30,000+ FOIA'ed
BP Oil Spill Docs
Just Want to Be Read



...Won't You Help?

On April 19th, Greenpeace issued a request addressed to all of us who want to be the difference we would like to see in this world, this world that so often appears forsaken dirty ugly squalid mean sad and bereft of a good solid human foundation for hope (whoa, where did that come from?).  I did not, sadly, see it until recently, or you, Gentle Reader, would have as well.  I here quote it in full from Florida Oil Spill Law, (a website to which I am glad to return, and from which, sad to have strayed):

Just released: 30k pages of BP oil spill documents. Help us find out what we’ve got!… In July 2010 the team began submitting Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests to the federal government about the BP oil disaster. They began to trickle back, slowly, and we stayed on top of it. But just like the gusher in the Gulf the trickle became a flood, and now we have around 30,000 pages of memos, reports and even flight records about the worst oil spill in American history.
While some of the agencies have simply ignored our requests, others have gotten back with some interesting documents. The problem is we simply don’t have time to go through them all. The Guardian ran a series of stories about them last week  but no one has the manpower to read the fine print. Plus, we’re getting more through the letterbox almost every day.
This is where you come in. We’ve created a new site which allows anyone to view, download and comment on these documents. We’re updating it with new stuff and categorizing it to make your life easier. Always imagined yourself winning a Pulitzer? Still mad at BP and want to find out what really happened out there? Searching for evidence for a compensation claim? Now’s your chance to dig up some gems.
Log on to www.polluter watch.org/research and help us sift through the mountain of data. Get in touch if you find something interesting and we’ll try to get the news out.
You’re all part of the research team now.

Indeed, I visited, and logged on, being provided with a 'guest' user name and password.  I will pass along what I saw there -- in the hopes that you also will go -- together we can scour these documents and perhaps add a little justice to the world.

This is the page with which you will be greeted:




Following those instructions (and they represent some level of security, because it did not seem as though I could log on at all with a different browser -- and the directory structure with which we may easily become familiar may be limited -- as it should be, if that is their desire) led me here:




And from there, to a page from which I saved the html source but of which I sadly obtained no screenshot (that will teach me to think twice before browsing Fox-less!):




From all of this I can tell that this certainly could be quite enjoyable work.  If you like that sort of thing.  Which I, as you may have guessed, do.  In fact, I have one hypothesis already that has begun to hatch -- note in the last illustration how, when it came to C-130 Aircraft and the spraying of dispersants, the USCG was perfectly willing to completely fulfill the FOIA request, but the Air Force, oddly, was not?

That explains why the Coast Guard was so quick to say, 'Oh, No, Miss American Public, We Sure Ain't Spraying No Dispersants!'  They weren't.  They didn't say they didn't know who was....








Be seeing you.