[News] Security Firm Guarding Dakota Access Pipeline Also Used Psychological Warfare Tactics for BP

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Sep 14 11:35:24 EDT 2016


  Security Firm Guarding Dakota Access Pipeline Also Used Psychological
  Warfare Tactics for BP

Steve Horn <http://www.desmogblog.com/user/7018> • Tuesday, September 
13, 2016

G4S, a company hiring security staff 
to guard the hotly contested Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL), also works 
to guard oil and gas industry assets in war-torn Iraq 
<http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/article-1208774/G4S-benefits-guarding-Iraqs-war-ravaged-oil-fields.html>, and has 
come under fire by the United Nations for human rights abuses allegedly 
committed while overseeing a BP pipeline in Colombia and elsewhere while 
on other assignments.

Recently, the UK-based G4S placed job advertisements on its website, 
announcing it would be hiring security teams to work out of offices in 
<https://shrinktheweb.snapito.io/v2/webshot/spu-ea68c8-ogi2-3cwn3bmfojjlb56e?size=800x0&screen=1024x768&url=http%3A%2F%2Fcareers.g4s.com%2Fjobs%2FArmed-Custom-Protection-Security-Officer-Mandan-ND_71463%2F> and 
Bismarck, North Dakota 
These two locales are only a 45-minute drive away from the ongoing 
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe-led encampment <http://sacredstonecamp.org/> 
unfolding along DAPL's route in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. First among 
the list of required experience for both locations is service related to 
military police, elite military forces, or “any support role in a 
combat zone.”

Monica Lewman-Garcia, Director of Communications for G4S Secure 
Solutions in North America, told DeSmog, “G4S Secure Solutions is 
providing fewer than 10 security officers, assigned to remote sites and 
providing limited short-term unarmed patrol services.”

Lewman-Garcia also stated that G4S was not on the scenes at the 
now-infamous Labor Day weekend incident in which private security 
forces used pepper spray against and allowed their dogs to bite Dakota 
Access pipeline protesters 
adding that the company had not deployed its K9 units and that those 
involved worked for a different company. G4S also said it could not 
comment on whether it was hired to be in North Dakota by Dakota Access 
LLC, by another company altogether, or by one of the local 
police departments.

      “Chaos Company”

Dubbed the “Chaos Company 
in an April 2014 /Vanity Fair/ article, G4S is often brought into the 
stickiest situations, such as overseeing security for 
<http://www.g4s.com/en/Media%20Centre/News/2015/09/11/G4S%20wins%20contracts%20in%20Iraq%20and%20Afghanistan/> the 
Basrah Gas Company <http://www.basrahgas.com/an-iraqi-company>, an Iraqi 
natural gas company which Shell, Mitsubishi, and South Oil Company 
jointly own.

G4S touts its expertise in doing high-risk security work for the oil and 
gas industry in a company pamphlet 

    “In Nigeria, for example, its services include the provision and
    manning of emergency vessels operating in the Niger Delta for
    Chevron. It also has a considerable presence in Iraq where it is
    well placed to assist in the protection of the war-torn nation’s oil
    production which could make that country the third largest oil
    exporter within a few years.”

An article published by /The Telegraph/ (UK) detailed 
that G4S had been hired to bring 500 personnel and 220 armored vehicles 
to protect Basrah Gas Company properties in Iraq. Those properties 
include two gas plants, a liquefied petroleum gas storage facility, a 
shipping terminal, and — paralleling the Dakota Access situation — the 
pipelines between them.

G4S also has security contracts 
with the U.S. Department of Defense at both Guantanamo Bay Detention 
Center and the controversial U.S. military base in Diego Garcia. The 
British human rights group Reprieve called for an investigation 
of G4S as it pertains to human rights abuses which took place at Guantanamo.

      Oil and Gas Roots

In 2008, G4S acquired 
the company ArmorGroup International PLC as a wholly-owned 
subsidiary. This company has been on the public radar in recent years 
for being mired in a human trafficking scandal 
<http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KJ06Df03.html> in Afghanistan 
while guarding the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on a U.S. State Department 
contract. The U.S. Department of Justice had sued ArmorGroup for 
allegedly violating the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, settling the 
lawsuit in 2011 
for $7.5 million.

