And, while we are on about more Vivoleum feedstock, how about a Banana Republic Update? Of course you knew that in the good, ole, U. S. of A. your home can be searched without a warrant, without you being home. You can be arrested with no charges revealed to you, detained indefinitely with no access to a lawyer and legally tortured. All under the suspicion that you might be a “terrorist”.
Before this blog focused upon the response to the environmental disaster ongoing in the Gulf of Mexico, there was some ongoing discussion about ethics in federal energy policy and whether there would be testimony that the Bush administration continued detainment of innocent men at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp because they “feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader war on terror.”
Well, if you were wondering what it will be like in a corporate-police state, here’s a key exchange:
Wheelan: “Am I violating any laws or anything like that?”
Officer: “Um…not particularly. BP doesn’t want people filming.”
Wheelan: “Well, I’m not on their property so BP doesn’t have anything to say about what I do right now.”
Officer: “Let me explain: BP doesn’t want any filming. So all I can really do is strongly suggest that you not film anything right now. If that makes any sense.”
Not really! Shortly thereafter, Wheelan got in his car and drove away but was soon was pulled over.
It was the same cop, but this time he had company: Kenneth Thomas, whose badge, Wheelan told me, read “Chief BP Security.” The cop stood by as Thomas interrogated Wheelan for 20 minutes, asking him who he worked with, who he answered to, what he was doing, why he was down here in Louisiana. He phoned Wheelan’s information in to someone. Wheelan says Thomas confiscated his Audubon volunteer badge (he’d recently attended an official Audubon/BP bird-helper volunteer training) and then wouldn’t give it back, which sounds like something only a bully in a bad movie would do. Eventually, Thomas let Wheelan go.
“Then two unmarked security cars followed me,” Wheelan told me. “Maybe I’m paranoid, but I was specifically trying to figure out if they were following me, and every time I pulled over, they pulled over.” This went on for 20 miles. Which does little to mitigate my own developing paranoia about reporting from what can feel like a corporate-police state.
Come back Richard Claxton Gregory, all is remembered.
Other AG Posts on the topic of Domination by the State and Whose Interests It Serves