Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Their own private armies

In Wisconsin, when someone asks -- "Who was that masked man, anyway? -- they aren't talking about the Lone Ranger.
Here’s a fascinating little story. There’s been a battle royale up in Wisconsin over an effort to establish a big iron mining operation near Lake Superior, to be owned and operated by a company called Gogebic Taconite. The Republican legislature approved the mine in March over environmentalists’ objections. Some protests have been staged since the operation got started. But people started to get freaked out over the weekend when the company brought in what the Wisconsin State Journal calls “masked security guards who are toting semi-automatic rifles and wearing camouflaged uniforms.”
This is no one-off fluke. These mask wearing, camo clad, paramilitary "security guards" come from a thriving company created to serve large corporations who want to use third world tactics inside America under the pretense of protecting their property.
Indeed, as the site notes, “BPS has at its disposal the latest cache of specialized equipment for border security operations, not typically found in the private sector. As example, BPS owns heavily armored Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV’s), Tactical All Terrain Vehicles (T-ATV’s), FLIR (mobile thermal systems), mast equipment (eye in the sky), and many other state-of-the-art assets … The presence of BPS will prevent criminal organizations from posing a threat to your personnel or your mission.”

If your needs are different, Bulletproof can also provide “a QRF (quick reaction force) tactical unit to secure a manufacturing plant during a heated worker strike.”
Seriously. This is the real threat to our way of life. I mean, how different does this sound than say, paramilitary intimidation in Colombia? This is our future under the control of the "free market" multinational mega-corporations.

And as always, our favorite past resident of "Koch Industries' midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin," Charlie Pierce, has more to say that's worth reading.

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