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Obama to send swat teams to inspect oil rigs and platforms (UPDATED)

Would someone help me understand this?

"Earlier today, DHS Secretary Napolitano announced that this incident is of national significance and the Department of Interior has announced that they will be sending SWAT teams to the Gulf to inspect all platforms and rigs.  And I have ordered the Secretaries of Interior and Homeland Security as well as Administrator Lisa Jackson of the Environmental Protection Agency to visit the site on Friday to ensure that BP and the entire U.S. government is doing everything possible, not just to respond to this incident, but also to determine its cause.  And I've been in contact with all the governors of the states that may be affected by this accident."


Crossposted at Brutally Honest.

UPDATE: Wikipedia's definition of a SWAT team will now apparently have to be modified:

A SWAT (special weapons and tactics) team is an elite paramilitary tactical unit in American and some international law enforcement departments. They are trained to perform high-risk operations that fall outside of the abilities of regular officers. Their duties include performing hostage rescues and counter-terrorism operations, serving high risk arrest and search warrants, subduing barricaded suspects, and engaging heavily-armed criminals. A SWAT team is often equipped with specialized firearms including assault rifles, submachine guns, shotguns, carbines, riot control agents, stun grenades, and high-powered rifles for snipers. They have specialized equipment including heavy body armor, entry tools, armored vehicles, advanced night vision optics, and motion detectors for covertly determining the positions of hostages or hostage takers inside of an enclosed structure.

And now inspections of oil rigs and platforms.


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Comments (40)

Seeing if it was an attack?... (Below threshold)

Seeing if it was an attack?

Cause something suspicious ... (Below threshold)

Cause something suspicious happened and they are looking into it. Any chance it was ECO terrorism?
This couldnt have happened at a better time for the ECO freaks.

I've said it before but, no... (Below threshold)
recovered liberal democrat:

I've said it before but, nothing else seems to fit. You can't fix stupid! This stupidity makes your hair hurt. I worked many years on off-shore oil rigs and the last thing you need is a whole bunch more government personnel getting in the way. Nothing against the SWAT guys they're going to do what they are ordered to do. I was working when Marines and Navy SEALs were training on the platforms that was great. The SEAls killed me twice. Then, I offered them coffee. This is different. I think this could be a precursor to a take over in the name of saving us from some made up disaster. Send the SWAT guys to the border. That would make a hell of a lot more sense.

as much as i dislike the bo... (Below threshold)

as much as i dislike the bozos running things, i hear the term "swat team" a lot as a specially organized small team sent to troubleshoot a particular problem. as such i don't have muich of a problem with the use. i just have a problem with the idiots who are in charge.

RLD - Since you used to wor... (Below threshold)

RLD - Since you used to work on them, I've got a question for you...

This incident seems kind of extreme. How much stuff have you got on an oil rig that'd blow like this - seemingly without warning?

I know it's not a terribly safe environment, but I can't recall the last time I heard of an oil rig exploding like this.

I've been on a SWAT team. ... (Below threshold)

I've been on a SWAT team. I'd be asking ol' Bruno, "What the $%#& are you sending me out there for?" All I know about oil rigs is that you probably shouldn't smoke on them.

Freaking idiots! We don't know what to do, so we'll send a SWAT team so it looks like we know what we're doing.

I am not sure that police a... (Below threshold)

I am not sure that police at any level have authority on these rigs, many of which are beyond a 20 mile limit and some beyond a 200 mile limit.

I'm almost sure he misspoke but for the life of me I cannot imagine what sort of team he meant.

Well for one thing, SWAT te... (Below threshold)

Well for one thing, SWAT teams DO NOT conduct investigations. That is not their purpose.

I agree with #4. In the bus... (Below threshold)

I agree with #4. In the business world a SWAT is a special task force put together to troubleshoot a particular process or piece of equipment. That's the only thing that makes sense, especially given the operative word investigate.

