Over the years, these groups have sadly flourished, with two of the most notorious examples being Blackwater and Wachkenhut (one of Scott Walker's favorites!).
Now we can add the name of Bulletproof Securities of Arizona to that list of shame.
These are the mercenaries that the Florida mining company, Gogebic Taconite, has hired to protect their investment in the mining privileges of the pristine Northwoods area of the Pekonee Hills.
The have recently been seen haunting the woods of Iron County, running around like some wayward members of the Posse Comitatus, intimidating people who even happen to look at them the wrong way.
Besides the obvious harm that these thugs will do to the tourism business - I don't remember the threat of armed jackboots being in the Zucker commercial - there are two other major problems.
First of all, the land that the Penokee Pinkertons are protecting from the public is public land. Apparently the mining company presumed that when they bought the Teapublicans that passed their bill, they got the land included in the sale.
The other issue is that Bulletproof Services might be here illegally. To do the kind of work that they are doing, they need to hold Wisconsin licenses and permits first. I have seen nothing to indicate that this has yet been looked into.
I would add to this that since this is public land, and thus accessible to the public, the gang of thugs needs to go through background checks. I mean, the type of people these groups hire are in no way considered the most reputable.
This has, as the gentle reader might have suspected, created quite a stir, but not with just the citizenry, but with elected officials as well. Senator Bob Jauch and Representative Janet Bewley issued a joint press release which was very measured in tone while very firm in meaning:
State Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) and Representative Janet Bewley (D-Ashland) sent a letter to Gogebic Taconite President Bill Williams today calling on him to immediately remove the heavily armed masked commando security unit recently hired to protect the company’s property in the Penokee Hills.There are two things about this whole affair that are conspicuous by their absence.
The legislators called the images of the armed guards horrifying and the action by the company to hire this high security Arizona firm appalling. They added that “these kinds of security forces
are common in third world counties but they don’t belong in Northern Wisconsin.”
Jauch and Bewley acknowledged the company’s right to protect their property, but called the decision to hire this new security firm nothing more than an effort to intimidate citizens. “No one
in their right mind can justify the excessive force. These individuals are not deputized, they can’t arrest anyone. What they can do is unjustifiably scare people, and that appears to be your
The Northern Lawmakers reminded the company that they do not own the Penokee Hills and urged them to make sure their security detail recognized and reflected that fact.
With only one incident reported at the site in over a month, the lawmakers questioned why the company decided to take such a “confrontational and incendiary step that will clearly do more to
intimidate local citizens and increase local tensions than it will to make you, your staff, or your equipment any safer.”
Jauch and Bewley added that reversing their decision could help improve the company’s relationship with the community. “By rescinding this very misguided decision, you can send a message to Northern Wisconsin citizens that despite the heated rhetoric coming from the company over the last several weeks, you are interested in working with your new neighbors and willing to cooperate rather than relying on intimidation and threats.”
One is any reaction from the Teabublicans.
Scott Walker, Robin Vos and Alberta Darling are all publicity hounds. They cannot get enough time in front of the cameras. If they go more than a day or two without being the center of attention, I don't think that they would survive.
Yet on this issue, there is nary a peep from the lot of them.
The other thing missing is any indication that the mainstream media has even bothered to attempt to contact them, much less ask them any questions. The closest I've seen is Wisconsin State Journal mentioning that it was the Teapublicans who rammed this bill through.
With the corporate media, the corporate-controlled Teapublican legislature and all the other signs of organized greed, is it any wonder why they tried to take the unions out first?