By David P Beiter

Date:     Tue Dec 19, 1995 10:33 pm  CST
From:     snet l
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TO:     * David Beiter / MCI ID: 635-1762
Subject:  The Wackenhut Corporation (fwd) -  [1/4]

From: Orlin Grabbe 
Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy
Subject: The Wackenhut Corporation
Date: Tue, 12 DEC 95 23:30:48 -0500



John Connolly

SPY Magazine - Sept 1992 - Volume 6


What?  A big private company - one with a board of former CIA, FBI and
Pentagon officials; one in charge of protecting Nuclear-Weapons
facilities, nuclear reactors, the Alaskan oil pipeline and more than a
dozen American embassies abroad; one with long-standing ties to a
radical ring-wing organization; one with 30,000 men and women under
arms - secretly helped IRAQ in its effort to obtain sophisticated
weapons?  And fueled unrest in Venezuela?  This is all the plot of a new
best-selling thriller, right?  Or the ravings of some overheated
conspiracy buff,right?  Right?



In the WINTER OF 1990, David Ramirez, a 24 year-old member of the
Special Investigations Division of the Wackenhut Corporation, was sent
by his superiors on an unusual mission.  Ramirez a former Marine Corps
sergeant based in Miami, was told to fly immediately to San Antonio
along with three other members of SID-a unit, known as founder and
chairman George Wackenhut's "private FBI," that provided executive
protection and conducted undercover investigations and sting
operations.  Once they arrived, they rented two gray Ford Tauruses and
drove four hours to a desolate town on the Mexican border called Eagle
Pass.  There, just after dark, they met two truck drivers who had been
flown in from Houston.  Inside a nearby warehouse was an 18 -wheel
tractor-trailer, which the two truck drivers and the four Wackenhut
agents in their rented cars were supposed to transport to Chicago.  "My
instructions were very clear," Ramirez recalls.  "Do not look into the
trailer, secure it, and make sure it safely gets to Chicago." It went
without saying that no one else was supposed to look in the trailer,
either, which is why the Wackenhut men were armed with fully loaded
Remington 870 pump-action shotguns.

The convoy drove for 30 hours straight, stopping only for gas and food.
Even then, one of the Wackenhut agents had to stay with the truck,
standing by one of the cars, its trunk open, shotgun within easy
reach.  "Whenever we stopped, I bought a shot glass with the name of the
town on it," Ramirez recalls.  "I have glasses from Oklahoma City,
Kansas City, St.  Louis."

A little before 5:00 on the morning of the third day, they delivered the
trailer to a practically empty warehouse outside Chicago.  A burly man
who had been waiting for them on the loading dock told them to take off
the locks and go home, and that was that.  They were on a plane back to
Miami that afternoon.  Later Ramirez's superiors told him-as they told
other SID agents about similar midnight runs-that the trucks contained
$40 million worth of food stamps.  After considering the secrecy, the
way the team was assembled and the orders not to stop or open the truck,
Ramirez decided he didn't believe that explanation.

Neither do we.  One reason is simple: A Department of Agriculture
official simply denies that food stamps are shipped that way.  "Someone
is blowing smoke," he says.  Another reason is that after a six-month
investigation, in the course of which we spoke to more than 300 people,
we believe we know what the truck did contain-equipment necessary for
the manufacture of chemical weapons-and where it was headed: to Saddam
Hussein's Iraq.  And the Wackenhut Corporation-a publicly traded company
with strong ties to the CIA and federal contracts worth $200 million a
year-was making sure Saddam would be geting his equipment intact.  The
question is why.  In 1954, George Wackenhut, then a 34-year old former
FBI agent, joined up with three other former FBI agents to open a
company in Miami called Special Agent Investigators Inc.  The
partnership was neither successful nor harmonious-George once knocked
partner Ed Dubois unconscious to end a disagreement over the direction
the company would take-and in 1958, George bought out his partners.

However capable Wackenhut's detectives may have been at their work,
George Wackenhut had two personal attributes that were instrumental in
the company's growth.  First, he got along exceptionally well with
important politicians.  He was a close ally of Florida governor Claude
Kirk, who hired him to combat organized crime in the state; and was also
friends with Senator George Smathers, an intimate of John F.
Kennedy's.  It was Smathers who provided Wackenhut with his big break
when the senator's law firm helped the company find a loophole in the
Pinkerton law, the 1893 federal statute that had made it a crime for an
employee of a private detective agency to do work for the government.
Smathers's firm set up a wholly owned subsidiary of Wackenhut that
provided only guards, not detectives.  Shortly thereafter, Wackenhut
received multimillion-dollar contracts from the government to guard Cape
Canaveral and the Nevada nuclear-bomb test site, the first of many
extremely lucrative federal contracts that have sustained the company to
this day.

The second thing that helped make George Wackenhut successful was that
he was, and is, a hard-line right-winger.  He was able to profit from
his beliefs by building up dossiers on Americans suspected of being
Communists or merely left-leaning-"subversives and sympathizers," as he
put it-and selling the information to interested parties.  According to
Frank Donner, the author of "Age of Surveillance", the Wackenhut
Corporation maintained and updated its files even after the McCarthyite
hysteria had ebbed, adding the names of antiwar protesters and
civil-rights demonstrators to its list of "derogatory types." By 1965,
Wackenhut was boasting to potential investors that the company
maintained files on 2.5 million suspected dissidents-one in 46 American
adults then living.  in 1966, after acquiring the private files of Karl
Barslaag; a former staff member of the House Committee on Un-American
Activities, Wackenhut could confidently maintain that with more than 4
million names, it had the largest privately held file on suspected
dissidents in America.  In 1975, after Congress investigated companies
that had private files, Wackenhut gave its files to the now-defunct
anti-Communist Church League of America of Wheaton, Illinois.  That
organization had worked closely with the red squads of big-city police
departments, particularly in New York and L.A., spying on suspected
sympathizers; George Wackenhut was personal friends with the League's
leaders, and was a major contributor to the group.  To be sure, after
giving the League its files, Wackenhut reserved the right to use them
for its clients and friends.

Wackenhut had gone public in 1965 ; George Wackenhut retained 54 percent
of the company.  Between his salary and dividends, his annual
compensation approaches $2 million a year, sufficient for him to live in
a $20 million castle in Coral Gables, Florida, complete with a moat and
18 full-time servants.  Today the company is the third-largest
investigative security firm in the country, with offices throughout the
United States and in 39 foreign countries.

It is not possible to overstate the special relationship Wackenhut
enjoys with the federal government.  It is close.  When it comes to
security matters, Wackenhut in many respects *is* the government.  In
1991, a third of the company's $600- million in revenues came from the
federal government, and another large chunk from companies that
themselves work for the government, such as Westinghouse.