JLawson,The rig was ... (Below threshold)
recovered liberal democrat:

The rig was in 5,000 feet of water that means that they have to get to the sea floor a mile down to start to drill. There is equipment on the sea floor as well as on the platform at the drilling floor to prevent blow-outs or, B.O.P. equipment. It is enormous, heavy equipment that is needed to almost instantly close off in case of a problem down hole. As you can imagine the pressures that they are trying to control are extreme, thousands of pounds per square inch. One second you're okay the next you're dead. The gas that comes up with oil is deadly and highly, highly, flammable, mostly H2S, hydrogen sulfide. One wiff of a few parts per million and you will die instantly. It is the rotten egg smell and the bad part is it kills your sense of smell and you won't even know you are in serious trouble. It is the most feared on the platform. It is heavier than air. So, if you jump in the water to escape a fire the gas will sit on the water for quite a distance around the platform and be deadly. With gas at the pressure it was probably blowing out at, it will suck air in like a fire storm which makes it burn hotter and expand faster and faster. One of the survivors said he was asleep when the explosion occurred and all eleven men that were on the drilling floor at that time are missing. And more than likely will not be found.
Safety is the biggest concern on a platform and advances in safety engineering and equipment have been tremendous. We practiced constantly getting in and out of breathing gear in case of a gas release. We got into the survival craft and drilled on lowering the craft to the water and back. We did fire drills and abandonment practice all the time. Off shore platforms will have highly trained safety personnel, EMT trained, constantly monitoring every part of the platform either visually or remotely with sensors that can detect even the slightest variance out of the safety zone. When drilling is being done or they are "pulling" the bit out of the hole, safety monitoring gets even more intense. We may never know what the cause was of this tragedy exactly. All equipment for platform use is checked and rechecked for use in a hazardous environment. All electric motors are sealed. No sources of ignition allowed.
Now the attention is turned to sealing of the leak on the ocean floor. That's another story all together.
If the oil slick can be prevented from reaching shore the clean up will take quite a while but, can be done. I know I've done that drill also.

Maybe they need a sharpshoo... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Maybe they need a sharpshooter to hit the cut-off valve from atop the rig. Seriously though, I'm as puzzled as you guys. He's my democrat president so I'm gonna wait for an explanation. The official transript does use the same wording and SWAT is in all capitals.


Swat teams have no business... (Below threshold)

Swat teams have no business being on a rig.
I seriously doubt there's ANY crime that they could prevent going on out there.

Hostage situation? No
Illegal drug use? No
Terrorists? No

Janet Napolitano is as clueless as they come and I think its just another 'show of force' like the one in Ohio.

1. Suggestion that SWAT tea... (Below threshold)
After Seven:

1. Suggestion that SWAT teams are really bureaucrats ...not armed tactical units http://is.gd/bNZNO
2. Gmac....why have you ruled out terrorism? There is a mysterious 3 hour gap between explosion and 911 call..... http://is.gd/bNZYm

Try and GoogleNews Bp oil cause or bp oil terror... Not much there folks...same with Bing... Something is very wrong here

Seeing if he could claim su... (Below threshold)

Seeing if he could claim success for once during his myriad first year.

This is much too complex!!<... (Below threshold)

This is much too complex!!

I blame bush

There! I feel much better.

The news is talking of this... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

The news is talking of this as if it were on the scale of the Exxon Valdez spill. This well is leaking 5000 gallons of oil per day. The Valdez spilled 53,000,000 million gallons in just over a day.

This Gulf well would have to leak at this rate for over 25 years to equal the Valdez spill.

Call SWAT!

Obama is an idiot, so are most of the people he hired, and all of those who support him.

Well, I did not then and do... (Below threshold)

Well, I did not then and do not now support the idiot in chief. So I guess im in the clear? Unless Im a racist bigoted muslim hatin white boy.. Than, we go.

I enjoy making fun of the c... (Below threshold)

I enjoy making fun of the comment but it was pretty clear Barry didn't mean actual special weapons and tactic teams, he was using in the sense of a special reaction team. That said with this president I don't blame people for assuming he may actually have been thinking to send a real swat team in. lol

I thinkin' this is much adi... (Below threshold)

I thinkin' this is much adieu about nothing.

