STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Disturbing Questions Around BP Leak
By Staff News & Analysis - June 18, 2010

Oil-Gate; New Facts Diabolical … After news of the BP disaster broke, retired American engineer Joe Smyth (a man who has blasted away hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of dirt and rock in his past) quickly calculated and designed a solution toward saving the environment, as well as BP's long-term investments and the inevitable political fallout for the federal government. Smyth forwarded the information to BP on April 27th, and later to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Within days, a BP engineer contacted Smyth to compare notes. In his initial letter to BP, Smyth reported: "With cooperation between BP and their 'Deep Water Technology' and our military with their weapons technology, it would be a matter of days to produce a sophisticated explosive device for placement at the well head." This will keep anymore oil from spilling into the ocean, he later said. Therefore, we now know a proven solution to preventing any further oil spilling into the Gulf was in the hands of BP within 7 days of the initial spill. – XelanBonn.com

Dominant Social Theme: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain …

Free-Market Analysis: We try not to directly analyze articles of the alternative 'Net media because we are more interested in the dominant social themes expressed by mainstream news. But in this case, we cannot help it. This article was brought to our attention by a Bell feedbacker who was somewhat astonished by it -and frankly we were too. The article appears on a site called XelanBonn.com and seems to be a blog-construct of an energy consultant.

In any event, having back into this analysis through the alternative media, we will now make the case that a dominant social theme is operative nonetheless. What would that meme be? Only that "BP itself and the Obama administration has done everything possible to stop this disastrous leak and its endless reoccurrence is proof positive that the West simply must wean itself from its dependence on oil."

The trouble with this theme right from the beginning, from our point of view was that it was somehow too pat, too available, too, well … convenient, coming at the same time as the Obama administration was seeking to restart various forms of environmental legislation that had foundered in the wake of the global warming fiasco. Indeed, so thorough has the Internet debunking of global warming been that it's hard to find defenders in the press anymore. The meme has turned into the crazy old uncle deliberately stashed in the attic, the one you can hear cackling several floors down, but cannot ever see.

And now we have the BP catastrophe instead, the leak to end all leaks. Indeed, we found the whole thing so strange that we stayed away from commenting on it much to begin with because we were interested in seeing how it evolved. There were many anomalous events right from the start, we thought, ones we found quite curious, but we were trying to withhold judgment until a definite pattern emerged. And now comes this article, excerpted above, which tends to further solidify additional suspicions. Here's some more of it:

According to the Smyth proposal, a solution could have been deployed within a few days. Hence, the oil spilling into the Gulf since about May 1st was all preventable—which means, essentially, that the environment could have been kept nearly clean by comparison to today's ongoing spill contamination—it means this extended catastrophe was essentially preventable by simply invoking emergency damage control measures. These facts suggest BP acted in a criminally negligent manner and is continuing to do so. It is also suggests that BP is engaged in a conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, among a long list of other potential criminal violations.

However, BP is not the only culpable party—most of the blame actually falls to the Obama Administration by fact of authority, leadership, and access to needed solution tools—none of which are under BP's control. The Smyth solution was to encase a non-nuclear warhead aka ultra-high-explosive (i.e. Bunker Buster) in a deep sea pressurized protected case, lower it to the bottom of the sea bed near the current oil hole, and set it off, thus sealing the well hole permanently. The solution concept is not innovative but already proven by Russian experience with such deep water or otherwise inaccessible oil spills.

Komsomoloskaya Pravda, the best-selling Russian daily, reports that in Soviet times such leaks were plugged with controlled nuclear blasts. The idea is simple, KP writes: "the underground explosion moves the rock, presses on it, and, in essence, squeezes the well's channel," reported Julia Ioffe in the Moscow Diaries.

Now it's true that the idea of blowing up the well has been floating around almost from the beginning of this disaster and information about the possibility actually appeared early in June in the New York Times, which asked the Obama administration about the idea. The answer came back that while the Russians had sealed oil well leaks with small nuclear explosions, those had all taken place on land and that the idea of dropping a bomb on a well so far down was a non-starter.

After this, conversation about blowing up the BP well seems to have stopped, at least within the mainstream press. But as the mainstream press is almost entirely degraded today in our opinion, no one ever bothered to find out if a NON-NUCLEAR device could do the trick. It makes a lot of sense, in fact, because the pressure around the well is tremendous and a big non-nuclear bomb might cave in the surrounding surface and sub-surface, in which case, the pressure of the ocean itself might do the rest of the work.

This is a question we'd like to see asked even as the relief wells are being drilled. Maybe there are two solutions that can work together. And even if the well is unstable and has other problems, further down, we're surprised the suggestion has not received more traction. But, as indicated above, we are surprised about a great many things when it comes to this disaster. We were surprised to begin with, when President Obama seemed to cultivate a nonchalant attitude about the spill and apparently went off to play golf several times (shades of Bush) while the leak was in gestation. We were surprised by the amount of time that BP took to assemble any kind of serious stoppage potential for the leak, and even more surprised by the lack of immediate clean-up remedies in and around the blown well.

It went on from there. We were surprised to read that there had been large insider sell-offs in BP stock before the disaster and that BP executives had known of trouble with the rig and pipes for months beforehand. We were surprised tankers had not immediately been called to the scene to vacuum up the oil, as is apparently a standard procedure. We were surprised that BP apparently hired locals and dressed them up in haz-mat suits on the day of President Obama's visit, as if presenting the impression of concern was more important than actually doing something.

We were surprised by the clumsiness of BP from a PR standpoint, and how even now not much real reporting is coming out a region that seems shut-down press-wise. The responses of the company continue to be awkward and muted, plagued by mis-steps. President Obama himself, a great communicator, seemed strangely muffled as well and even more passive than normal. In the meantime, of course, the clean-up continues in fits and starts. That, too, is strangely lackadaisical. ABC News reported the following yesterday:

BP Oil Spill: Against Gov. Jindal's Wishes, Crude-Sucking Barges Stopped by Coast Guard … 59 Days Into Oil Crisis, Gulf Coast Governors Say Feds Are Failing Them … Eight days ago, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered barges to begin vacuuming crude oil out of his state's oil-soaked waters. Today, against the governor's wishes, those barges sat idle, even as more oil flowed toward the Louisiana shore. … "It's the most frustrating thing," the Republican governor said today in Buras, La. "Literally, yesterday morning we found out that they were halting all of these barges." … The Coast Guard ordered the stoppage because of reasons that Jindal found frustrating. The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.

We have of course been through this sort of scenario before. We had and still have many questions about 9/11 and how, for better or worse, that terrible attack was used very obviously for political purposes, leaving a trail of horrid questions in its wake. And now we have yet another terrible disaster where similar questions are being raised as to why certain things were not done – or did not take place right away, and others practical and necessary actions were simply ignored.

After Thoughts

The implications of such observations are, of course, enormous and obscenely resonant. They speak to an arrogance of such fullness that to call it a kind of small-bore genocide is to trivialize it – especially as hurricane season approaches. We make no accusations of course, and cast no aspersions. We have questions but no answers.

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