The saga of the American Police Force story began to unravel last week but the unraveling appears to be on hold for the weekend. We expect things to accelerate tomorrow. Maybe all won't be revealed but certainly more details will emerge, theories will be proven untrue and stupid rumors will be laid to rest.
So far the speculation-o-sphere seems to be divided into a few camps. What we call the knee-jerk conspiracy theorists, or the reactionaries, are convinced that this is a nefarious scheme by Xe (formerly Blackwater). We here at LoS believe that the privatization of the police and penal system are indeed grave threats to civil liberties. That is why the rampant and unfounded linking of this affair to Blackwater is so offensive. Cry wolf enough and sensible people will begin to write you off.
Dig this bit from Prison Planet by Paul Joseph Watson on 1/10: "APF web page admits it runs Blackwater-controlled U.S. Training Center, proving that the two organizations are one and the same."
The article then goes on to "prove" that Blackwater (actually Xe) runs the U.S. Training Center. The problem is, there is nothing to prove. Xe openly admits that the USTC is their operation.
But more importantly, how does claiming to run anything make it true? If you were going to hire a guy to be your security director and on his résumé he listed experience with the CIA as a qualification, you'd probably be inclined to check it out. And if the CIA said there was no record of this guy ever working for them, what would you think?
a) Wow this guy was in so deep the CIA won't acknowledge his employment! or
b) This guy is full of shit
A second camp proposes that the APF may in fact be a real company with links to the private security establishment, but has simply bitten off more than it can chew. We tend to think even this gives the APF too much credit. Their argument has the benefit of restraint and not jumping to conclusions before all the facts are in. Versions of this theory have APF linked to Allied Defense Systems or other less well-known groups, such as Vance Security USA. ADS has in fact admitted meeting with ADF but says their background check persuaded them to avoid working with them.
A third camp thinks that the APF is an elaborate scam. They cite the founder's extensive criminal background and the fact that the APF claims to have years of experience despite being founded in February 2009, just after it became known that the facility they are to take over was up for grabs. They note that the APF website steals images from other private security firms' websites. This You Tube collection of news reports is pretty convincing that this is a boondoggle of large proportions.
To Prison Planet's credit, they've put up an article by Felix Barbour on 02/10 supporting the scam theory. Mr. Barbour has actually done some basic journalism and found that the APF is unlicensed to act in the capacities they advertise. They cannot act as private investigators or security operators.
And then there's the logo. A bit over-the-top, to say the least. Odd too that the APF's website seems to have changed it's name since yesterday from the American Police Force to the American Private Police Force. Perhaps hoping to avoid being charged with impersonating a police officer when the charges are filed....
Last we've heard, APF honcho Michael Hilton, or should we say Miodrag Dokovich, has left town, probably before being run out of it on a rail covered in tar and feathers.
We at LoS think this a scam. Perhaps it will come to light that APF is working in concert with another, more established company but we'll reserve judgment until more facts come out. There has been talk of a parent company but who knows?
We're actually interested in the possibility that the APF is more than just a clever con. Could they be a front for some kind of nationalist Serbian group? Dokovich claims to be from Montenegro, which only a few years ago was linked with Serbia as the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro (2003-2006). In 2006 Montenegro went independent and the bond was dissolved.
Is Dokovish a bitter nationalist who'd like to see that union renewed? Why would a Montegrin use the Serbian coat of arms for his corporate logo?
Anyway, all this is fascinating, no matter which of the theories turns out to be true. We're merely getting our speculations in before more of this tale unfolds....
For more on the situation as it stands as of 03/10, see this good synopsis from The Missoulian.
Also, this guy certainly got on the bus rather early with his site http://www.americanpoliceforce.net which takes the APF story as its centerpiece but also deals with the privatization of the military and the police. And hey, he'll sell you three APF domain names for $100,000!