As much as I love to think DHS Secretary Napolitano is a dimbulb - and make no mistake she is and ranks with Reno at about 2 watts - If they are calling a "SWAT" team from the Department of Interior I have to believe the acronym has a different meaning.

Really, since when has the Department of Interior held any authority over the Military.

Count me in with the crowd ... (Below threshold)

Count me in with the crowd saying "Obama was using SWAT" as a metaphor." One company I knew had "SWAT teams" that were specialists in opening new locations. They'd swoop in and spend one week getting the location and the staff up to speed, then move on to the next location.

I'm feeling more paranoid about how Obama spent so much time campaigning against Big Coal, and we've had two mining "accidents" in the past few weeks...


We used specialist teams ca... (Below threshold)

We used specialist teams called 'Tiger Teams' when I worked in electrical manufacturing.

Barry is once again talking about something he has no real idea about.

He is the perpetual (P)resident in training.

2. Gmac....why have you ruled out terrorism?
Its very simple, NO reports from ANYWHERE else of similar activity.

This was a wellhead blowout.

What, ninjas weren't availa... (Below threshold)

What, ninjas weren't available?!?

Clinton must have used them all up...

SWAT teams... Not just for ... (Below threshold)

SWAT teams... Not just for granny busting

This is one stupid woman. ... (Below threshold)

This is one stupid woman. A spill like this is a first for the Gulf of Mexico. Over 10,000 wells have been drilled in the Gulf and this is a first. This is a better record for screwing up than both this stupid, stupid woman and the idiot that people say is our President. This country is in big trouble with people like this making decisions. People you better pray we can get rid of this bunch and quick before it is to late. Anybody ever wonder what "TO LATE" would probably be like?

Maybe some of those "potent... (Below threshold)

Maybe some of those "potential terrorists veterans" were working on the rig and blew it up in a protest to save the snail darters.

Sorry, gotta go call the FBI, two of my roosters are fighting again.

The answer is very simple: ... (Below threshold)

The answer is very simple: Secretary Napolitano is an idiot. She has demonstrated her lack of brains and common sense on numerous occasions, and this is just another example. She stated recently that "every available resource" will be sent to the Gulf to fight the oil slick. Any minute now they'll be sending the Hitler Youth AmeriCorps kids in red jackets.

I find it interesting that this Administration has done nothing while a war breaks out in Mexico, and the violence starts to spread north into our country. The crime in border states brought by illegal immigration and drug smuggling is overwhelming state governments, and they do nothing. Out of desperation, Arizona passes a law to try to defend itself, and Napolitano criticizes the law and flatly states that amnesty is the answer:

We need to know who's in the country. And we need to know, for those who are in the country illegally, there needs to be a period under which they are given the opportunity to register so we get their biometrics, we get their criminal history and we know who they are. They pay a fine. They learn English. They get right with the law.

Notice that illegal immigration isn't a problem that merits sending "every available resource".

Socialist Wastrels Anticipa... (Below threshold)

Socialist Wastrels Anticipating Takeovers

If indeed these blithering ... (Below threshold)

If indeed these blithering idiots in the Obama Maladministration are using SWAT to mean something other than what the general public understands it to mean, I fully expect the International Brotherhood of Blithering Idiots (official cheer: "Gimme a B! Gimme a B! Gimme a B! What's that spell?") to take offense at the first few words of my comment.

Looks like SWAT was a <a hr... (Below threshold)
James H:

Looks like SWAT was a metaphor.

Kind of figured it was, Jam... (Below threshold)

Kind of figured it was, James H - but a sloppy one.

RLD - thanks for the info. I thought they'd be kind of obsessive about safety on the platforms, from what I'd seen.

Which still makes me wonder just what the hell happened...

"Which still makes me wonde... (Below threshold)

"Which still makes me wonder just what the hell happened..."

Barry's Katrina moment.. I smell a takeover in the mist! Im not a birther conspiracy theorist type though.

