Pentagon bureaucrat joins BP polluters

This video, recorded in the USA, says about itself:

Impact of the BP Oil Disaster on the fishermen and families of the Gulf of Mexico.

From Mother Jones in the USA:

BP Hires a Pentagon PR Warrior

By Adam Weinstein

Wed Sep. 7, 2011 3:00 AM PDT

Back in April 2010, when BP‘s Deepwater Horizon well was gushing crude oil all over the Gulf of Mexico, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell was coy about a possible military response. “You want to work, I believe, hand in glove with industry here because in some cases they’re going to have…better assets than we would,” he told reporters.

A year and a half later, Morrell is enjoying those better assets firsthand: He has joined BP America as its new spokesman. Morrell “will oversee external and internal communications for BP in the United States,” according to an internal memo from company honchos quoted in The Hill. The memo added: “He will be responsible for leading our communications efforts in the US, as well as playing a critical role with our broader global communications and reputational activities.”

Morrell knows from “reputational activities”; as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs from June 2007 to June 2011, he had the unenviable task of defending military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, articulating US policy on Korea (not always successfully), and putting a happy face on the Pentagon’s reaction to WikiLeaks and its harsh treatment of suspected leaker Bradley Manning.

But flacking for BP may be a tougher (if more lucrative) gig. Company shares just hit a one-year low on the heels of Tropical Storm Lee; it is being sued by everyone from the families of rig-explosion victims to onetime corporate partners such as Halliburton; its Moscow offices have been raided by Russian authorities; questions have been raised about its possible involvement in Libyan terrorist affairs; and there’s still that whole Gulf cleanup thing going on.

On the other hand, Morrell’s Pentagon experience may give him an inside track on BP operations: After all, the DOD has been a major source of government welfare for the Britain-based oil corporation. Military payments to BP for much-needed oil between 2007 and 2010 totaled $5.7 billion. In 2009, Pentagon cash—$2.2 billion of it—accounted for 16 percent of the corporation’s total profits.

Morrell also has expertise in an area of great interest to BP: Libya. The corporation had just secured rights from Muammar Qaddafi’s regime to begin exploratory drilling in the western part of the country when the rebellion started last spring. “Once we are committed to a military mission, it is not wise to pull the rug out from under our forces by defunding that operation,” Morrell said of US involvement in Libya in his final DOD presser. “That’s not helpful; that’s counterproductive.” Given continued uncertainty over Libya’s mineral resources and BP’s interest in them—the firm also recently hired a former British spy with deep contacts in the Libyan business community—the oil giant stands to benefit from Morrell’s access to Pentagon insiders who can keep “helpful” US warplanes buzzing over North African shores.

Whichever Party Runs the Government in the UK, Murdoch and BP Pull the Strings: here.

BP Cost-Cutting, Conflicts Preceded Gulf Disaster, U.S. Says: here.

Sick Gulf residents continue to blame BP. Many people living near the site of the BP oil spill have reported a long list of similar health problems: here.

BP oil spill not breaking down on Gulf floor: here.

Naomi Klein: Video of my speech on the myth of “ethical oil” at the #nokxl rally in DC last weekend: here.

Peter Bouckaert discovered Libyan torture files with U.S./British Ties: here.

The Military Assault on Global Climate. H. Patricia Hynes, Truthout: “By every measure, the Pentagon is the largest institutional user of petroleum products and energy … Yet, the Pentagon has a blanket exemption in all international climate agreements … Any talk of climate change which does not include the military is nothing but hot air, according to Sara Flounders. It’s a loophole [in the Kyoto Convention on Climate Change] big enough to drive a tank through, according to the report, ‘A Climate of War.’ At the outset of the Iraq war in March 2003, the Army estimated it would need more than 40 million gallons of gasoline for three weeks of combat, exceeding the total quantity used by all Allied forces in the four years of World War 1. Among the Army’s armamentarium were 2,000 staunch M-1 Abrams tanks fired up for the war and burning 250 gallons of fuel per hour”: here.

13 thoughts on “Pentagon bureaucrat joins BP polluters

  1. Oil chiefs working to restore supply

    LIBYA: Executives from Spanish energy transnational Repsol met the new regime’s oil officials in Benghazi today to map out plans for bringing the war-torn country’s petroleum industry back online.

    Meanwhile a spokesman for Tripoli’s new military council asserted that militiamen have surrounded Muammar Gadaffi, while the new deputy defence minister said that he had no idea where he is.


  2. Dear Friend,

    It’s an all-out fight on Capitol Hill. Today, the new deficit committee holds its first meeting. Can you donate $15 to help us send a strong message to the war industry that we will fight their scheme to influence the deficit committee?

    Military contractors including Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon created a front group called “Second To None” to pressure Congress to protect their massive revenues ($102.8 billion in 2010!) from cuts by the deficit commission. On Tuesday, they will stage a “march to the Hill.” These corporations already donated more than one million dollars to committee members. You can bet they’ll try to “cash in.” We need your support to combat Second To None’s influence.

    If we raise $10,000 by Sunday, we’ll buy a full-page ad in Politico, a major Capitol Hill newspaper, getting Congress’s attention while throwing down the gauntlet to contractors and the Pentagon. Our new War Costs campaign will put these war profiteers on the defensive by running the ad the day before their “march,” getting our message out first.

    Remember: every billion dollars in war spending protected by the deficit committee costs us at least 3,200 jobs that would have created if that money were spent elsewhere. Help us tell Congress, “We need those jobs!”

    Please donate $15 to help us buy a full-page ad in Politico next week. We need your help to compete with the war industry’s 840+ lobbyists and campaign cash. We only have until Sunday to raise the money, so please contribute now!


    Derrick Crowe, Robert Greenwald
    and the Brave New Foundation team


  3. Oil spill companies to pay out $44m

    UNITED STATES: Companies responsible for a 2007 San Francisco Bay oil spill that occurred when a ship slammed into a bridge agreed on Monday to pay $44.4 million (£28m) towards the cleanup and in compensation for damage to the environment, including the deaths of thousands of birds.

    The proposed settlement is the final chapter in a nearly four-year legal saga involving lawsuits against Regal Stone, which owned the ship that hit the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on November 7 2007, and Fleet Management, which operated it.

    The deal still requires approval by a federal judge.


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