Wackenhut is the largest single company supplying security to U.S.
embassies overseas; several of the 13 embassies it guards have been in
important hotbeds of espionage, such as Chile, Greece and El Salvador.
It also guards nearly all the most strategic government facilities in
the U.S., including the Alaskan oil pipeline, the Hanford nuclear-waste
facility, the Savannah River plutonium plant and the Strategic Petroleum

Wackenhut maintains an especially close relationship with the federal
government in other ways as well.  While early boards of directors
included such prominent personalities of the political right as Captain
Eddie Rickenbacker; General Mark Clark and Ralph E.  Davis, a John Birch
Society leader, current and recent members of the board have included
much of the country's recent national-security directorate: former FBI
director Clarence Kelley; former Defense secretary and former CIA deputy
director Frank Carlucci: former Defense Intelligence Agent director
General Joseph Carroll; former U.S.  Secret Service director James J.
Rowley; former Marine commandant P.  X.  Kelley; and acting chairman of
President Bush's foreign- intelligence advisory board and former CIA
deputy director Admiral Bobby Ray Inman.  Before his appointment as
Reagan's CIA director, the late William Casey was Wackenhut's outside
legal counsel.  The company has 30,000 armed employees on its payroll.

We wanted to know more about this special relationship; but the
government was not forthcoming.  Repeated requests to the Department of
Energy for an explanation of how one company got the security contracts
for neariy all of America's most strategic installations have gone

Similarly, efforts to get the State Department to explain whether
embassy contracts were awarded arbitrarily or through competitive
bidding were fruitless; essentially, the State Department said, "Some of
both.  " Wackenhut's competitors-who, understandably, asked not to be
quoted by name-have their own version.  "All those contracts;" said one
security-firm executive, "are just another way to pay Wackenhut for
their clandestine help.  And what is the nature of that help?  "It is
known throughout the industry," said retired FBI special agent William
Hinshaw, "that if you want a dirty job done, call Wackenhut." We met
George Wackenhut in his swanky, muy macho offices in Coral Gables.  The
rooms are paneled in a dark, rich rosewood, accented with gray-blue
stone.  The main office is dominated by Wackenhut's 12-foot-long desk
and a pair of chairs shaped like elephants- "Republican chairs," he
calls them-complete with real tusks, which, the old man says with some
amusement, tend to stick his visitors.  The highlight of the usual
collection of pictures and awards is the Republican presidential
exhibit: an autographed photo of Wackenhut shaking hands with George
Bush (whom Wackenhut, according to a former associate, used to call
"that pinko") as well as framed photos of Presidents Reagan, Nixon and
Bush, each accompanied by a handwritten note.  The chairman looks every
inch the comfortable Florida septuagenarian.  The day we spoke, his
clothing ranged across the color spectrum from baby blue to light baby
blue, and he wore a iot of jewelry-a huge gold watch on a thick gold
band, two massive goid rings.  But Wackenhut was, at 72, quick and tough
in his responses.  Near the end of our two-and-a-half hour interview,
when asked if his company was an arm of the CIA, he snapped, "No!"

Of course, this may just be a matter of semantics.  We have spoken to
numerous experts, including current and former CIA agents and analysts,
current and former agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and
current and former Wackenhut executives and employees, all of whom have
said that in the mid-197O's, atter the Senate Intelligence Committee's
revelations of the CIA's covert and sometimes illegal overseas
operations, the agency and Wackenhut grew very, very close.  Those
revelations had forced the CIA to do a housecleaning, and it became CIA
policy that certain kinds of activities would no longer officially be
performed.  But that didn't always mean that the need or the desire to
undertake such operations disappeared.  And that's where Wackenhut came

Our sources confirm that Wackenhut has had a long- standing relationship
with the CIA, and that it has deepened over the last decade or so.
Bruce Berckmans, who was assigned to the CIA station in Mexico City,
left the agency in January 1975 (putatively) to become a Wackenhut
international-operations vice president.  Berckmans, who left Wackenhut
in 1981, told SPY that he has seen a formal proposal George Wackenhut
submitted to the CIA to allow the agency to use Wackenhut offices
throughout the world as fronts for CIA activities.  Kichard Babayan, who
says he was a CIA contract employee and is currently in jail awaiting
trial on fraud and racketeering charges, has been cooperating with
federal and congressional investigators looking into illegal shipments
of nuclear-and-chemical-weapons- making supplies to Iraq.  "Wackenhut
has been used by the CIA and other intelligence agencies for years," he
told SPY.  "When they [the CIA] need cover, Wackenhut is there to
provide it for them." Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau was said to
have rebuffed Wackenhut's effort in the 1980's to purchase a weapons
propellant manufacturer in Quebec with the remark "We just got rid of
the CIA-we don't want them back." Phillip Agee, the left-wing former CIA
agent who wrote an expose' of the agency in 1975, told us, "I don't have
the slightest doubt that the CIA and Wackenhut overlap."

There is also testimony from people who are not convicts, renegades or
Canadians.  William Corbett, a terrorism expert who spent 18 years as a
CIA analyst and is now an ABC News consultant based in Europe, confirmed
the relationship between Wackenhut and the agency.  "For years Wackenhut
has been involved with the CIA and other intelligence organizations,
including the DEA," he told SPY.  "Wackenhut would allow the CIA to
occupy positions within the company [in order to carry out] clandestine
operations." He also said that Wackenhut would supply intelligence
agencies with information, and that it was compensated for this- "in a
quid pro quo arrangement," Corbett says-with government contracts worth
billions of dollars over the years.

We have uncovered considerable evidence that Wackenhut carried the CIA's
water in fighting Communist encroachment in Central America in the
1980s (that is to say, during the Reagan administration when the CIA
director was former Wackenhut lawyer William Casey, the late
superpatriot who had a proclivity for extralegal and illegal
anti-Communist covert operations such as Iran-contra).  In 1981,
Berckmans, the CIA agent turned Wackenhut vice president, joined with
other senior Wackenhut executives to form the company's Special Projects
Division.  It was this division that linked up with ex-CIA man John
Phillip Nichols, who had taken over the Cabazon Indian reservation in
California, as we described in a previous article ["Badlands," April
1992], in pursuit of a scheme to manufacture explosives, poison gas and
biological weapons-and then, by virtue of the tribe's status as a
sovereign nation, to export the weapons to the contras.  This maneuver
was designed to evade congressional prohibitions against the U.S.
government's helping the contras.  Indeed, in an interview with SPY,
Eden Pastora, the contras' famous Commander Zero, who had been spotted
at a test of some night-vision goggles at a firing range near the
Cabazon reservation in the company of Nichols and a Wackenhut executive,
offhandedly identified that executive, A.  Robert Frye, as "the man from
the CIA.  " (In a subsequent conversation he denied knowing Frye at all;
of course, in that same talk he quite unbelievably denied having ever
been a contra.)

In addition to attempted weapons supply, Wackenhut seems to have been
involved in Central America in other ways.  Ernesto Bermudez who was
Wackenhut's director of international operations from 1987 to '89,
admitted to SPY that during 1985 and '86 he ran Wackenhut's operations
in El Salvador, where he was in charge of 1,500 men.  When asked what 1
,500 men were doing for Wackenhut in El Salvador, Bermudez replied
coyly, "Things." Pressed, he elaborated: "Things you wouldn't want your
mother to know about." It's worth noting that Wackenhut's annual
revenues from government contracts--the alleged reward for cooperation
in the government's clandestine activities-increased by 150 million, a
45 percent jump, while Ronald Reagan was in office.  "You've done an
awful lot of research, George Wackenhut said to me as I was leaving.
"How would you like to run all our New York operations ?  "

If that was the extent of Wackenhut's possible involvement in a
government agency's attempt to circumvent the law, then we might dismiss
it as an interesting footnote to the overheated, cowboy anti- Communist
1980s.  However, the U.S.  Attorney for the Southern District of Florida
has been conducting an investigation into the illegal export of dual-use
technology-that is, seemingly innocuous technology that can also be used
to make nuclear weapons to Iraq and Libya.  And SPY has learned that
Wackenhut's name has come up in the federal investigation, but not at
present as a target.

