Think things in America can't get any more unsettling? Well, you're wrong. Meet the American Police Force, which will soon take over a Montana jail that once asked to house Guantanamo inmates. And, shocker, they're shady as hell. Let's look...
Unorganized militia's played quite the role in America's revolution, and they've been experiencing a bit of a revival in the scary recent past. The anti-immigrant Minute Men are out in full force down Arizona way, while the once-defunct Michigan Militia seems to have revived itself: they just had a training exercise called Operation Pita Storm.
But those groups are small potatoes compared to a new, ultra-mysterious "security force" called the American Police Force, which just agreed to take over an indebted prison in Hardin, Montana. And sounds a lot like a militia, only far more organized, less forthcoming and, therefore, more frightening.
So let's get some facts, if such things exist anymore.
- The prison in question was built two years ago, but, sadly, never got off the ground. Earlier this year, desperate for funds, the prison put in a bid to take some prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. That effort failed, apparently, because the city's economic group, Two Rivers Authority just called on the APF to takeover the prison's operations, although there's no official contract just yet...
- APF's website claims that the group "successfully provided assistance in training foreign military organizations in combating transnational terrorism" and boasts that it's "recognized as one of the top security and investigation forces in the world." Too bad no one's ever heard of them — not even the U.S. government, a group with which APF says it has worked.
- In addition to fighting terrorism overseas and defending democracy, the group's online digs say APF's renaissance agents work on "kidknapping [sic]" cases, investigate cheating spouses and offer convoy security in places like Pakistan. We love a well-rounded trooper.
- A group spokesperson who called himself "Captain Michael" told local news channel KULR 8 that APF's more interested in setting up a $17 million training camp than in operating the prison. This man would not specify how they plan to use the camp.
- Another fun fact: the group's press secretary is a woman named Becky Shays, who used to be a reporter for Montana's Billings Gazette and covered the Hardin Prison story. Now that she's in her new role, however, she's not so big on disclosure: she told her former colleagues that she will not name the APF's true leaders, the source of its funding or how it plans to take its future prisoners.
- APF's lawyer, Maziar Mafi, a malpractice expert who was hired a month ago, also offers few details, other than that the Force is a satellite of a larger security firm. And he seems to revel in the cloak-and-dagger atmosphere:
It will gradually be more clear as things go along. The nature of this entity is private security and for security purposes, as well as for the interest of their clientele, that's why they prefer not to be upfront.
- Muckraker Kevin Flaherty, however, discovered that APF's website shares an IP address with Defense Product Solutions, which was founded in 2004, has contracts in the Middle East and works with a man named Edward Angelino, who in turn has worked with the militarily-inclined Allied Defense Systems, Inc. and Defense Consulting Group, Inc. A tangled web, indeed.
- The only other things people seem to know about APF is that it has a fleet of Mercedes SUVs that say "City of Hardin Police Department," they use a double-headed eagle emblem, have "virtual offices" in Washington DC and registered its website on May 15th, two weeks after Hardin made its Guantanamo request.
- This group may not fit the criteria for a good old fashioned American militia, but their ominous takeover of a small town's police force sounds pretty fucking paramilitary. Welcome to the future!