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Imagine that the Gulf of Mexico was a giant crime scene. You know that yellow crime-scene tape, imagine that it's spread all over the Gulf and if you want to cross it, you can't, without getting permission from the authorities who have roped it off.
So if you're a scientist, and you want to investigate that giant oil plume 22 miles long that the scientists at Woods Hole now say exists, or if you want to measure how much oil has sunk to the bottom and may be affecting the wildlife there, you as an important, independent scientist, may not be allowed in.
The only information or the facts that are allowed to be collected belong to the parties involved. That's BP and the U.S. government.
I’m an adjunct professor here at A&M, and we were also in the Gulf, but got thrown out. We were testing a theory that the chemical composition of the dispersant they were using was causing the oil to sink. And we’d been there for approximately three days, and federal agents flat told us to get out. And it wasn’t Fish and Wildlife officers. These were Homeland Security officers, and we were told that it was in the interest of national security.
CARY NELSON, president, American Association of University Professors,: I mean, I could see restricting access so that 500 people shouldn’t be able to ride their dune buggies along the beach, but reputable scientists should have access.
FLATOW: Darren, did take your samples away or anything – take anything away from you?
DARREN: Oh, yeah, they inspected the boat. They, of course, checked everyone’s identification, and they took all the samples that we had. And they also took some notes that we had. The theory that we were operating upon was information that had been given to us by someone who worked in the plant that made that dispersant. And they took everything.
Despite the lies and fallacies coming from BP and Washington, the Gulf Coast oil crisis is far from over. There are nightly helicopter flights that go out looking for oil. When oil is spotted, the GPS location is radioed to the Coast Guard who in turn send out planes to spray the oil with the dangerous dispersants. If they weren't trying to hide how much oil remains -- and dangerous dispersant being used -- in the Gulf Coast waters, they wouldn't be conducting secret missions at night and deceiving the public.