www.democracynow.org/ – Investigative journalist Dahr Jamail reported for Democracy Now! throughout the early stages of the U.S. invasion of Iraq 10 years ago. Now with Al Jazeera, Jamail has just returned from Iraq once again, finding what he calls a “failed state” living in “utter devastation.” In part one of our interview, Jamail discusses the harrowing security situation for Iraqis living in fear of bombings, executions, and kidnappings, the widespread torture in Iraq’s prisons, and the breakdown of security in what he calls a “a lawless state.”
Jamail is the author of “Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq” and “The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Continue reading →
It’s almost two years since BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, scientists say they have found deformities among seafood and a great decline in the numbers of marine life. Dahr Jamail reports from New Orleans.
Doctor attributes widespread sickness to toxic chemicals from the Gulf of Mexico catastrophe.
Despite BP having capped its well in the Gulf of Mexico in July, the health-related after-effects of the disaster subsist.
Gulf Coast residents and BP cleanup workers have linked the source of certain illnesses to chemicals present in BP’s oil and the toxic dispersants used to sink it – illnesses that appear to be both spreading and worsening.
NEW ORLEANS – Massive slicks of weathered oil were clearly visible near Louisiana’s fragile marshlands in both the East and West Bays of the Mississippi River Delta during an overflight that included an IPS reporter on Oct. 23. The problem is that, despite this, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has left much of the area open for fishing.
Four days prior, on Oct. 19, federal on-scene cleanup coordinator for the BP oil disaster, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Paul Zukunft, declared there was little recoverable surface oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
Two-year-old Gavin Tillman of Pass Christian, Mississippi, has been diagnosed with severe upper respiratory, sinus, and viral infections. His temperature has reached more than 39 degrees since September 15, yet his sicknesses continues to worsen.
His parents, some doctors, and environmental consultants believe the child’s ailments are linked to exposure to chemicals spilt by BP during its Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.
Gavin’s father, mother, and sister, Shayleigh, are also facing serious health problems. Their symptoms are being experienced by many others living along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
by Dahr Jamail and Erika Blumenfeld T r u t h o u t (lots of photos)
October 4th, 2010
In August, Truthout conducted soil and water sampling in Pass Christian Harbor, Mississippi; on Grand Isle, Louisiana; and around barrier islands off the coast of Louisiana, in order to test for the presence of oil from BP’s Macondo Well.
Laboratory test results from the samples taken in these areas show extremely high concentrations of oil in both the soil and water.
These results contradict consistent claims made by the federal government and BP since early August that much of the Gulf of Mexico is now free of oil and safe for fishing and recreational use.
The samples taken were tested in a private laboratory via gas chromatography.
Today on The Intel Hub, award winning journalist Dahr Jamail reported some starling information on the situation in the gulf. The Gulf of Mexico has been poisoned beyond relief yet BP has continued to spray toxic dispersant. How is this happening in America? Agencies within the government have seemingly merged with the private sector, essentially creating a fascist American dictatorship.
Shirley and Don Tillman, residents of Pass Christian, Mississippi, have owned shrimp boats, an oyster boat and many pleasure boats. They spent much time on the Gulf of Mexico before working in BP’s Vessels Of Opportunity (VOO) program looking for and trying to clean up oil.
Don decided to work in the VOO program in order to assist his brother, who was unable to do so due to health problems. Thus, Don worked on the boat and Shirley decided to join him as a deckhand most of the days.
“We love the Gulf, our life is here and so when this oil disaster happened, we wanted to do what we could to help clean it up,” Shirley explained to Truthout.
“It is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself, when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks.” – Malcolm X
If someone broke into your house, pinned down your loved ones and began pouring poison down their throats, would you stop that person?
What if someone poured crude oil all over your crops and livestock? Wouldn’t you try to stop them from doing it?
