media access to oil sludge sites on land or water. Since no local official requesting a no media zone can be found, it can only be assumed that the ban was requested by BP.

If there is any time that First Amendment lawyers are needed — Now is the time, the gulf is the place and the defendant is the federal government.

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