$32.00 donated in past month
Alameda County Sheriff Swat Team join their brothers in global police state
Read this very troubling article and connect the dots. This article describes the corruption of US local law enforcement and their entry into the one world police state. Alameda County Sheriff’s department is a cesspool of corruption and collusion in what is supposedly one of the most progressive counties in the US. If this is progressive, what would regressive look like? This is what we are up against. But we can overcome this and them.
Alameda County sheriff's SWAT team travels to Jordan
By Angela Woodall
Posted: 04/27/2012 03:49:08 PM PDT
Updated: 04/28/2012 07:45:56 AM PDT
A SWAT contingent from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office will set off to Amman, Jordan, on Sunday to test its skills against some of the most elite counterterrorism and special operation units from around the world in the fourth international Warrior Competition. The team of 11 from Alameda County will try to run, crawl, climb, rappel and shoot its way to first place in the competition hosted and paid for by Jordan's King Abdullah II, the ruler of a country criticized for its human rights record. The $13,000 tab for airfare to get to the U.S.-funded King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center is being picked up by a private Castro Valley consultant, Cytel Group. Founded by a former Alameda County assistant sheriff, James L. Baker, the small business received more than a half-million dollars in federal money from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office to provide anti-terrorism tactical training and expertise.
Asked about the appearance of a conflict of interest with a company that receives federal taxpayer dollars, Sheriff Gregory Ahern said the contracts had "zero" to do with the trip. Baker approached him with an offer to help pay for the SWAT team's trip more than a year after the contracts were awarded, Ahern said.
"It's very appropriate for them to be involved in this," he said, referring to Cytel's expertise.
Alameda County has two contracts worth a total of $550,000 with Cytel to provide homeland security emergency response planning services for the Alameda County Sheriff's Office SWAT bomb squad units. The November 2011 contracts were originally worth $250,000 each and county supervisors approved a $50,000 increase in February at the request of the Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff's Office said in its report to county supervisors that Cytel is owned by a woman, Ann Marie Baker, and is certified to participate in the county's small, local and emerging business program, which promotes local businesses that want to contract with the county. James Baker is president of Cytel and his wife is the chief operating officer, according to Baker. Baker said in an email from Jordan that he retired after 22 years with the department to found Cytel so that he could promote the anti-terrorism Urban Shield program in the United States and abroad.
The annual Urban Shield exercises assess the emergency response efforts by cities and counties that receive Urban Areas Security Initiative grants from the federal government based on the relative risk of terrorism in high-density locales. Cytel is one of 15 subcontractors that provide counterterrorism training to emergency responders across the Bay Area on behalf of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff's Office received a $2.3 million Department of Homeland Security grant for the training but subcontracted the work because the agency didn't have enough staff, according to a December 2011 report to the board of supervisors.
In addition to the Bay Area, Baker has established Urban Shield exercises in New Orleans, Boston and Austin, Texas. He is also helping Jordan organize an Urban Shield exercise in November.
When Baker invited Alameda County deputies to the Jordanian Urban Shield, they said they wanted to be home for the Bay Area Urban Shield in October. So the Sheriff's Office instead decided to participate in the Warrior championship starting next week. Baker said he helped fund the trip because he knew the county couldn't afford to pay the team's way to Jordan "to attend and benefit from this international training opportunity."
Previous Warrior champions included the U.S. Marines Special Reconnaissance unit and Jordan's General Intelligence Directorate. The 2011 winner was the Einsatzkommando Cobra, Austria's top paramilitary counterterrorism special operations tactical unit, according to the Warrior Competition website. Alameda County appears to be the only U.S. law enforcement team competing.
"There is a tremendous value to sharing of information across borders," said Assistant Sheriff Brett Keteles, who will be one of the 11 traveling to the Amman.
While Jordan has a better human rights track record than some of its neighbors, Human Rights Watch reported that the kingdom has barely advanced rights protections over the past decade.
"Expression and association remain tightly circumscribed in law and practice, and security services enjoy a large degree of impunity for arbitrary arrests and torture, as do employers for widespread abuses against migrant domestic workers," the organization reported this year.
On Monday, a journalist and a news website publisher were charged with "subverting the system of government in the kingdom" for reporting that King Abdullah tried to block a corruption investigation.
In March, a protest ended in mass arrests and allegations of torture. "Jordan's response to demonstrations looks more and more repressive," Christoph Wilcke, senior Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch said at the time. Ahern did not comment directly on the human rights concerns but said he had traveled to Israel for counterterrorism training and sent deputies abroad to other countries. It's an advantage to see how other teams train and mix with people from around the world because the Sheriff's Office has to know how to deal with the diverse Bay Area communities, Ahern said.
"Culturally, this is an advantage for us."