Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Paramilitary Force Takes Over Montana Town, Onion Story Becomes True

BROOKLYN, New York -- Everybody knows that the government sucks at everything, and private enterprise will solve all of our problems. Do you know what the government especially sucks at? Operating police departments and prisons.

The war in Iraq has clearly demonstrated that well-paid mercenaries with ill-defined rules of engagement are much better at fighting and keeping the peace than those dumbasses in the US Army. And everybody knows that shopping malls, which are almost exclusively patrolled by private security forces, are the safest, most awesome places in America.

The town of Hardin, Montana has learned these lessons well, which is why they have employed the services of the generically-named American Police Forces. Hardin made national headlines earlier this year when they offered their recently constructed and deeply indebted town jail to the federal government to house detainees from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp. Well, that offer is now off the table, because APF has stepped in to not only take over the jail, but also the town's police force.

Yesterday Gawker did a rundown of all the various reasons why this whole deal is incredibly suspect and troubling. The California-based company has links to other more established private military contractors, but the exact web of relationships has yet to be unraveled. This whole thing may be some kind of scam, but one fact is certain - there are three SUVs filled with armed men driving around this town claiming to be the police department.

American Police Forces and their associated company, Defense Product Solutions, both have very slick websites, but there is one bizarre detail: APF's logo is actually the coat of arms of Serbia.

During the fiasco of the 2000 presidential election the Onion ran the headline, "Serbia Deploys Peacekeeping Forces to U.S." Could this joke have finally come true? Is the Serbian military now roaming the streets of Montana? Or does this company just have the world's worst corporate branding? Either way, I think it is probably time for the Montana State Police to step in and throw everybody involved into the still-vacant Hardin jail while they try and sort this mess out.

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