Privatizing the Police State: Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used at Standing Rock to “Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies”

by , , , from the Intercept

A shadowy international mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures, collaborating closely with police in at least five states, according to internal documents obtained by The Intercept. The documents provide the first detailed picture of how TigerSwan, which originated as a U.S. military and State Department contractor helping to execute the global war on terror, worked at the behest of its client Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, to respond to the indigenous-led movement that sought to stop the project.

Internal TigerSwan communications describe the movement as “an ideologically driven insurgency with a strong religious component” and compare the anti-pipeline water protectors to jihadist fighters. One report, dated February 27, 2017, states that since the movement “generally followed the jihadist insurgency model while active, we can expect the individuals who fought for and supported it to follow a post-insurgency model after its collapse.” Drawing comparisons with post-Soviet Afghanistan, the report warns, “While we can expect to see the continued spread of the anti-DAPL diaspora … aggressive intelligence preparation of the battlefield and active coordination between intelligence and security elements are now a proven method of defeating pipeline insurgencies.”

More than 100 internal documents leaked to The Intercept by a TigerSwan contractor, as well as a set of over 1,000 documents obtained via public records requests, reveal that TigerSwan spearheaded a multifaceted private security operation characterized by sweeping and invasive surveillance of protesters.

As policing continues to be militarized and state legislatures around the country pass laws criminalizing protest, the fact that a private security firm retained by a Fortune 500 oil and gas company coordinated its efforts with local, state, and federal law enforcement to undermine the protest movement has profoundly anti-democratic implications…

Included among the documents obtained via public records requests were “daily intelligence updates” developed by TigerSwan that were shared with law enforcement officers, thus contributing to a broad public-private intelligence dragnet..

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[read more here]

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4 Responses

  1. Everything old is new again; these are the same tactics (now wifi compatible) as the Brinks used against mill and miners back in the day.

  2. I guess this explains why the Bundy Bunch, Pacific Patriots, and the III% militia guys didn’t show up to protect the protesters from that government over reach?

    • Libertarianism or classic liberalism (the underpinnings of the Bundies, Pacific Patriots and company) seems to me like it was always a philosophy contrived to serve plutocrats. These people’s definition of “liberty” is to protect their ill-gotten wealth from any institutional or popular challenges, while convincing the rubes that they’re out to protect them from governmental tyranny. Even if you take Adam Smith’ theories at face value, the wealthy bankers/ranchers/arms dealers/etcetera care about THEIR property, THEIR assets, not yours. Your house, your small store or workshop, your farm, can go to hell- as long as they continue to profit from cartelizing the economy.

  3. So appalling, so predictable …

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