Complete Corporate Control - The NW Laboratory
Many of the most repressive policies that have been or are being implemented on a global and national scale have first been test marketed in the Pacific NW. This article names names and details how.
Complete Corporate Control? The Northwest as Laboratory
By Paul Richmond
A Corporate Plantation
There's a new savior being trotted out as our leaders deny that global warming is happening, or tell us why they must spend untold billions to fight drugs that kill about 13,000 people a year while taking payments from the cigarette companies who kill 430,000 a year. The new savior is called public-private partnerships. If we just allow big money into everything, everything will be all right. At least that's what big money tells us.
Let's start with a few basic facts:
1) Most of what can be owned in the world is owned by a very small portion of the people.
2) This concentration of wealth is not an accident
3) This concentration is because the people who own most of everything that can be owned operate for their own short term benefit.
To understand the politics of the Pacific Northwest, look at the first white settlers. They weren't farmers, cowboys, or sheepherders. The first white conquerors were the Railroads. The Railroads were financed by the Banks who were owned by a very small portion of the population that owned most of what could be owned. The small group of people who owned the banks and railroads were given huge areas of land around the railroads and all the resources around them by the government they also owned - this is why all the big timber companies are named after railroads. These are the people who own most of the Northwest today.
The Northwest is a test area. In retail businesses, one practice large corporations have is to test market products in out of the way areas. They do this with new anti-perspirents, soft drinks, and mouth washes.
They do the same thing with political policies, including policies of social control.
The Pacific Northwest has served as a laboratory for policies involving corporate control of education, social services that seize children and work to break apart families and an intrusive police force which proactively looks for ways to seize property and put millions of people in jail. It is complete corporate control, and it even puts an army of cops in your head.
The Oregon Option
There was an agreement signed in December of 1994 by all members of the Clinton Cabinet and every major political figure in Oregon, Democrat or Republican, including incoming Governor John Kitzhaber and U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield, called "The Oregon Option." In the words of then Vice President Al Gore, The Oregon Option turned Oregon into a "laboratory."
The program was based on a program called The Oregon Benchmarks, something implemented by former Oregon Governor, now highly paid corporate consultant Neil Goldschmidt. Under Goldschmidt's "Benchmarks" executives from the largest utilities, banks and other monopolies got to wear the hat of government and redesign the way the state was run. The oft heard euphemism is "public-private partnership."
They came up with an agenda that not only gave unprecedented benefits to corporations but created unprecedented intrusions into peoples lives. An aggressive social service program was begun and thousands of parents were put on trial in front of judges to see if they were fit to keep their children.
Education was also remolded. "Tracking" was put in place and many children were funneled into industrial trade tracks away from any chance of higher learning. Schools adopted "community touchpoints" where representatives from police, social services and "other" agencies are put in contact with children and get to ask them about any problems they may be experiencing. Since the number of people the agencies bring through the system will determine their program's future funding, the agencies come to resemble desperate sales people on commission more than they do impartial advocates in their behavior. It is in their best interest to "find" a problem. Their results often turn into vicious witch-hunts.
The reasons for all this, from a corporate standpoint, is control. The extended families been pretty much wiped out, now the nuclear family, and even the single parent family is being eliminated. We're left with a group of people who grow up with no ties to anyone but the corporate state. The buyout of public by corporations is deemed "creative solutions." The intervention of the police, social service workers and "others" is justified as "proactive." Feel bad? How about an anti-depressant?
Portland Mayor Vera Katz has a tremendous stake in these plans. She was one of these plans' architects. She had sat on panels of the National Center for Education and the Economy with the likes of Hillary Rodham Clinton, George Bush Sr.'s Education Secretary Lamar Alexander, and then Chase President David Rockefeller. The plans they developed were test marketed by their 1991 introduction to the Oregon State Legislature by then Speaker Katz of HB-3565, known as the Katz Education Bill. The implementation of the Katz Bill was then measured as a "benchmark" of the Oregon Progress Board, with elements eventually included in the Clinton Education Bills. Katz felt so strongly about the Oregon Option that she even referred to Portland as a "laboratory" in her January 1995 State of the City Address.
A Friendly Military Police Force
Portland, the Pacific Northwest, and the West Coast have also all been leaders in the development and implementation of a more controlling police force. The region has been a birthplace for an unprecedented use of chemical agents against a domestic population during the WTO Ministerial, an aggressive variety of "Civility Laws" that are driving minorities from areas developers desire, a military training facility that trains soldiers in "urban combat" and a "Community Policing" program that grew a Tactical Operations Unit 2800% in just four years that's been held up as a national model.
Writing in the September 1989 issue of the US Justice Department publication, Perspectives on Policing, former Multnomah County Sheriff, Lee Brown described the history of what is called "Community Policing," but should better be called, "Community Occupation," Mr. Brown, gives a history of the development of this style. This style, says Brown, came out of the inability of the police to prevent or at least control the civil unrest of the late 1960's and early 1970's. Brown went on to become Chief of the New York City Police Department during the unprecedented era of police corruption exposed and documented in the findings of the Mollen Commission, and a "Drug Czar" implementing national policies that have turned us into the nation with the largest number of incarcerated persons in the history of the planet. He has been identified by no less than Attorney General Janet Reno as "one of the fathers of "Community Policing," so his evaluation of the reasons for this style's existence as a more effective way to control dissent should be taken seriously.