Between 1987 and '89, three companies in the United States received
investments from an Iraqi architect named Ihsan Barbouti.  The colorful
Barbouti owned an engineering company in Frankfort that had a $552
million contract to build airfields in Iraq.  He also admitted having
designed Mu'ammar Qaddafi's infamous German-built chemical- weapons
plant in Rabta, Libya.  According to an attorney for one of the
companies in which Barbouti invested, the architect owned $100 million
worth of real estate and oil-drilling equipment in Texas and Oklahoma.
He may also be dead, there being reports that he died of heart failure
in Hospital in London on July 1, 1990, his 63rd birthday.  Barbouti,
however, had faked his death once before, in 1969, after the Ba'ath
takeover in Iraq which brought Saddam Hussein to power as the
second-in-command.  That time, Barbouti escaped Iraq; resurfacing
several years later in Lebanon and Libya.  There are no reports that he
is living in Jordan -or, according to other reports, in a CIA safe house
in Florida.  Those reports can be considered no better than rumor; what
follows, though, is fact.

As reported on ABC's "Nightline" last year, the three companies in which
Barbouti invested were TK-7 of Oklahoma City, which makes a fuel
additive; Pipeline Recovery Systems of Dallas, which makes an
anti-corrosive chemical that preserves pipes; and Product Ingredient
Technoiogy of Boca Raton, which makes food flavorings.  None of these
companies was looking to do business with Iraq; Barbouti sought them
out.  Why was he interested?  Because TK-7 had formulas that could
extend the range of jet aircraft and liquid-fueled missiles such as the
SCUD; because Pipeline Recovery knows how to coat pipes to make them
usable in nuclear reactors and chemical-weapons plants; and because one
of the by- products in making cherry flavoring is ferric ferrocyanide, a
chemical that's used to manufacture hydrogen cyanide, which can
penetrate gas masks and protective clothing.  Hydrogen cyanide was used
by Saddam Hussein against the Kurds in the Iran-Iraq war.

Barbouti was more than a passive investor, and soon he began pressuring
the companies to ship not only their products but also their
manufacturing technology to corporations he owned in Europe, on which,
he told the businessmen, it would be sent to Libya and Iraq.  In doing
so, Barbouti was attempting to violate the law.  First, the U.S.
forbade sending anything to Libya, which was embargoed as a terrorist
nation.  Second, the U.S.  specified that material of this sort must be
sent to its final destination, not to an intermediate locale, where the
U.S.  would risk losing control of its distribution.  According to
former CIA contract employee Richard Babayan, in late 1989 Barbouti met
in London with Ibrahim Sabawai, Saddam Hussein's half brother and
European head of Iraqi intelligence, who grew excited about the work
Pipeline Recovery was doing and called for the company's technology to
be rushed to Iraq, so that it could be in place by early 1990.  And the
owner of TK-7 swears that Barbouti told him he was developing an atom
device for Qaddafi that would be used against the U.S.  in retaliation
for the 1986 U.S.  air strike against Libya.  Barbouri also wanted the
ferrocyanide from Product Ingredient.

Assisting Barbouti with these investments was New Orleans exporter Don
Seaton, business associate of Richard Secord, the right-wing U.S.  Army
general turned war profiteer who was so deeply enmeshed in the
Iran-contra affair.  It was Secord who connected Barbouti with
Wackenhut.  Barbouti met with Secord in Florida on several occasions,
and phone records show that several calls were placed from Barbouti's
office to Secord's private number in McLean, Virginia; Secord has
acknowledged knowing Barbouti.  He is currently a partner of Washington
businessman James Tully (who is the man who leaked Bill Clinton's
draft-dodge letter to ABC) and Jack Brennan, a former Marine Corps
colonel and longtime aide to Richard Nixon both in the White House and
in exile.  Brennan has gone back to the White House, where he works as a
director of administrative operations in President Bush's office.  He
refused to return repeated calls from SPY.  Interestingly, Brennan and
Tully had previously been involved in a $181 million business deal to
supply uniforms to the Iraqi army.  Oddly, they arranged to have the
uniforms manufactured in Nicolae Ceaucescu's Romania.  The partners in
that deal were former U.S.  attorney general and Watergate felon John
Mitchell and Sarkis Soghanalian, a Turkish-born Lebanese citizen.
Soghanalian, who has been credited with being Saddam Hussein's leading
arms procurer and with introducing the demonic weapons inventor Gerald
Bull to the Iraqis, is currently serving a six-year sentence in federal
prison in Miami for the illegal sale of 103 military helicopters to
Iraq.  According to former Wackenhut agent David Ramirez, the company
considered Soghanalian "a very valuable client."

Unfortunately for Barbouti, none of the companies in which he made
investments was willing to ship its products or technology to his
European divisions.  That, however, doesn't necessarily mean that he
didn't get some of what he wanted.  In 1990, 2,000 gallons of
ferrocyanide were found to be missing from the cherry-flavor factory in
Boca Raton.  Where it went is a mystery; Peter Kawaja, who was the head
of security for all of Barbouti's U.S.  investments, told SPY, "We were
never burglarized, but that stuff didn't walk out by itself."

What does all this have to do with Wackenhut?  Lots: According to Louis
Champon, the owner of Product Ingredient Technology, it was Wackenhut
that guarded his Boca Raton plant, a fact confirmed by Murray Levine, a
Wackenhut vice president.  Champon also says, and Wackenhut also
confirms, that the security for the plant consisted of one unarmed
guard.  While a Wackenhut spokesperson maintains that this was the only
job they were doing for Barbouti, he also says that they were never
paid, that Barbouti stiffed them.

This does not seem true.  SPY has obtained four checks from Barbouti to
Wackenhut.  All were written within ten days in 1990: one on March 27
for $168.89; one on March 28 for $24,828.07; another on April 5 for
$756; the last on April 6 for $40,116.25.  We asked Richard Kneip,
Wackenhut's senior vice president for corporate planning, to explain why
a single guard was worth $66,000 a year; Kneip was at a loss to do so.
He was similarly at a loss to explain a fifth check, from another
Barbouti company to Wackenhut's travel-service division in 1987, almost
two years before Wackenhut has acknowledged providing security for the
Boca Raton plant .

Two former CIA operatives, separately interviewed, have the
explanation.  Charles Hayes, who describes himself as "a CIA asset "
says Wackenhut was helping Barbouti ship chemicals to Iraq, "Supplying
Iraq was originally a good idea," he maintains, "but then it got out of
hand.  Wackenhut was just in it for the money." Richard Babayan the
former CIA contract employee, confirmed Hayes's account.  He says that
Wackenhut's relationship with Barbouti existed before the Boca Raton
plant opened: "Barbouti was placed in the hands of Secord by the CIA,
and Secord called in Wackenhut to handle security and travel and
protection for Barbouti and his export plans." Wackenhut, Babayan says
was working for the CIA in helping Barbouti ship the chemical-
and-nuclear-weapons-making equipment first to Texas, then to Chicago,
and then to Baltimore to be shipped overseas.  All of which makes the
story of the midnight convoy ride of David Ramirez, recounted at the
beginning of this article rather less mysterious.  SPY has learned that
this shipment is now the subject of a joint USDA- Customs investigation.

