Portland Guide to War Profiteers
This guide is an attempt to spread necessary information about war profiteering companies in our own city, to reveal the true enablers of mass murder, occupation and theft, to lift the façade of corporate responsibility and show the face of the murderer hidden underneath. This anniversary, take your dissent to those who profit from war.
The wheels of the war machine are kept running smoothly by the grease of money, the passive consent of the workers, and the tools and equipment of the war profiteers. With a multi-billion dollar industry devoted to war making, it should come as no surprise that our wars seem endless; it is in the financial self-interest of those with power to find new targets for aggression, new orders for weapons, and new contracts for "reconstruction."
Nowhere is this more evident than in the occupation of Iraq. Possibly the most privatized war in history, the military has outsourced almost all of its functions to private corporations. We now have private security guarding diplomats and cargo transports, sub-sub-sub-contractors washing laundry and repairing equipment on military bases, and private firms importing cheap labor to "reconstruct" Iraq while millions of Iraqis remain unemployed.
While this outsourcing provides yet another sector to profit from, and embeds more firmly than ever the cozy relationship between the state, the military, and corporate interests, it also gives us another point of leverage. With so many contractors fulfilling roles formerly performed by the military, the occupation of Iraq is now dependent on these private firms. When the Iraqi government threatened to expel Blackwater from the country in autumn of 2007 following particularly brutal murders of Iraqi civilians, the US government panicked; without Blackwater to guard their diplomats, they would be unable to function. The government's flustered response showed us a weak point; the threat of losing even one company severely compromised their ability to continue this genocidal occupation.
Recognizing the sheer number of firms operating in Iraq, and the extent to which the war effort is dependent on them, should suggest one strategy to end the war: cut off their supports, and they will fall. While there are hundreds of companies operating in Iraq, logistically supporting the war or profiting off of the exploitation of Iraqis, we in Portland can choose to resist those firms that operate from our city.
This guide is an attempt to spread that necessary information, to reveal the true enablers of mass murder, occupation and theft, to lift the façade of corporate responsibility and show the face of the murderer hidden underneath. These companies operate in our city, use our resources, function with our tacit approval, and by doing so wage war on a country halfway around the world. It is our responsibility to resist them. Politicians won't end this war; the people can. It is time to move from pleading to resisting, from demanding to doing, from speaking to acting. We can shut down this war, and we can tell the corporate enablers, the factories of death spewing smoke, the gas guzzlers burning blood for power, the CEOs in their luxurious homes: Get out of Iraq, or get out of Portland.
So, who are these people anyway?
Freightiner LLC-$360,377,350 total since 2006
US Military Programs Director: Jim Fenske
Freightliner, LLC is a Portland-based division of Daimler Trucks North America. Primarily a manufacturer of heavy freight trucks, Freightliner has a military production program dedicated solely to designing and manufacturing vehicles for military purposes. Since 2006, Freightliner has won $360,377,350 in contracts from the U.S. government to provide vehicles
Freightliner is located on Swan Island, at 4747 N Channel Ave. Its construction complex covers a large portion of the island, and its corporate headquarters are right next door to those of Daimler, its owner. Give the US Military Programs Director, Jim Fenske, a call at (503) 745-8855, or visit his office, and ask him to stop profiting off of murder.
Boeing-$8,471,813,193 total since 2006
Everybody knows Boeing, our favorite second-largest military contractor in the world. Their Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) program is responsible for the research, development and construction of hundreds of high-tech weapons—from jets and helicopters to missiles and lasers. IDS has dozens of plants across the country, but none in Portland. The commercial wing of Boeing maintains a plant and offices near our very own PDX Airport. While they may not be directly producing weapons, they are part of the same company, with the same mission. They use our land, our airspace, and our atmosphere up in a constant drive to produce more money for weapons, more carbon-emitting jets, and more pollution. Tell them to get out of Iraq, or out of our city.
Give them a call at (503) 660-1136, or visit their office at 19000 NE Sandy Blvd.
