Disenfranchised Citizen

Chicago Photography, New Orleans Stories and Everywhere Politics…

Let the New Narrative Fly On…

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Government's version of events, isn't it pretty?

Ever since the Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20th and the Macondo Well started gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, the fight began on three fronts; the well had to be sealed, the oil had to be cleaned and the story had to be controlled. The Government had to come up with the narrative, find the storyline that painted everyone in the best light, or at least established the correct hero and villain. Close to four months later, with the well sealed (we think) and according to the government, most of the oil gone (yeah, right), the narrative is the ongoing fight and we’re all watching it play out: the seafood is safe, no it’s not; the oil is gone, no it’s not; Corexit is harmless, nope. And this is just the present day, the fight to control the narrative knows no boundaries of time. Past events are also in play.

Remember back in the day, the control of the press, the restrictions on flyovers in the Gulf…well, welcome to the ongoing battle to re-frame past events.

I give you, Thad Allen:

On June 15th, on Air Force One he was having a conversation he considers the “pivotal” point in the effort to contain the oil spill. Allen said he told Obama that his most urgent problem wasn’t with anything that was taking place underwater or along the Gulf shore, but in the sky. What he desperately needed, Allen told the president, was military control of the air space. Obama gave the order to make it so.

“We needed to manage the situation as a three-dimensional battle space,” Allen recalls. “I got up at 4 the next morning and wrote an e-mail explaining to everyone that we were going to move away from a traditional spill response and go to 3-D battle management.” Allen said this change made all the difference. With a command center at Tyndall Air Force Base near Pensacola coordinating all air traffic in the area, Allen could stop worrying so much about possible accidents and deploy his ad hoc fleet of military and civilian aircraft more effectively to find the widely dispersed sheets and ribbons of oil.

Very dramatic and also rather ridiculous. The oil on the surface, the oil underwater, the oil on the beaches…no problem…it’s the air man, we gotta control the planes in the air!

Well, that’s one version, and there may even be some truth to it…but is it the whole truth? This is less important.

The alternative version might be – control of the air space allowed the Coast Guard to control flyovers by the press. When the Coast Guard and in turn, British Petroleum was granted permission to choose when and where the press could fly, they would be better able to manage the sightings of oil. Many reports, some from Kindra Arnesen spoke of the government and BP’s ponies and balloons, referring to politician’s visiting the Gulf Coast given the best case scenario, shown only what was intended to be shown. They couldn’t deny there was oil, at least not back then, but they could dictate just how much could be seen. They were set on controlling the story.

And by controlling the story, they control the reality.

This article and these quotes by Thad Allen won’t be the last of it over upcoming months, and this is before the books even begin to appear. Everyone will be fighting for the narrative, but BP, the Coast Guard and the Government get the head start, they already got the information, and they be doing their best to control how you get it.

Read the article,

Lessons From the Oil Spill

Have a nice day.

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2 Responses

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Editilla, Drake Toulouse. Drake Toulouse said: Let the New Narrative Fly On…: http://wp.me/pWdWw-vY […]

  2. It’s nice to know that someone other than me hasn’t drunk the Kool-Aid…

    Since the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion on April 20, 2010 an estimated 60,000 barrels of oil per day have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico (according to official government reports). That amount equates to approximately 224,280,000 gallons of crude. Some of that oil was captured by skimmers and boom, but a majority of it is still out there: either floating underwater, just out of sight, or dispersed into tiny droplets through the use of the detergent Corexit® (more aptly known by environmentalists as “hides it,” because that’s exactly what it does).

    Since British Petroleum capped the well on July 17th, the FDA has given the green light for consumers to go ahead and eat gulf seafood, claiming that it is safe. However, some fishermen are questioning the FDA’s judgment and guidelines in determining seafood safety.

    “If I put fish in a barrel of water and poured oil and Dove detergent over that, and mixed it up, would you eat that fish?” asked Rusty Graybill, an oysterman and shrimp and crab fisherman from Louisiana’s St. Bernard Parish. “I wouldn’t feed it to you or my family. I’m afraid someone’s going to get sick.” (Courtesy Associated Press)

    FDA tests regarding the safety of gulf seafood seem rather general. According to that department, if it looks bad or smells bad, then just don’t eat it. But many of the toxins in our environment can’t be seen or smelled. Take for example, the mercury found in Tuna and other large ocean water fish. We know that it can be found in their flesh, but we can’t detect it visually, or by smell. Even so, we know that ingesting these fish over a period of time can result in a host of health problems in humans, including kidney and nerve damage.

    I know that our government wants to aid the fishing industry to overcome the effects of this unmitigated disaster caused by BP, but at what cost…that of our own health? In my opinion, it is far too early in the game for anyone to declare that seafood caught in the Gulf of Mexico is safe to eat.

    The Destructionist

    August 10, 2010 at 3:47 PM


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