‘Police staff throughout the county of Lincolnshire are now proudly wearing the logo of their corporate bosses, as Government cuts force privatization of the nation’s peacekeepers.
G4S, a controversial multi-national security corporation has now virtually taken over all civilian positions in the region, including front counter staff at police stations, control room operators, custodians at local holding cells, and even inquiry officers. In total 550 employees who previously worked for Lincolnshire Police Authority are now considered private sector workers, essentially accountable only to company policy, with 200 or so already sporting the G4S stamp.
Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation has voiced his concern , saying the switch over will confuse the public and make police work more difficult.
“People know what a fully warranted officer can do and when you find someone who doesn’t possess those powers but appears to, that will cause confusion.
The deterrent effect of having warranted officers is lost.”
He also called it a worrying step towards private on-the-street policing.
“The shift towards privatisation by government is something we are very concerned about and this is another example of the boundaries being pushed.”
He said: “On its own it is not looked on as a big thing but when you see it as what is going on in the Police Service it should be a real concern for the public.
“The British Police model has worked well for the best part of 200 years and the communities understand the police are independent, accountable and act with impartiality and discretion.”
Spalding, a small market town in the county has already proposed having private security officers patrolling the streets. Agora Capes Security, lead by former Royal guard Nectario Greenfield, suggested his security staff march around neighborhoods and the town center with cameras, at the cost of local residents . With little interest expressed by the public and a WideShut Facebook campaign against the move, it was eventually dropped, but they may be back for round two now that G4S has stepped in to the market.
“[G4S] are doing what any private company would want to do, which is make profit and expand their organisation,” concluded McKeever.’
A House panel is boosting money for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system by $680 million amid an election-year fight over whether President Barack Obama is doing enough for the longtime Mideast ally.
The Republican-controlled Armed Services Committee, which begins crafting a fiscal 2013 defense budget next week, plans millions more for the system designed to intercept short-range rockets and mortars, according to a congressional aide. The money would be in addition to the $205 million that the Obama administration and Congress agreed to in a special request in the 2011 budget and would cover several years, through fiscal 2015.
The aide spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of the formal announcement on the budget.
An increase in money for the program was expected as the Pentagon said last month that it would work with Congress to steer more funds to a system that has proven effective in intercepting rockets and mortars fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza. The budget plan also comes as the Obama administration tries to dissuade Israel from launching a potential unilateral strike against Iran to stop its disputed nuclear development program.
“Supporting the security of the state of Israel is a top priority of President Obama and Secretary (Leon) Panetta,” the Pentagon said last month. “The Department of Defense has been in conversations with the government of Israel about U.S. support for the acquisition of additional Iron Dome systems and intends to request an appropriate level of funding from Congress to support such acquisitions based on Israeli requirements and production capacity.”
In addition, since 1988 and the early days of U.S.-Israeli cooperation on missile defense, presidents have proposed a specific amount for the program knowing full well that Israel will contact members of Congress and ask that they come up with more money. Congress routinely complies.
Last year, lawmakers took the overall request of $106 million for cooperative U.S.-Israeli missile defense programs and added millions more, providing $216 million.
This year, Republicans see a political opening in the uneasy relationship between Washington and Jerusalem over Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the state of Mideast peace talks, further complicated by the administration’s pressure on Israel to hold off on a possible military strike against Iran.
The Iranian threat to Israel has stoked the bitter rhetoric both in Washington and on the presidential campaign trail, where likely nominee Mitt Romney has accused Obama of throwing Israel under a bus and emboldening the Palestinians. The fierce talk reflects that Jewish voters, who comprise only 2 percent of the electorate nationwide, are a critical part of Obama’s base and could be the difference in close battleground states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Nevada.
Obama’s budget for next year calls for $3.1 billion in military assistance for Israel, a slight increase over the current level and the most for any foreign country. In February, Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., who heads the Foreign Affairs Committee, complained in a letter to Obama that his “record low” budget request jeopardized Israel’s security.
Israel threatens to attack Iran and potentially start one of the greatest wars seen in decades and it escalates attacks on Gaza and in return, the United States increases their military aid.
We claim to want Israel to pull back on their incredibly dangerous warmongering with Iran and we want them to come to the table with the Palestinians and finally work out a peace agreement but we refuse to do the one thing that would likely get Israel to comply: pull funding.
However, if Tarek Mehanna is guilty, so am I. I, too, support the right of Muslims to defend themselves against US troops, even if that means they have to kill them, and I try to give the Iraqi resistance a voice through my website. I have done everything that Tarek Mehanna has done, and there are only two possibilities as to why I am not sitting in a cell with him: first, the FBI is incompetent and hasn’t been able to smoke me out; second, the US judicial system would never dream of violating my freedom of speech because I am white and I am a veteran of the occupation of Iraq.
… I’m not afraid to profess my support for Tarek Mehanna, or to advocate for his ideas, because I know the law does not apply equally to all in America. My whiteness and my status as a veteran will protect me. But Tarek was brown and he never made the mistake of enlisting in the Marine Corps, as I did. So he will spend the next 17 years in a prison cell.