When we asked George Wackenhut what was being shipped from Eagle Pass to
Chicago, the sharp, straightforward chairman at first claimed they were
protecting an unnamed executive.  He then directed an aide to get back
to me.  Two days later, Richard Kneip did, repeating the tale that had
been passed on to David Ramirez-that the trucks contained food stamps.
We told him that we had spoken to a Department of Agriculture official,
who informed us that food stamps are shipped from Chicago to outlying
areas, never the other way around, and that food stamps, unlike money,
are used once and then destroyed.  All Kneip would say then was, "We do
not reveal the names of our clients."

Wackenhut's connection to the CIA and to other government agencies
raises several troubling questions:

First, is the CIA using Wackenhut to conduct operations that it has been
forbidden to undertake?  Second, is the White House or some other party
in the executive branch working through Wackenhut to conduct operations
that it doesn't want Congress to know about?  Third, has Wackenhut's
cozy relationship with the government given it a feeling of security-or
worse, an outright knowledge of sensitive or embarrassing
information-that allows the company to believe that it can conduct
itself as though it were above the law?  A congressional investigation
into Wackenhut's activities in the Alyeska affair last November began to
shed some light on Wackenhut's way of doing business; clearly it's time
for Congress to investigate just how far Wackenhut's other tentacles

Additional reporting by Erzc Reguly, Margie Sloan and Wendell Smith

** End of article **

Date:     Fri Jan 05, 1996  1:43 am  CST
From:     Moderator of conference justice.polabuse
	  EMS: INTERNET / MCI ID: 376-5414
	  MBX: bwitanek@igc.apc.org

TO:     * David Beiter / MCI ID: 635-1762
Subject:  Wackenhut

From: Bob Witanek 

Posted nessie@sfbayguardian.com  Thu Jan  4 12:00:02 1996 From:
nessie@sfbayguardian.com (nessie) Subject: Fwd(2): more on
Wackenhut (pt. 1)

This originally appeared on the WELL:


As long as we refuse to protect ourselves and each other, we are
at the mercy of a legal system whose very business is crime, and a
lucrative business it is. By this point in history, all but the
most naive of us have stopped expecting cops, public or private,
to all behave like Boy Scouts. There has been simply too much hard
evidence to the contrary. In that murky gray zone where law
enforcement overlaps with organized crime, an underground empire
has arisen. It is a world where the so-called "War on Drugs" is
often a war on rival drug dealers, and always a war on the poor.
It is a world where "national security," excuses war crimes and
genocide is a commodity. It is a world where justice is for sale
and cops are for rent. Cops, rent-a-cops in particular, vary
widely in quality.

A family business, Wackenhut Corp. was founded in 1954 by a one
time FBI man George R. Wackenhut. His son Richard, a Citadel
graduate, is president and CEO. The immediate family hold over 50%
of the stock The rest is divided among just 1100 stockholders.
Wackenhut stock is traded on the New York Stock exchange. Buy a
share, and you will receive a fascinating brochure. The company's
revenue has grown from just $300,000 in 1958 to nearly half a
billion today. It is one of the largest private security firms in

Wackenhut specializes in security contracts. Government contracts
are best, of course, and the company's remarkable growth is due on
no small part to George Wackenhut's relationship to certain
government officials. His first big break came when he secured a
contract to watch over Titan missile sites in four states. Since
then, security and public safety functions have proven a lucrative
focus. Wackenhut provides security guards for such high-risk
installations as the trans-Alaska pipelines, major airports both
in the United States and abroad, dams and the nuclear test site in
Nevada. It also owns a casualty reinsurance firm, a travel
service, and an airline services company. The Department of energy
provides 25% of Wackenhut's total gross.  Their operatives also
serve friends of the U. S. Govt. and Big Oil (like the fugitive
Shah of Iran), abroad as well as at home.

Wackenhut personnel guard the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Sites in Louisiana and Texas. From time to time, they can be seen
around the complexes, dodging alligators, and exchanging laser
gunfire with soldiers, local police and sheriff's deputies. This
is just practice to prepare for real trouble, such as terrorists.
Wackenhut touts it's supposed anti-terrorist expertise.
James*P.*Davis, who manages the site for government contractor
Boeing, declares: "I pity anybody who tries to invade here. It
would be tougher than Fort Knox." That is arguable. The government
itself concedes that the security could be beefed up. But the
analogy to Fort Knox is fitting. There is gold here, too, only
it's black. Never forget the Golden Rule: "Gold rules."

Wackenhut often recruits ex-police and military men who don't
require a fresh background check. Cutting this corner (at $30,000
to $40,000 apiece) has allowed the employment of a number of
unsavory characters, including infamous navy spy John Walker.
When Wackenhut operatives were caught recently in the public
spotlight by court allegations of illegal surveillance, Associated
Press reports that they were staunchly defended by their employer
in the case, the president of Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., James
B. Hermiller.  Alyeska is a consortium of seven oil companies
including Exxon Corp., owners of the Exxon Valdez. They are also
long time Wackenhut clients. During the spill, industry security
mounted an armed "bear patrol" to "keep grizzlies from rolling in
the contaminated sand." They kept potential witness from the spill
scene. Alyeska lies about clean up. State studies have confirmed
that contaminants -- including carcinogens such as benzene and
toxic materials such as heavy metals -- are ending up in the
waters and sediments of Port Valdez. Happy dining, crab lovers.
Alyeska also lies about the carcinogen content of the atmospheric
pollution they inflict on their neighbors. Breath deep, Valdez.

Few of it's victims are any longer surprised that Big Oil lies.
Internal documents to that effect (and worse) were leaked by
Aleyska employees to long time industry gad-fly, professional
tanker broker Charles Hamel The whistle blowing employees were
afraid to let their names be used. Charley Hamel was not. At least
one regulatory action, a $20,000 fine proposed by the EPA in
August, 1992 against Alyeska for illegal waste-water dumping, is
attributable to information provided by Hamel.

One former employee, Robert Scott, has filed a complaint with the
U.S. Labor Department charging that Alyeska illegally fired him
for leaking information that detailed problems with

"This is not a knock down and kill you problem," says Riki Ott, a
marine toxicologist and president of the Oil Reform Alliance, a
coalition of fishing and environmental groups in Alaska. "It's
more like a 20 year from now cancer problem."

Cancer is not the only problem in this case. This is more about
lies than it is about cancer. Disinformation is cancer in our body
politic. It has so saturated our culture that it is no longer the
social norm to take a stranger at his word on such basic
information as his name. Can Wackenhut's public relations
department be trusted to tell the truth? Their track record, and
that of their clients, tell the tale.

Company officials claim that Alyeska is committed to operating in
an environmentally sound manner. But environmentalists, state and
even federal officials and other observers differ. Privy employees
agree. Alyeska has been a major source of water, air and soil
pollution in Alaska. Wackenhut Corp.  has been, at the very least,
a witting accomplice, both during and after the fact. They have
worked to conceal disturbing truths from Congress, law
enforcement, and the public at large. They have perpetuated
dangerous, sometimes fatal lies. They hired Wackenhut to help
cover them up. Wackenhut certainly gave it a hell of a try.
Wackenhut blew it. Fortunately for us, many Wackenhut operatives
are incredibly lame.

