Shocking Oil Spill Scenes

As the president visits the Gulf anew, Richard Wolffe reports that he was first briefed in April on how bad the spill would be. Plus: the real reason the White House is so mad at Carville.

Charlie Riedel / AP Photo

A small dead fish floats on a pool of oil at Bay Long off the coast of Louisiana Sunday, June 6, 2010.

Charlie Riedel / AP Photo

Brown Pelicans fly past booms stained by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill at Cat Island, La, Sunday, June 6, 2010.

Charlie Riedel / AP Photo

Hermit crabs struggle to cross a patch of oil from the the Deepwater Horizon spill on a barrier island near East Grand Terre Island, La, Sunday, June 6, 2010.

Gerald Herbert / AP Photo

P.J. Hahn lifts his boot out of thick beached oil at Queen Bess Island in Barataria Bay, just off the Gulf of Mexico in Plaquemines Parish, La.

Charlie Riedel / AP Photo

Wildlife Lost

A bird covered in oil flails in the surf along the Louisiana coast.

Charlie Riedel / AP Photo

Coated in Oil

A brown pelican covered in oil sits on the beach at East Grand Terre Island along the Louisiana coast on Thursday, June 3, 2010.

Charlie Riedel / AP Photo

No End in Sight

A bird flies above a sea of brown oil on the Gulf of Mexico.

Charlie Riedel / AP Photo


A Brown Pelican is mired in oil along the Louisiana coast.

Hans Deryk / Reuters

Worst Spill in U.S. History?

Greenpeace Marine Biologist Paul Horsman surveys oil pooled between reeds and brush on the shoreline of the east bank in the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana May 17, 2010. The White House has called this spill the worst oil spill in U.S. History.

Carolyn Cole, Los Angeles Times/MCT

Miles of Blackened Water

Here's just a few of the millions of gallons of oil covering the Gulf of Mexico, snapped on May 5. The oil looks like it has orange streaks because it's been emulsified in water—like when you shake a salad dressing bottle.

Jason Andrew / Getty Images

A Closer Look

Oxidized oil covers the surface of the water off of the Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana, on May 7, 2010.

Carolyn Cole, Los Angeles Times / Newscom

Wildlife Endangered

Seven birds were airlifted Sunday to the Florida Keys. Many more, like the one here, are expected to meet a much worse fate. This poor oil-soaked guy washed ashore in Grand Isle, Louisiana.

Gerald Herbert / AP Photo

Oil Sticks to the Bugs, Too

Even the littlest creatures are vulnerable: This dragonfly, struggling to clean himself, got stuck to the marsh grass in Garden Island Bay, Louisiana.

Michael Appleton, The New York TImes / Redux

Black Gold?

Some beach bum holdouts—including these beach-goers on May 12—have refused to let a little multimillion-gallon oil slick ruin their day in the sun, even as men in protective suits trek past. But as thousands of tourists cancel their vacations, the slick is crushing the coastal economy. Analysts estimate the final toll could be $12.5 billion.

Gerald Herbert / AP Photo


A crude-covered bird struggles in the water against a massive supply vessel at the site of the exploded Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

Gerald Herbert / AP Photo

No Rest for the Weary

Sludge has begun to clog the wetlands that are home to these brown pelicans, who were attempting to land May 22 on an island in Barataria Bay, Louisiana.

John Kepsimelis , U.S. Coast Guard / Bloomberg

Running Out of Options

Controlled burns send black smoke billowing into the sky May 19 during one of BP's handful of failed attempts to cap the link.

Patrick Kelley, U.S. Coast Guard / AP Photo

Fire in the Sky

The drillship Discoverer Enterprise burns gas leaking from the damaged oil well a mile underwater by sticking a tube into the damaged riser pipe, a method known as flaring, on May 16.

Gerald Herbert / AP Photo

Species Threatened

Brown pelicans scatter from their nests in Barataria Bay as a Plaquemines Parish worker lays a boom to absorb oil. (The species was removed from the endangered species list recently, only to have this key habitat suddenly threatened.)

Win McNamee / Getty Images

Anger Grows

BP America Chair and President Lamar McKay faces the music—waiting to testify before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on May 17 as protesters wave signs in the back. Some chanted " BP Kills!" as others protested silently, with black tears painted on their faces.