BP, Homeland Security, and Cops Work Together to Deny First Amendment
July 4, 2010
The father of fascism, Benito Mussolini, defined fascism as corporatism. “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power,” said Mussolini.
ProPublica and PBS learned this lesson recently in Texas City. “A photographer taking pictures for ProPublica was detained Friday while shooting pictures in Texas City, Texas,” reports Raw Story. “The photographer, Lance Rosenfield, said that shortly after arriving in town, he was confronted by a BP security officer, local police and a man who identified himself as an agent of the Department of Homeland Security. He was released after the police reviewed the pictures he had taken on Friday and recorded his date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information.”
Rosenfield’s information was also turned over to BP. It was described as standard procedure.
Michael Marr, a BP spokesman, released a statement explaining the company’s actions. “BP Security followed the industry practice that is required by federal law. The photographer was released with his photographs after those photos were viewed by a representative of the Joint Terrorism Task Force who determined that the photographer’s actions did not pose a threat to public safety.”
BP, Homeland Security, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, and local cops will now decide if it is acceptable for journalists to take photographs.
“We certainly appreciate the need to secure the nation’s refineries,” said ProPublica after the incident. “But we’re deeply troubled by BP’s conduct here, especially when they knew we were working on deadline on critical stories about this very facility. And we see no reason why, if law enforcement needed to review the unpublished photographs, that should have included sharing them with a representative of a private company.”
It looks like BP and its goon force (including federal agencies) knew ProPublica and PBS were working on a story. The incident had nothing to do with the security of refineries or public safety. It was about blocking a story a transnational corporation did not want published. This sort of thing happens in a corporatist-fascist state. It is not supposed to happen in a constitutional republic where the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights are respected.
First it was bloggers and citizen journalists who were harassed by the state and denied their First Amendment right. Now the foundation and non-profit media are falling victim to the heavy hand of the corporate-fascist state.
Late last week “National Incident” commander Thad Allen announced all media — print, television, radio and internet bloggers — will be subject to arrest and federal class D felony charges if they cover operation and clean up sites. In short, the government and BP have effectively shut down the First Amendment.