As disturbing as the cover-up itself, allegations have surfaced in
court that Alyeska has pursued an aggressive campaign of spying
and covert operations aimed at ferreting out internal
whistle-blowers and silencing outside opponents. Their main tool
in this undertaking has been Wackenhut Corp. Three of five
dissident Wackenhut employees allege that even Rep. George Miller
(D-California), chairman at the time of the House committee that
oversees environment and resource development issues was targeted
for "dirty tricks" when he began investigating alleged
environmental wrongdoing by Alyeska, according to sources and
sworn court statements. Miller became incensed to the point of
subpoena. His committee quickly began investigating the
possibility that Wackenhut may have obstructed Congress, as well.
Alyeska, as well as Wackenhut, denies any wrongdoing. But for
some, the alleged black-bag operation conjures up disquieting
echoes of the past, and uneasy foreboding about the future. One
honest (and prudent) cop, Rafael Castillo, a thirty year veteran
of city, county, state, and federal police work left Wackenhut
rather than expose himself to the possibility of criminal
prosecution and a ruined career. Twice he had confronted superiors
on the matter, to no avail.  He had no honorable choice but to
quit, which he did, reputation intact. It's too bad that all cops
aren't Rafael Castillo, but they're not.

Sworn court statements and interviews with sources familiar with
the probe, portray a conspiracy of electronic surveillance, lies,
phony offices, burglaries and similar behavior aimed at silencing
critics. With one side of it's mouth, Alyeska has denied the
charges. With the other side, Alyeska assigned Wackenhut the task
of rooting out the sources. Wackenhut began by attempting to
backtrack from Hamel. In a sworn statement in U.S. District Court
in Houston one former Wackenhut employee stated that the company's
special investigations division conducted illegal electronic
surveillance of Hamel's home, searched his garbage, obtained his
telephone records and attempted to furnish him with large amounts
of cash.

The employee, whose name was blacked out in the court file, said
Wackenhut agents also masqueraded as news reporters and
environmentalists. They also steal garbage. Charley Hamel caught
them on video tape stealing his. They also got a parking ticket
while inside bugging his house. These are not exactly what you
could call rocket scientist types. They were beaten at their own
game by an amateur armed with little more than a camcorder and a
realistic estimation of the degree of privacy he enjoyed. It can
be done.  Wackenhut also set up a phony environmental group,
called Ecolit, with offices near Hamel's home. This was part of a
17 person "special investigation unit" created by Wayne Black.
Black described it in an interview with the Washington Post as a
"private FBI." Black had once been a criminal investigator for the
Dade County prosecutor. According to the Anchorage Daily News, he
had been suspended for illegally conducting a wire tap and
pressuring witnesses. Despite, or perhaps because of, the efforts
of a special prosecutor, he managed to squirm out of the charges.
A month later he went into private practice. In 1989 his firm was
purchased by Wackenhut.  He's their kind of guy. He told Hamel his
name was Dr. Wayne Jenkins, a staff researcher for Ecolit. At one
point, Hamel was told that real estate tycoon Donald J. Trump was
on Ecolit's board of directors. For a while, Hamel fell for it.
Then his garbage started disappearing. His suspicions aroused, he
set a trap with his trusty camcorder. It worked.

On occasion, Wackenhut also delivers garbage. One operative,
identifying herself as an environmental journalist, tried to
"befriend" Hamel in an Anchorage hotel bar in March, 1990, and
later on an airline flight. Her aim was to discover Hamel's
sources and also to "compromise him" in some way, court statements
said. It didn't work.

Wayne Black was not a loose cannon. According to Castillo, Black
kept Wackenhut security chief, and former head of Alaska's State
Police Pat Wellington abreast of his progress. Black has since
been promoted. He is now vice-president of investigations for
Wackenhut. Alyeska President James B.  Hermiller said the company
would cooperate fully with Miller's committee, but he has denied
that Alyeska targeted Hamel for investigation. Hermiller declined
to comment on the specific allegations in the court documents. But
he did say, "Wackenhut is probably the premiere security firm in
the world, and they do not do anything illegal. They conduct
programs in a very professional and legal way."

Premier? Professional? Legal? Hardly. In service to other less
influential clients Wackenhut operatives have appeared, on
numerous occasions, to be the premier bunglers of the trade. Yet
they can, on occasion, appear deadly efficient and, in fact,
downright sinister. Wackenhut performs a wide variety of services
with widely varying efficiency. Some are scarier than others.

One such service is union busting. The firm provides a
comprehensive strike-breaking service. It includes armed
protection, bedding, bath facilities and a catering service for
scab labor. Clients of this particular service range from the
Greyhound Corp. to Capital Cities. Capital Cities (owner of ABC)
was founded by the reputedly deceased Director of Central
Intelligence, William Casey. Casey is the alleged mastermind of
the "October Surprise" and convenient scapegoat of the Iran-Contra
affair, as well as being a Knight of Malta. The Knights are no
friends of labor.

The Wackenhut Corporation boasts widely of the sophistication of
its "strike service." Potential clients also take note of other,
more objective, versions. A poignant vignette of Wackenhut labor
relations is found in SPOOKS The Haunting of America- The Private
Use of Secret Agents  Author Jim Hougan recounts the dilemma of a
certain Muldoon, hired by Wackenhut to guard publisher Katherine
Graham and other executives of the Washington Post during a
dispute with the pressmen. About twenty of Muldoon's spooks were
given plainclothes assignments that placed them round the clock in
the executive's living rooms. Muldoon remembered the awkwardness
of the situation. "It was uncomfortable," he said, "These were
really nice homes. The family would eat dinner, the kids would be
playing-and there, sitting on the couch would be me or some other
guy from the agency -- big, you know, and checking his gun. It was
sorta tense. We didn't really fit in. I'll tell ya: some of those
people were real shits about it. Katherine Graham wouldn't even
let us in. She wanted my man to sit outside on a cot in the cold
all night. I wouldn't let him. I mean, who the hell does she think
she is?"

Meanwhile the pressmen bothered Muldoon even more. One morning he
came home to find his car filled with garbage and a threat painted
on his hood. Muldoon was furious. He "called a friend in New
Jersey who's very well connected to both the unions and, well,
organized crime. And I told him that I had a list of twelve union
leaders here in Washington. If anyone fucked with me or my family
or anything of mine, I was going to take out three of the bastards
at the exact same time. As a warning. If anything else happened, I
was going to hit the other nine - all at once. I told him I didn't
care if those guys were responsible or not. I was holding them
responsible and he'd better get the word out. I was not
bullshitting either. I would have done it. I know guys inside the
Agency, and guys who left, who could do that. And they would, too.
I offered, as a demonstration, to abduct three of the union people
and hold them for an hour -- just to show I was serious. But he
took the hint. Nothing ever happened after that." Muldoon,
smiling, admitted that such an abduction would have been
"embarrassing" to the Post's publisher. He shrugged. "What the
hell? If they can hit my car, they can hit my family."