Portland itself has been identified as one of the leaders of what is called "Community Policing" but has been revealed as "Community Occupation." It has hosted two of the first International Conferences on "Community Policing," and two of its Police Chief's Tom Potter and Charles Moose, were finalists to distribute the "Community Oriented Policing" (COPs) grants created by the 1995 Clinton Crime Bill, designed to put 100,000 new cops on the street.
Since the implementation of what is euphemistically called "Community Policing" Portland has come to resemble a militarized zone. It's "Tactical Operations Division," the branch that carries machine guns, wears camouflage uniforms, conducts no knock raids, seizes peoples homes, cars and other property, grew from two (2) to fifty-six (56) officers in the space of a few years, as revealed by a report of the Portland City Auditor's Office. Those who were Lieutenant in charge of "Community Policing" such as Greg Clarke and Mark Parisi, all next became Captain in charge of the Tactical Operations Division. Since the "Community Policing" division gathered snitches and informants in the community, and called them a "ties" and "contacts", the succession within the PPB is a natural one.
The COPS plan exported this "Portland" dynamic to the rest of the country. Now better than 70% of those towns with less than populations of 50,000 have their own paramilitary police units. For those with populations greater than 50,000 the number of towns with paramilitary police units has exceeded 90%. They can call it "Community Policing." It is "Community Occupation." It's part of the reason 25% of the people in jail on the planet are in U.S. prisons.
A recent administrator of the COPS grants who helped put the 100,000 more cops on the street and 2,000,000 people in jail, was Seattle's Chief, Gil Kerlikowske. Kerlikowske has also despite the debacle of the WTO Ministerial where tens of thousands of residents were exposed to the same chemical agents the U.S. military used against the Viet Cong, pushed for Seattle to be a leader in the acquisition of "less lethal" weaponry. This included the purchase of 260 additional less lethal weapons included 130 untested tasers 7 times as powerful as the ones used on Rodney King only months after the City issued a series of reports critical of the SPD's use of the last batch during the same WTO police riot.
Portland's Police Chief Kroeker was a trusted advisor to Chief Daryl Gates in Los Angeles. The first paramilitary SWAT team was born in Los Angeles and Gates was its architect. Chief Kroeker's prior experience included "policing" Bosnia and Palestine for the United Nations - held up by Portland mayor Vera Katz and other Kroeker supporters as further proof of his qualifications to be local Police Chief. That this experience in two militarized war zones serves as a resume enhancer for what was a few years ago labeled one of the most livable cities in the U.S. is simultaneously horrifying and absurd. More so after a recent article in the Seattle Times: Allow me to quote some of it:
"... Soldiers at Fort Lewis are the first in the nation to form a combat unit with the agility of an infantry force and the training of a SWAT team... . (T) wo years ago, the top brass ordered Fort Lewis to lead an operation known as "transformation." Tanks and heavy vehicles are giving way to light armored brigades of 7,000 men and women, able to be anywhere in the world in 96 hours...Troops in "transformation" learn police tactics; how to kick down a door and the best way to use plastic handcuffs. Explosive grenades on the firing range are sometimes replaced with flashbang grenades... The initial training has attracted worldwide attention. Military observers from France, Thailand and Japan have visited Fort Lewis to tour exercises. German television has twice sent camera crews... "
Army Prepares for New Type of Battle, Alex Fryer, Seattle Times 2/25/2001
Coincidence that this program is being piloted in the Pacific Northwest? Coincidence that it is being piloted an hour's drive from Seattle, which witnessed an unprecedented domestic paramilitary occupation during its WTO Ministerial demonstrations? Coincidence that it is being piloted roughly a hundred miles from the "Community Occupation" of Chief Mark Kroeker? Not likely.
A Nice Friendly Model of Global Corporate Martial Law
For those outside the region it is worth noting that domestic suppression of dissent by law enforcement has traditionally been a major source of knowledge for counterinsurgency. It is also worth noting that the opinion pieces of the ruling elite hold counterinsurgency as the new war of the future, and that police are becoming military consultants.
The most terrifying of the rhetoric of Community Policing in its being applied to "Counterinsurgencies" is the use of the term "Proactive."
A good window on the ruling elite's plans can be found in the current issue of Harvard International Review, titled "The Future of War." Gregory Foster, a professor of the National Defense University in Washington D.C. envisions the ideal future military that can protect the fabric of democracy. The problem is Foster thinks that the "public -private partnerships" are what "imbue democracy with meaning and enable society to function with civility." He doesn't see this as corporate martial law. Instead, he argues: "there is now an imperative for taking decisive action (on behalf of these corporate interests) on a more regular basis." He advocates the "prevention of crisis" by using a military familiar with urban combat tactics and armed with high-tech less lethal weapons "to treat and remove the root causes of unrest, violence, and instability before they perpetuate a crisis."
In other words, a military with full powers of intervention and an eagerness to use them for the benefit of a very wealthy few.
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