The true story of the BP disaster is how private contractors, not the government, are handling the response. Of the 25,000 people responding to the greatest environmental catastrophe in the history of the nation, 21,000 are under contract to the foreign oil giant BP. This private army includes workers shipped in from California making $10 an hour to clean the beaches, ex-military public relations experts, and submarine robotics companies. There are no contractors working directly for the government. The Center for American Progress -- like many other outside observers -- recommends that the government take over operational control from BP, to resolve conflicts of interest between the foreign corporation's shareholders and public health and safety.