Employing Wackenhut placed the liberal Katherine Graham in some
very strange company indeed. The immense private intelligence
service relies on dossiers of the Church League of America, a
right-wing think tank whose massive intelligence files on the
"left" surely included volumes about Mrs.*Graham herself. In 1971,
six executives of Wackenhut, Pinkerton's, and Burns were found
guilty of bribing New York City policemen to obtain confidential
records of would-be employees of American and Trans-Caribbean
Airlines. One wonders why they needed to resort to bribes at all,
since, as Rand Corporation reports, Wackenhut and Pinkerton's
(never mind Burns) have dossiers on more than four million

Wackenhut sells what it calls "protection" to more than just media
moguls. A look at how well they deliver presents a telling
appraisal of their skill level and intent. Far from "premier,"
they instill little confidence in their ability to protect even
themselves against bunglers, turncoats, and law enforcement, let
alone serious terrorists. Still less does Wackenhut's consistent
corner cutting inspire confidence in it's ability to protect the
lives and property of ordinary clients. I'd hire the Keystone Kops
first, if I was you.

Wackenhut has repeatedly proven to be incapable of protecting the
Nevada Nuclear Test site from the intrusion of pacifist protesters
in peace time.  They perform  better in the brochure than they do
on the ground. They're not the only ones. The "premier" track
record of Wackenhut's much vaunted and ballyhooed "protection"
business has been repeatedly exposed, even by America's routinely
lapdog press. Some things are just too big to ignore.  During the
recent Gulf War, Wackenhut's impotence was driven home by
terrorists. February 6, 1991 the Los Angeles Times reported that
"guerrillas opposed to the U.S. role in the Persian Gulf War" blew
up a car outside the offices of Pesevisa, the Peruvian subsidiary
of Wackenhut. Pesevisa is under contract to provide security for
the U.S. and Canadian embassies in Lima.  Three security guards
were killed, and seven other people were seriously injured,
authorities said. In a drive-by attack, assailants threw at least
22 pounds of dynamite and fired machine-gun bursts at three
diplomats' cars parked in front of the company, police said. The
explosion left a large crater and blew out windows outside the
office. Leaflets condemning American involvement and attributed to
the pro-Cuban Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement were left at the
scene. A U.S. Embassy spokesman in Lima said the attack was
directed at Pesevisa, though Tupac Amaru guerrillas also attacked
the U.S. Embassy twice that week and dynamited the North American
Cultural Institute the previous November. Wackenhut guards have
also died on the job in El Salvador. The "premier" protection
business seems hard pressed to "protect" themselves, let alone
clients. What would Muldoon say?

In fairness, it must be emphasized that in 1986, when Wackenhut
Corp.  announced the creation of an anti-terrorism division headed
by former agents of the FBI, CIA and State Department, the
director of the new division did state specifically that it would
not provide "rent-a-commandos" but would instead provide what it
called "training" on how to survive a terrorist attack. The
anti-terrorism and crisis management division would be for hire to
"advise" corporations or governments, said Richard R. Wackenhut,
"This is a new corporate division to deal (sic) not only with the
threat of terrorism but with a major industrial accident, hostage
taking or any other crisis facing an organization,"

The L.A. Times reported that in 1985, the increasing fear of
terrorism had boosted the already growing security business
significantly, citing a 25% increase in 1984 of clients for
Wackenhut's executive protection division, provision of bodyguards
and "other" security services in 28 countries.  Revenue was up 16%
said Matt Kenny, director of corporate communications. The greater
the number of terrorist incidents, what ever their source, the
greater the demand is for "protection." One can not help but
wonder if some incidents are covert operations by private security
operatives, aimed at drumming up business.

"We are aiming at some U.S. government contracts," said Conrad V.
Hassel, the director of the new division. Hassel had previously
served as chief of special operations for the research unit of the
FBI for part of his 23-year career with that agency, and so
presumably knew where to peddle his wares.  Hassel foresaw embassy
security as one potential marketplace, adding that Wackenhut
already posted guards at five U.S. embassies.

"There's no way we're going to be rent-a-commandos," Hassel said,
"We're not going to put a force together to storm any airplanes."

Instead Hassel predicted the new division would provide "training"
for clients and their families who might be targets of terrorism.
"We will try to instruct them how to survive over there, but we're
not going to train them how to become 'Rambos' and kick their way
out of a room," he said. Training would include discussions by
former hostages, and focus on psychological preparedness, such as
teaching potential victims to humanize themselves in the eyes of
their captors. "The terrorists are reacting against a symbol of
what they are fighting against," he said. "Once you become human,
it becomes damn hard to kill you." This bit of Wackenhut wisdom
was marketed to customers from among the company's 15,000 member
base of clients as well as to the United States and certain
unnamed foreign governments.

Date:     Sat Jan 06, 1996  1:47 am  CST
From:     Moderator of conference justice.polabuse
	  EMS: INTERNET / MCI ID: 376-5414
	  MBX: bwitanek@igc.apc.org

TO:     * David Beiter / MCI ID: 635-1762
Subject:  Re: Wackenhut

From: Bob Witanek 

Posted nessie@sfbayguardian.com  Thu Jan  4 11:59:59 1996 Subject:
Fwd(2): more on Wackenhut (pt. 2)


Lack of proper training has been a Wackenhut trademark for years.
The reduction in cost provided by cutting this corner enables
Wackenhut to deliver their admittedly reduced services at
substantial savings to organizations who value a penny saved over
the lives of their employees and customers, and to individuals who
put a price on the life of their families.  The spate of terrorist
attacks against Americans and their allies, during the Gulf War
included some pesky snipers in Saudi Arabia. Was the House of Saud
safe? According to the Jonathan Littman, the Saudi ruling family
negotiated (at least) with Wackenhut over a contract for security
at Crown Prince Fahd's palace itself. Whether Wackenhut delivered
is not for commoners to know.  These negotiations took place by
way of the tiny (but sovereign) band of Cabazon Indians in
Southern California. The Cabazons have also allegedly fronted for
Wackenhut's role in the secret (and illegal) Contra supply scam.
Both Wackenhut and the Cabazons prefer the term "joint venture."

In 1978 the Cabazons hired a certain John Philip Nichols to manage
their finances. This self proclaimed "Doctor of Theology" was
reputed to be a "premier" obtainer of grants. Once he had obtained
the Cabazons' trust, Nichols began proposing an array of projects
involving tank cartridges, laser-sighted assault rifles, portable
rocket systems, night vision goggles and, most ominously,
biological weapons. Many of these proposals grew out of the
tribe's partnership with Wackenhut. The Cabazons' sovereign
status, and it's accompanying freedom from costly regulation,
enables great ease in the bidding process.

"I was present at one meeting where Wackenhut people were present.
We were told it was part of the security system on the
reservation," said Cabazon Joe Benitez. "Later on, I found out
they were working to develop munitions. It seemed amazing to me."

It is unclear which, if any, of the deals went through. It is a
matter of court record, though, that in 1985, Nichols pleaded no
contest to the charge of solicitation to murder. He served 18
months. His son, John Paul, took over as acting administrator of
the Cabazons while his father did time. After his release, Nichols
was barred by his felony record from running any of the
reservation's gambling operations. His brother, Mark, inherited
the position of Cabazon administrator. What, if any, role
Wackenhut plays in Cabazon life today is unclear. Wackenhut denies
any. "It turned out that we never got any contracts and, after two
years, the venture was canceled," claims director of public
relations, Patrick Cannan (1-305-666-5656).

