The "liberal" media and freedom fighting tea partiers appear to be giving governor candidate Scott Walker a big pass on his association and hiring of "security" contractor Whackenhut Services Corporation.
Eye on Wisconsin: We also know that (Scott Walker) awarded a contract to foreign-owned Wackenhut, to replace those jobs … it appears that Wackenhut not only had a convicted felon guarding the Milwaukee County Courthouse, but that it also shipped in workers from Ohio, Chicago and even Florida (temporary workers?) .... Wackenhut has about 45 security workers on the county job now, far more than the 27 they've replaced. Wackenhut will hire 11 or 12 of the laid-off county security workers.But what do we know about Wackenhut? If you thought William Ayres was a problem for Obama, freedom and liberty loving conservatives should go nuclear over Walker's bizarre, scary choice to put Wackenhut in charge. From Soucewatch.org:
Wackenhut's surveillance services were fined in 1999 by a federal district court in Alabama for illegal wire tapping, theft of business documents and corporate sabotage. This should come as no surprise as Mr. Wackenhut, a fervent right-winger, made his money in the 1950s creating dossiers on suspected communists, achieving by 1966 over four million files, or one for every 46 adults in the country.Can you imagine the firestorm of controversy and conspiracy theories put forth by the right wings nuts if a Democrat hired a security firm with this kind of contract history?
In the same above mentioned SPY Magazine article, 18 year terrorism expert and CIA analyst, William Corbett, stated "For years, Wackenhut has been involved with the CIA and other intelligence organizations, including the Drug Enforcement Agency. Wackenhut would allow the CIA to occupy positions within the company [in order to carry out] clandistine operations." He went on to say Wackenhut provided the intelligence agencies with information and was paid in return "in a quid pro quo arrangement". This would explain in part the huge number of contracts awarded to Wackenhut in delicate areas of the national security, such as embassies and nuclear plants, and the $150 million increase in work under the Reagan Administration.
Wackenhut was also involved in illegal US operations in Central America in the 1980s. By exploiting the Cabazon Indian reservation as a sovereign nation, they intended to produce and export explosives to the Contras, evading Congressional law to the contrary. According to Edward Herman and Gerry O'Sullivan in The
Terrorism Industry, "Wackenhut quickly got involved with right-wing terrorists
who were themselves linked to state security agents" in Belgium. They left in the early 1980s after some of their guards were accused of luring immigrant children into basements and beating them.
Wackenhut is known for providing muscle and force against organized labor and protesters. They provided strike breakers at the Pittston mine in Kentucky. Their armed guards have beaten protesters at nuclear sites for the Department of Energy. Among nuclear weapons lab employees, Wackenhut was better known for “wacking” radiation whistleblowers like Karen Silkwood and attempting to run Dr. Rosalie Bertell off the road.
(Despite stamping out the idea of private prisons), the Reagan Revolution reversed those accomplishments and allowed the prison market to develop. Once a State-responsibility, prisons now rely on criminals for profit and labor Wackenhut entering the prison business in 1987. By 1997, they controlled one third of the prison market contracts, were paying out minimal wages. They have become notorious for cutting programs out of prisons to increase their profits. Programs include drug rehabilitation, counseling and educational services. They were investigated in 1995 for diverting $700,000 in drug rehabilitation funds from facilities in Texas.