Glenn Greenwald assembles evidence in support of claims that state, local, and Federal law enforcement officials are helping BP intimidate reporters and shield the cleanup operations from public scrutiny:
She documented one incident which was particularly chilling of an activist who — after being told by a local police officer to stop filming a BP facility because “BP didn’t want him filming” — was then pulled over after he left by that officer so he could be interrogated by a BP security official. McClelland also described how BP has virtually bought entire Police Departments which now do its bidding: “One parish has 57 extra shifts per week that they are devoting entirely to, basically, BP security detail, and BP is paying the sheriff’s office.”
Even better, in a linked ProPublica article:
A photographer taking pictures for these articles, was detained Friday while shooting pictures in Texas City, Texas.
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.
The police officer then turned that information over to the BP security guard under what he said was standard procedure, according to Rosenfield.
Journalists who come too close to oil spill clean-up efforts without permission could find themselves facing a $40,000 fine and even one to five years in prison under a new rule instituted by the Coast Guard late last week.
It’s a move that outraged observers have decried as an attack on First Amendment rights. And CNN’s Anderson Cooper describes the new rules as making it “very easy to hide incompetence or failure“. . . .
[S]ince “oil spill response operations” apparently covers much of the clean-up effort on the beaches, CNN’s  Cooper describes the rule asbanning reporters from “anywhere we need to be” . . . .
The unfortunate part is that Anderson – who has the name and resources to fight this – won’t push the line. In fairness to him, I suspect the line they draw for him would be much further in than for your standard issue investigative reporter. Further, he can’t be everywhere. But that’s what BP and its corrupt law enforcement officers are relying upon. To the significant detriment of all of us.