Cannan also denied any connection with the so-called "Inslaw
case." Wackenhut's name has come up consistently in relation to
claims made by Michael Riconoscuito that while a research director
for a joint venture between Wackenhut and the Cabazon Indians, he
modified a stolen copy of Inslaw's PROMIS software for sale by
Earl Brian to the Canadian government.  Brian is a crony of
Reagan's Attorney General, Edwin Meese. Meese is best known as
gutter of the Fourth Amendment, and Wedtech scandal principal.
Another former US Attorney, General Elliot Richardson, is the
attorney for Inslaw. He has been quoted as saying that Inslaw "is
far worse than Watergate." In fact, the Inslaw case does make
Watergate look like a small town parking ticket fix. The press has
barely scraped the surface of this most sordid of scandals, and
not without reason. Among the few honest journalists to poke a
nose in this nest of hornets and live to tell the tale is Jonathan
Littman. According to Littman, Riconoscuito was a "consultant" for
Wackenhut. According to Patrick Cannan, Riconoscuito. was a
"hanger on." Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

The Inslaw case stems from the alleged theft of software by the
Justice Dept.  from the Inslaw Corp. It has grown from a title and
bankruptcy case into one that includes allegations of sales of the
software to foreign governments (such as Canada, Iraq, South
Korea, Libya and Israel) by such Iran-Contra figures as Robert
McFarlane and Richard Secord. The case attracted more public
attention following the apparent suicide death of journalist
Joseph D.  "Danny" Casolaro on mid-August in a Martinsburg W. Va.
motel room. Casolaro had told friends that he had made connections
between Inslaw, Iran-Contra and the so-called "October Surprise."
(allegations that representatives of the Reagan-Bush campaign
team, headed by Casey, had convinced the Iranian government to
delay release of American hostages until after the 1980 U.S.
elections) Casolaro also allegedly told his brother that, if he
was reported to have had an accident, not to be believe it. Elliot
Richardson has demanded a federal investigation of Casolaro's

Cannan also denied that William Casey was legal counsel to
Wackenhut before joining the government and that former CIA
officials Frank Carlucci and Admiral Bobby Ray Inman were
Wackenhut directors. Cannan said, "Although Casey's law firm
represented Wackenhut, Casey himself never had any connection with
us. Carlucci was a director of the firm -- he is no longer -- but
Inman was not. We did have another director with a similar
background to Inman, an admiral who was chief of naval operations,
and that might have lead to the incorrect rumor."

Plausible deniability has been an American tradition at least
since the Boston Tea Party. "The Indians did it." Right. Sure.
Tell us another one.

Operating fronts within fronts, is a standard modus operandi, and
not just of Wackenhut. Wackenhut Corp. itself appears on occasion
to be the collective front of a variety of scofflaws, felons and
worse. They hide behind a wall of omerta excused by "national
security" and enforced by an old boy network rooted deep in the
intelligence community. Some successful scams are hidden behind
the facade of ineptitude projected by their under-trained and
under-paid employees. Perhaps they hire a lot of fuck ups to
divert our attention from how slick a few of their operatives
actually are. If so, this has proved a somewhat less than
successful tactic. The blowback has come from disgruntled former
employees. Wackenhut Corp. does not inspire a degree of loyalty
up, commensurate with the loyalty down they demand. Instead, they
buy it. They buy it cheap. Loyalty bought is intrinsically
fleeting. Loyalty bought cheap is fleeter still. Consider the
degree to which testimony of disgruntled former employees has
damaged Wackenhut's reputation in court as well as the press.

Then there's the prison biz. Wackenhut operates 10 detention or
correctional facilities, in seven states, that house 3,456
inmates. At least, those are the ones we know about. It's first
facility, a federal Immigration and Naturalization Services
detention center, opened in 1987. Biz burgeoned.  Within two years
the correctional business generated about $25 million of
Wackenhut's $462 million 1989 revenue This is according to the
company itself, not to independent auditors. Robert Hennelly
reported in the Village Voice, that Wackenhut is also developing
and marketing electronic systems for tracking prisoners under
house arrest for local, state, and federal authorities.

According to the L. A. Times, Wackenhut does not "operate" any
jails in California, but it does "run" a minimum security
"correctional facility" for the state in McFarland, where parole
violators are housed. This subtle distinction may be lost on those
outside the profession.

Wackenhut has some serious competition for market share  in the
prison boom.  "Privatization is a slap in the face to corrections
officers as professionals," said Jeff Doyle (no relation), a
prison guard and California Correctional Peace Officer Assn. vice
president. "It's irresponsible for government to turn this over to
the private sector." Although Doyle acknowledged there is an
element of self-protection among the state guards who are upset
with privatization plans, he emphasized that the Wackenhut guards
do not have the same level of training and experience that state
corrections officers do.

Consider the effect of Wackenhut's level of competence of life in
a typical American city, San Diego. While California law prohibits
counties from contracting out the management of its jails to the
private sector, the San Diego county counsel's office (not a Court
of Law) determined that the sheriff could contract for beds in the
city's proposed jail. According to correctional officials, the
Otay facility would be the first privately owned and operated jail
in California. Pete Abrahano, the San Diego manager for Wackenhut,
said the guards who will run the Otay Mesa facility, would be
better trained than the rest of the company's guards. "They will
have the necessary training and experience required by federal
law," he said. "These will not be just regular guards."

Wackenhut's "just regular" guards are no strangers to informed San
Diegans.  When the Union-Tribune Publishing Co. brought in the
Tennessee law firm King
& Ballow to handle its contract negotiations, King and Ballow
fired all the Union-Tribune security guards and hired new guards
from Wackenhut. Bringing in Wackenhut is standard procedure when
King and Ballow enters a newspaper labor dispute. The Newspaper
Guild complains that the tactic is meant to intimidate employees.

When intimidation fails to do the trick, there's always the
courts. Slander is a fact of human life. No one gets through life
without ever being slandered. But Wackenhut attorneys have refined
slander to a high art.  Consider the case of murder victim Richard
Crake, who met his demise in La Jolla in 1981. In 1985 a jury
lodged $217,500 in compensatory damages against the Wackenhut
Corporation, the security firm that guarded the complex where
Crake lived. Before the trial his widow, Kathryn Crake, turned
down an offer from attorneys for the Wackenhut Corporation and
it's co-defendants to settle the case for $1.3 million. Then Ken
Grider, 32, of Los Angeles, alleging to have been Richard Crake's
male lover, testified as a witness for the defendants about how
much time Crake spent with him daily before he was killed. The
defendants' attorneys argued that the Crake marriage was doomed
because of the love affair and would not have survived had he
lived.  Compromising the reputation of their dead client failed to
redeem that of the Wackenhut guards who bungled his protection,
but it did save the company a right smart piece of change. It is
an aphorism of the trade that "dead clients don't pay." They're
not the only ones.