Pointed questions like these come from a man named Derrick Jensen. They provide a lens through which to view the havoc that corporate capitalism is wreaking on our planet. They are meant to jolt us into the awareness that we are watching life on earth annihilated. They are also meant to challenge us into thinking about what form our resistance to this should take.
by Dahr Jamail and Erika Blumenfeld t r u t h o u t (see photos by Erika Blumenfeld)
29 August 2010
Image via Wikipedia
The State of Mississippi’s Department of Marine Resources (DMR) opened all of its territorial waters to fishing on August 6. This was done in coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Food and Drug Administration, despite concerns from commercial fishermen in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida about the presence of oil and toxic dispersants from the BP oil disaster.
On August 19, Truthout accompanied two commercial fishermen from Mississippi on a trip into the Mississippi Sound in order to test for the presence of submerged oil. Laboratory test results from samples taken on that trip show extremely high concentrations of oil in the Mississippi Sound.
by Dahr Jamail and Erika Blumenfeld t r u t h o u t (see photos by Erika Blumenfeld)
Sunday 22 August 2010
The scene is post-apocalyptic. Under a grey sky, two families play in the surf just off the beach in Grand Isle, Louisiana. To get to the beach, we walk past a red, plastic barrier fence that until very recently was there to keep people away from the oil-soaked area. Now, there are a few openings that beach goers can use. The fence is left largely intact, I presume, for when they will need to close the beach again when the next invasion of BP’s oil occurs.
A father jokingly throws sand at his little boy who laughs while dodging it. This, against a background of oil rigs and platforms looming in the Gulf. In the foreground, littering the beach, are tar balls. We stroll through the area, eyeing even more tar balls that bob lazily underwater, amidst sand ripples in the shallows … they are in the same location where the father sits, grabbing handfuls of sand to toss near his son.
The rampant use of toxic dispersants, out-of-state private contractors being brought in to spray them and US Coast Guard complicity are common stories now in the four states most affected by BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.
Commercial and charter fishermen, residents and members of BP’s Vessels Of Opportunity (VOO) program in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have spoken with Truthout about their witnessing all of these incidents.
Toxic Dispersants Found on Recently Opened Mississippi Shrimping and Oyster Grounds
Commercial fishing communities in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida have united to demand that local, state and federal agencies force BP to discontinue the use of toxic dispersants and conduct better testing before reopening fishing waters.
“We need to get our government to get a handle on this situation and shut down our fishing waters until they test for dispersants and get the use of dispersants stopped unless they can prove to us they are not harmful,” Kathy Birren, a spokesperson for commercial fishermen in Florida, told Truthout. “We are seeing fish kills. They [US Government and BP] are covering this all up.”
Since BP announced that CEO Tony Hayward would receive a multi-million dollar golden parachute and be replaced by Bob Dudley, we have witnessed an incredibly broad, and powerful, propaganda campaign. A campaign that peaked this week with the US government, clearly acting in BP’s best interests, itself announcing, via outlets willing to allow themselves to be used to transfer the propaganda, like the New York Times, this message: “The government is expected to announce on Wednesday that three-quarters of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon leak has already evaporated, dispersed, been captured or otherwise eliminated — and that much of the rest is so diluted that it does not seem to pose much additional risk of harm.”
Seven years ago, angered over the mainstream media’s flawed portrayal of the Iraq War, independent journalist Dahr Jamail took it upon himself to report from the front lines of the conflict. As one of the very few unembedded journalists dispatching from Iraq, Jamail cruised the streets of cities and villages with a local interpreter, a beat-up car and a penchant for depicting the conflict for what it really was: an illegal and brutal occupation, vanguarded by the US Empire and its corporate collaborators.
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Dahr Jamail pulled a degree in Speech Communications from Texas A&M University. Before his stretch in Iraq, Jamail’s post-college travels brought him around the world, from Chile to Pakistan, Mexico to Nepal, to climbing Denali in 1996 where he decided to be a mountain guide shortly thereafter.