To my dismay, the best coverage of the BP oil spill has come from the liberal/progressive websites, IMHO. I have been trolling in the trenches of many of these websites to see what they are saying about the oil spill. This series of three videos come from a site called Democracy Now, (I guess no one told them that we live in a Republic or are they calling for a Democracy?)
In the first two videos, Democracy Now interviews Hugh Kaufman, a senior policy analyst at the EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. He is a heroic outspoken critic of the decision to use Corexit. He not only lays out the toxic effects of Corexit but most shockingly, the Obama Administration’s involvement in the cover-up and even tells us the money trail to follow. Kaufman states:
Now, the one thing that I did want to mention to you, Amy, that’s occurred in most investigations, back even in the Watergate days, people said, “follow the money.” And that’s correct. In this case, you’ve got to follow the money. Who saves money by using these toxic dispersants? Well, it’s BP. But then the next question–I’ve only seen one article that describes it–who owns BP? And I think when you look and see who owns BP, you find that it’s the majority ownership, a billion shares, is a company called BlackRock that was created, owned and run by a gentleman named Larry Fink. And Vanity Fair just did recently an article about Mr. Fink and his connections with Mr. Geithner, Mr. Summers and others in the administration. So I think what’s needed, we now know that there’s a cover-up. Dispersants are being used. Congress, at least three Congress folks–Congressman Markey, Congressman Nadler and Senator Mikulski–are on the case. And I think the media now has to follow the money, just as they did in Watergate, and tell the American people who’s getting money for poisoning the millions of people in the Gulf.
I looked up the article he is talking about in Vanity Fair, Larry Fink’s $12 Trillion Shadow
But BlackRock’s enormous and growing influence and its sheer size—too big to fail, some say—has begun to raise questions. “It’s like the Blackwater of finance, almost a shadow government,” says one senior bank executive, referring to the mountain of government contracts awarded to the firm. Although others—including the massive California-based Pacific Investment Management Company—have benefited from the gravy train of post-bailout government jobs, none appears to have gained nearly as much as BlackRock. Fink’s firm has been granted a privileged view into a broad swath of the financial markets, raising questions, says James Bianco, the C.E.O. of Bianco Research, about how it is handling possible conflicts of interest. That BlackRock was awarded key contracts with no competitive bidding, in a process enveloped in secrecy, has also raised hackles in Congress and led to questions about Fink’s long-standing relationships with senior government officials, particularly former Treasury secretary Henry Paulson and Geithner, his successor.
“You see a lot of concentration now in the financial industry of people who are more connected than brilliant,” says Janet Tavakoli, the president of Tavakoli Structured Finance and the author of Dear Mr. Buffett: What an Investor Learns 1,269 Miles from Wall Street. “So why BlackRock? Not to take anything away from Larry Fink, but all the contracts awarded to BlackRock, in the way they’ve been awarded, deserves some question.”
EPA Covering Up Effects of Dispersant in BP Oil Spill? Part 1
EPA Covering Up Effects of Dispersant in BP Oil Spill? Part 2
In this last video, Democracy Now interviews independent journalist, Dahr Jamail. He talks about the outrage of Gulf Coast residents by the recent announcement that the $20 billion dollar “government-administered” claim fund will subtract money cleanup workers earn from any future claims. Did I not hear The Squatter In Chief say that he would appoint an “Independent Fund Administrator” for the $20 billion dollars? Why then is Fund Administrator Kenneth Feinberg unwilling to tell us how much he is being paid for his services by BP? Independent? More transparency! You could not make this stuff up for a bad fiction novel if you wanted to.
Gulf Residents Outraged over Handling of $20 Billion BP Fund
Hats off to Democracy Now. I do not at all agree with their politics but they have done a very nice job of research, conducting an interview, livestreaming, and archiving on this topic. Their use of “new media” is much better than most.