Cascade General Shipyard-$9,052,654 since 12/17/2007
Cascade General was Awarded a contract in December 2007 to refit the USNS Alan Shepard, a dry cargo/ammunitions ship intended to be part of a carrier strike group. With an increasing buildup of Navy fleets in the Persian Gulf, and the looming threat of war with Iran, allowing the government to refit a death-ship in our own city borders on criminally negligent.
Like Freightliner, CGS is located on Swan Island, at 5555 N Channel Ave. On a clear day you can see military trucks going in and out, and maybe even catch a glimpse of the Alan Shepard. CGS can be reached at (503) 240-8226; scheduling a visit to complain about their contribution to perpetual war may prove difficult given the private security hired to protect their gates, and the large MARSEC sign detailing the level of security.
The work is scheduled to be completed by April 2008. Maybe it won't be...
Wells Fargo Center
Wells Fargo is one of the largest single stockholders in the GEO Group, a private prison outfit with prisons and detention centers spread across the world. Among many others, the GEO Group runs the ICE (Immigrations & Customs Enforcement) Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA. This detention center can hold up to 1,000 detainees, in miserable conditions. The attack on immigrants at home is but another face of the eternal war we're waging abroad, and the war the government is waging on our civil liberties. The Geo Group also operates a Migrant Operations Center in Guantanamo Bay, on the grounds of the Naval Base, adjacent to the more infamous "Gitmo". Wells Fargo is profiting directly off of the increased level of fear and xenophobia associated with the war on terror.
Ironically, Wells Fargo is also one of the largest methods of private remittances--money sent home to family abroad by working immigrants. They benefit off of the cash transfers of the migrant community on one hand, and profit off of their incarceration with the other.
Wells Fargo is also tied to ExxonMobil through Reatha Clark King, who sits on the board of both. ExxonMobil is the largest oil company in the world, and has made astronomical profits off of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Wells Fargo branches and ATMs are plastered all over town. In addition, the giant Wells Fargo skyscraper in the middle of downtown is home to their regional office. Give them a call, pay them a visit, or close their ATMs for them. Banks, more than any other company, are utterly useless without a constant flow of money in and out. Close their ATMs and their doors, and they'll feel it.
FLIR-$440,913,171 total since 2003
Manufacturer of infrared detection technology, night vision equipment, surveillance technology, and more, FLIR has its hands in every conceivable pocket of the military-prison-surveillance-security-industrial complex. They're the primary supplier of infrared technology to the US Military, as well as many other countries' militaries, and also (literally) make a killing off of private prisons, private security, and surveillance companies. In addition to surveillance and night vision technology, FLIR also specializes in laser systems for guided missiles and bombs.
Their world headquarters are located at 27700 SW Parkway Ave # A,Wilsonville, OR, and they can be reached at (503) 498-3547
Do remember that the war machine can't function without naive conscripts, either. There are still plenty of military recruiting offices in Portland, preying on our youth. They eat kids to get more medals and badges, and to ensure high profit margins for all of the companies profiting off of endless war. They're starting to get the hint that they're not welcome, but let's make them more aware than ever. A prime Army Recruitment center can be found at 1317 NE Broadway St.
Wackenhut is the largest single government contractor for professional security services, with over 8,000 employees fulfilling government contracts. In Iraq, Wackenhut primarily provides fire & emergency response services for 20 Department of Defense sites. Wackenhut employees in Iraq have also come under fire for harassing and hazing female soldiers.
At home, Wackenhut has contracts guarding nuclear facilities, private prisons, and numerous other government sites. In addition to repeated lapses in security at high-profile sites, Wackenhut employees have been accused numerous times of abusing inmates at private prisons, sexually harassing underage inmates, and more. Wackenhut profits directly off of the Iraq war directly through government contracts to operate in Iraq, and indirectly through the increased security and prison industry that has grown up around the War on Terror.
Wackenhut's Portland office is located at 5319 SW Westgate Dr # 125
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