Less well-known is that ArmorGroup has roots connecting it to other 
human rights abuses and controversial tactics on behalf of multinational 
oil and gas companies through its precursor, Defense Systems Limited 
(DSL), a firm founded in 1981, according to a company fact sheet 
no longer online acquired by DeSmog. ArmorGroup purchased DSL as a 
wholly-owned subsidiary in 1997.

“The company defended gold and diamond mines in Africa from thieves, and 
oil pipelines in Latin America from guerrillas,” wrote /The Financial 
Times/ <http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=12002> in a 2005 
article. “It guarded U.S. and British embassies in the Middle East and 
elsewhere. Often, DSL would use former British special forces troops to 
train foreign forces in counterterrorist tactics.”

      BP Pipeline Human Rights Abuses

In the late-1990's, DSL found itself in a human rights-related quagmire, 
revealed first in the 1997 documentary, /BP's Secret Soldiers 
<http://mg.co.za/article/1997-07-04-bps-secret-soldiers/>/, and then in 
a 1998 investigation <http://www.theguardian.com/world/1998/oct/17/1> 
published by /The Guardian/ (UK) and /El Espectador/ of Colombia.

The joint inquiry by the newspapers demonstrated that oil giant BP 
“bought and supplied military equipment to a Colombian army brigade” to 
police its Ocensa Pipeline 
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocensa_pipeline>, a 500-mile-long tube 
which at that time exported oil to the United States. That brigade had 
“been implicated in two massacres by rightwing death squads under its 
control during the civil war” in Colombia and was said to deploy 
psychological warfare (PSYOPs) and counterinsurgency techniques in the 
attempt to win over general public support for constructing the project 
and to marginalize “subversives.”

DSL's tactics received criticism from the human rights advocacy group 
Amnesty International 
Furthermore, a United Nations Special Rapporteur on the question of the 
use of mercenaries also expressed concern about DSL in a letter 
published in October 1998 
<http://repository.un.org/bitstream/handle/11176/226839/A_54_326-EN.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y> for 
the company's alleged use of intimidation and torture in Colombia.

      “Spies for Hire” Under Investigation

G4S is not the only private contractor identified on the ground in or 
around the Sacred Stone Camp related to the Dakota Access pipeline protests.

The show “Democracy Now!” revealed that a man who is employed by the 
firm Torchlight USA, LLC, but is appearing as a freelancer, also showed 
up i 
North Dakota. And court documents from the ongoing case in the U.S. 
District Court for the District of Columbia pitting the Standing Rock 
Sioux Tribe against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reveal that another 
firm, 10-Code LLC — founded and run by a former Bismarck Police 
Department detective named Paul Olson 
— also has entered the fold 

It's a phenomenon author and journalist Tim Shorrock 
<http://timshorrock.com/?page_id=17> calls “Spies for Hire 
in his 2009 book by the same name, a tome dedicated to chronicling 
the outsourcing of U.S. intelligence.

“G4S and other companies like it have one motive only: profit. Its work 
for governments and energy corporations — particularly at the pipeline 
this week — shows it has no respect for ordinary people or human 
rights,” Shorrock told DeSmog. “Whoever hires them should be 
investigated for malfeasance, because their shoddy record in security is 
a mile long.”

In that vein, the North Dakota Private Investigation and Security Board 
announced that it has opened up an investigation 
<http://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/private-security-licensing-board-opens-investigation-into-use-of-dogs/article_d6f87664-e397-5b97-b549-23209a8f6209.html> into the 
private security firms deployed to patrol the pipeline protests led by 
the Standing Rock Sioux and whether those firms were even licensed to 
work in the state. In addition, a local county sheriff's office has 
begun a similar investigation with the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal 
Investigations, exploring the Labor Day weekend clash between security 
firms and protesters at a DAPL site.

The North Dakota Private Investigation and Security Board said it could 
not comment on which companies have fallen under the purview of its 
ongoing investigation.

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863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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