Ha ha ha ha

I think the Department of I... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

I think the Department of Interior defines SWAT as Soil Water Assessment Tool. The following definition if from wikipedia. Based on this definition Obama would be sending a team to predict the impact the oil leak will have.

SWAT is a continuous time model that operates on a daily time step at basin scale. The objective of such a model is to predict the long-term impacts in large basins of management and also timing of agricultural practices within a year (i.e., crop rotations, planting and harvest dates, irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticide application rates and timing). It can be used to simulate at the basin scale water and nutrients cycle in landscapes whose dominant land use is agriculture. It can also help in assessing the environmental efficiency of BMP's and alternative management policies. SWAT uses a two-level dissagregation scheme; a preliminary subbasin identification is carried out based on topographic criteria, followed by further discretization using land use and soil type considerations. Areas with the same soil type and land use form a Hydrologic Response Unit (HRU), a basic computational unit assumed to be homogeneous in hydrologic response to land cover change.


I also googled the following terms

+"department of interior" +"Soil Water Assessment Tool" +swat

It produced a fair number of hits that contain articles realated to assessing environmental impact studies.

914 -I'm not think... (Below threshold)

914 -

I'm not thinking conspiracy - from readings elsewhere it looks like there was something that went seriously pear-shaped down at the wellhead.

"Yah, shure, you get dose Navy SEALS in a minisub and dey planted de C-4 and Prez Obamba ka-blooeyed the pipe to spill all de oil so da greenies would luv'm for stopping all drillin'. Dincha ever see the movie "De Abyss" or De Abysinian or somtin?"

No, this doesn't smell like a conspiracy to me. Doesn't mean it isn't - but there's simply not enough info, and I'll trust to the folks who do this stuff for a living to explain it. Ran across one discussion of how blowout preventors actually work at that depth (can't find it now) and what might have happened (fractured casing, wrecked piping and the like) that might be the problem now. Wish I could find the link again...

Seriously JL I was being sa... (Below threshold)

Seriously JL I was being sarcastic at Barry's expense. Racist at it corpse I know but I just cant help giving back the shit bush got for 8+ years of non national guard service.

I'm not even a republican but I sure as hell ain't gonna let the asshole in chief slide on any front.. Its too much fun to criticize and theorise? Maybe I should make movies like Michael Moore? Don the scuba gear and ask the porpoises if they saw ATF agents planting explosives cause y'know metal don't burn!!

Kinda figured, 914. No pro... (Below threshold)

Kinda figured, 914. No problemo. We'll find out what happened eventually.

"I find it interesting that... (Below threshold)

"I find it interesting that this Administration has done nothing while a war breaks out in Mexico, and the violence starts to spread north into our country."

This is a turf war between rival drug gangs.

I'm curious to hear exactly what you think the US should be doing to stop it.

"This is a turf war betw... (Below threshold)

"This is a turf war between rival drug gangs.

I'm curious to hear exactly what you think the US should be doing to stop it."

Building a 80' wall 1 mile behind a similar 25' wall at the border complete with anti aircraft guns and 50 military personnel for ever mile. Anything comes over that first wall, blow it away.

There's some constructive jobs for Barry to create.

Rance:RE: "I'm cur... (Below threshold)


RE: "I'm curious to hear exactly what you think the US should be doing to stop it."

914 is correct: There is a lot of money to be made smuggling drugs over the border, and that's what the drug lords are fighting over. If the border was secured, this wouldn't be the huge business opportunity that it is today, and the problem would go away as smugglers go back to flying it in or slipping it through sea ports. Like many (most) problems, this has a simple economic cause and a simple economic cure.

I found this Wallstreet Jou... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

I found this Wallstreet Journal article to be interesting. It describes how an oil shut off valve works. It also talks about remote control cut off switches. Some countries require remote control switches. The U.S. does not. This type of switch cost $500,000.


It could be: <a href="http:... (Below threshold)

It could be: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT_analysis
S - Strengths
W - Weaknesses
O - Opportunities
T - Threats

It's part of a strategic planning model. In this case an evaluative tool to determine what went wrong.






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