Archive for October 3rd, 2009

Montana AG Probing American Police Force Deal

TPM MUCKRAKER- Zachary Roth | October 2, 2009, 9:50AM

Could the party be over for American Police Force?

Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock is investigating the mysterious security contractor’s deal to run an empty jail in the tiny town of Hardin, reports the Billings Gazette. And he doesn’t appear to be messing around.

In a nine-page letter sent late yesterday afternoon to Becky Shay — the former Gazette reporter who recently signed on as APF’s public relations director — Bullock said he’s probing whether APF may be violating Montana’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act.

Specifically, Bullock wants proof for many of the statements on APF’s website which have been called into question by media reports in recent days — such as the claims that the company frequently has contracts with the U.S. government, and has operations in all 50 states.

Bullock also has asked for a copy of the contract between APF and Hardin, which the town has so far declined to make public, and has asked that APF disclose any lawsuits filed against it or Michael Hilton — the APF official who led the negotiations with Hardin, and whose lengthy criminal record and alleged history of alcoholism has intensified concerns about the deal. Bullock also wants any correspondence between APF and any government agency that has accused the company of being deceptive.

Bullock sent a separate letter to Al Peterson and a second official with the Two Rivers Authority (TRA), Hardin’s economic development agency which signed the deal with APF. Peterson didn’t respond to the Gazette‘s request for comment, but asked yesterday by TPMmuckraker about the deal, he replied: “What have we got to lose?”

More on this to come…

Late Update: We’ve now obtained the letters from Bullock to APG [APF] to TRA. You can read them here.

The letter to TRA asks for all documents relating to the APF deal, and also, for information on “[a]ll direct or indirect interests Authority board members or their immediate families in American Police Force (including without limitation its officers, affiliates, or agents).”

In a conciliatory note, Bullock adds: “In writing, I also wish to express my understanding of your concern for your community and the pressure you are under to fill the unoccupied facility.”

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COPS Theme Song – Bad Boys

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Middle East Online, Oct 2, 2009

But with US military presence, Al-Qaeda won’t leave either

General Ray Odierno cites Al-Qaeda – again – as excuse to keep big US military force in Iraq.

WASHINGTON – Gaining the upper hand against Al-Qaeda in Iraq has required a big US military force coupled with manhunts against militant leaders, the American commander there said on Thursday.

“You have to have both combined,” General Ray Odierno, the commander of US forces in Iraq, told a news conference.

Al-Qaeda did not have a presence in Iraq, and observers say they are likely to remain in Iraq as long as US troops remain there because of their eagerness to follow and fight American military presence in the region.

Where there is little visible US presence, they add, there is usually little or no Al-Qaeda operations in the region.

Contrary to US “propaganda”, analysts believe that Al-Qaeda is more likely to leave Iraq in the absence of US occupation or military presence.

Continues >>

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SPECULATION was growing last night that Tony Blair, the former prime minister, will shortly be installed as the first president of Europe, with an expected Yes vote in the second Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.


Tories will block ‘President Blair’

The Tories have issued a warning to European leaders not to appoint Tony Blair as the first EU president.

The former prime minister has re-emerged as a potential candidate following reports he has won the backing of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, while German chancellor Angela Merkel has eased her opposition.

But shadow foreign secretary William Hague said the Conservatives were prepared to lobby European capitals in an effort to block the appointment.


German chancellor Angela Merkel fury at Cameron ‘hostility to EU’ as she downgrades ties with Tories

David Cameron is at loggerheads with German politicians over his ‘hostile’ stance on Europe.

They were devastated by the Tory leader’s threat to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, which was masterminded in Berlin.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was also angered by Mr Cameron’s decision to remove Conservative MEPs from the federalist European People’s Party group in Brussels.

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