Wackenhut hires much better trained attorneys than guards. They
need them. In August 1986 it took a 4th District Court of Appeal
ruling just to gain a Los Angeles woman the mere right to sue
Wackenhut Corp. and it's co-defendants.  Florence Blakely was
struck by a passenger gate blown open by a blast from a jet engine
at John Wayne Airport, where Wackenhut provided the security.
Judge Sonenshine, citing "human error" as a "further complication"
found the gate dangerous, despite sworn statements from airport
officials that there had been no prior reports of negligence by
guards opening the gates. Gates are the business of guards. You'd
think they'd know how to work the latch.  Fortunately for them,
Wackenhut knows how to work the courts.

Wackenhut guards are as likely to be brutal as they are to stupid.
Consider the case of survivor George Bagwell Jr., who sued
futilely for redress in the wrongful death of his father. George
Bagwell Sr. had suffered from Alzheimer's disease for years. He
had driven to Lindbergh Field in January, 1988, thinking his son
was due to arrive on a flight. Bagwell wandered into a security
area and didn't respond when Harbor Police and Wackenhut Corp.
security guards called to him. According to the lawsuit, guards
beat and kicked Bagwell, in the course of his arrest. At the time
of the incident, Bagwell was wearing a medical bracelet that
explained his health problems. He had further details about his
condition inside his billfold. Bagwell's son said his father was
about 130 pounds and 5-foot-7, hardly a threat.

The lawsuit said Bagwell suffered lacerations and injuries to the
face, scalp, arms and body, which led to his death in April, 1988.
Medical experts testified at trial that the stress of the incident
contributed to his death.  He did not die in the guard's hands,
but died soon thereafter. Bagwell Jr.  said the January 1991
verdict was a second disappointment, although the family has no

While wiser counties such as Los Angeles and Orange use their own
deputies to guard hospitalized prisoners at county hospitals, San
Diego employs Wackenhut. It was a poor choice. One prisoner
escaped in a wheelchair, kidnapping his guard in the process.
You'd think if Wackenhut was so "premier," a guy in a wheelchair
wouldn't be too much for them to handle.

One of the reasons San Diego County Sheriff's Department uses
Wackenhut is economics, said Sgt. Bob Takeshta, public affairs
officer with the Sheriff's Department. "It's a pure fact of
dollars and cents." Sheriff's deputies are paid an average of $12
to $16 an hour for their services. Peter Abrahano, area manager
for Wackenhut. declined to say how much his guards made per hour,
except to say that they are paid less than sheriff's deputies.

To Takeshta's knowledge, the escape was not highly unusual. "This
is not an isolated incident; there have been others," he said.
Earlier that month, a narcotics suspect escaped by jumping out a
fourth floor window. Hospital guards are unarmed and do not wear
uniforms, said Sheriff's Lt. Sylvester Washington, a shift watch
commander at County Jail downtown. The Sheriff's Department ". . .
prefers it that way," he said, "The guards don't have adequate
training to be armed." Wackenhut also works for private companies
and, in some instances, its guards are armed. Washington said it's
a wonder hospital escapes aren't more common. "We've been lucky,
very lucky," he said.

"There's no reason for guards to be armed," said Abrahano. "You
don't really think (prisoners) are going to go anywhere."

Not really thinking seems to be an ongoing problem at Wackenhut.

Consider case of the 27-year-old fugitive from Colorado who
escaped from custody at UC San Diego Medical Center ten days
later, the third such escape from a hospital room in less than six
weeks. In each case the inmate had been guarded by Wackenhut
Corp., under contract to the San Diego County Sheriff's
Department. Wackenhut cost the Sheriff's Department $410,000 that
year, according to county officials. The prisoner, who jail
officials had considered to be an escape risk, eluded two
Wackenhut security guards but was arrested after crashing a stolen
truck into a tree across the street from a San Diego Police
Department substation. Clearly this was no rocket scientist
either, but it is equally clear that he was smarter than his

According to police, the escape occurred about noon when, with one
of the guards apparently out to lunch, the prisoner asked the
other guard for permission to take a shower. He then asked for
shampoo and, when the guard left to get it, escaped from his 10th
floor room by taking a stairway that leads outside. Well, duh!

The growing privatization of the ever expanding prison industry
places ever greater demands on the public for "raw material."
Wackenhut operates 10 detention or correctional facilities in
seven states that house 3,456 inmates. It's first facility, a
federal Immigration and Naturalization Services detention center,
opened in 1987. Within two years the correctional business
generated about $25 million of Wackenhut's $462 million in 1989
revenue This is according to company spokesman, not independent
auditors.  Robert Hennelly reported in the Village Voice that
Wackenhut is also developing and marketing electronic systems for
tracking prisoners under house arrest for local, state, and
federal authorities.

Never in my life did I even imagine that one day I would be
sticking up for a screw, but by golly there folks, this Doyle guy
is right, at least as far as he goes. If we the public want to be
perceived as members of a just society we can't buy justice from
any body, least of all the lowest bidder. It makes us look real
bad. It also aint justice. If we want actual justice, and not just
the perception, we have to participate in the process. History has
proven conclusively that prisons are no solution to the problem of
crime. If they were, it would have happened by now. Only a
complete restructuring of society can even begin to address the
problem. The problem of crime is structural. Victimless crimes are
nothing more than a cash cow for the state.  Crimes against
property are political offenses, and almost always the result of
drug prohibition. There's also the ever sticky problem of
definition of property. The sanctity of personal property is
respected near universally.  Public property and private property
are a little harder to define, at least without sufficient arms.
This leaves violent crime, a tiny minority of all crimes. Violent
criminals should not be imprisoned, per se, but offered asylum, on
a purely voluntary basis of course, where they could seek
treatment for their mental disorders, and protection from the rest
of us. If they decline asylum, kill 'em and be done with it. Don't
hire somebody.  That's totally gutless. It doesn't work very well,
either. If it did, violence would have subsided by now. Do it
yourself. If you need help, don't hire; inspire. If you can't
inspire, you're living wrong; change. Don't oppose the death
penalty. The death penalty is good. Oppose its monopolization by
the state. The only truly effective defense against violence is
effective self defense. Collective self defense benefits from the
economy of scale. History has proven conclusively that courts,
prisons, and cops (both public and private), are useless. They
have failed, miserably, to cure the problem. In fact, they made it
worse, much worse. Worse still, they use the power we grant them
against us. Then they have the unmitigated gall to charge us money
for the service. Then they don't even deliver. How much worse does
it have to get before we wise up? It doesn't matter whether we
hire our cops through the private sector or the public sector,
they're still basically mercenaries. Machiavelli was right.
Mercenaries are useless.

We all have a practical as well as a moral duty to protect
ourselves and each other. Most of us still lack  the skill. The
time to start learning has come and gone. While the practice of
hiring bumbling thugs to "protect" us has long withstood the test
of time, our freedom has not. It dwindles even as I speak. Neither
are we protected. Do you feel protected by the current system?  Or
do you feel, like me, merely used? Can you foresee the situation
getting any better on its own? I sure can't, and I'm an inveterate
optimist. As we approach the increasingly corporate millennium, we
can look forward to life in a private prison that encompasses all
society and subjugates every moment of daily life: work, a prison
of measured time, and play, a supervised activity. For this we
sacrificed our freedom. For this, we even hire our own guards,
guards who work for money, not for us, guards who have their own
agenda. And a lot of them aren't even good at it, which is a mixed
blessing.  They, themselves, are a curse.


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