Updated to include some evidence from Saildude he posted downthread. See below where it says "UPDATED" for the news.
Exclusive! The FBI Deputizes Business
By Matthew Rothschild, February 7, 2008
Today, more than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does—and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials. In return, they provide information to the government, which alarms the ACLU. But there may be more to it than that. One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to "shoot to kill" in the event of martial law.
So basically, the FBI is putting corporate capos in charge of security. And they're giving them shoot-to-kill rights.
One business owner in the United States tells me that InfraGard members are being advised on how to prepare for a martial law situation—and what their role might be. He showed me his InfraGard card, with his name and e-mail address on the front, along with the InfraGard logo and its slogan, "Partnership for Protection." On the back of the card were the emergency numbers that Schneck mentioned.
"The meeting started off innocuously enough, with the speakers talking about corporate espionage," he says. "From there, it just progressed. All of a sudden we were knee deep in what was expected of us when martial law is declared. We were expected to share all our resources, but in return we’d be given specific benefits." These included, he says, the ability to travel in restricted areas and to get people out.
But that’s not all.
"Then they said when—not if—martial law is declared, it was our responsibility to protect our portion of the infrastructure, and if we had to use deadly force to protect it, we couldn’t be prosecuted," he says.
I had to read this several times and hear it from another source before I believed it.
The ACLU is also commenting on this:
"The U.S. security establishment is reaching deeper and deeper into our private lives by forcing the corporate sector to inform on the activities of individuals," said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. "The government has always recruited informers to help convict criminals, but today that recruitment is being computerized, automated, and used against innocent individuals on a massive scale that is unprecedented in the history of our nation."
Whatever the guys at the top are planning, it's not in our best interests. Our constitution is being rewritten without our approval. This stuff sends chills up and down my spine. I don't know what country we're living in, but it's not America anymore.
Another scary quote from the article in the Progressive:
This special status concerns the ACLU.
"The FBI should not be creating a privileged class of Americans who get special treatment," says Jay Stanley, public education director of the ACLU’s technology and liberty program. "There’s no ‘business class’ in law enforcement. If there’s information the FBI can share with 22,000 corporate bigwigs, why don’t they just share it with the public? That’s who their real ‘special relationship’ is supposed to be with. Secrecy is not a party favor to be given out to friends. . . . This bears a disturbing resemblance to the FBI’s handing out ‘goodies’ to corporations in return for folding them into its domestic surveillance machinery."
We all know how Bush and his pals love and protect the poor, disabled, and the underclass. Heaven help us.
I guess now you know why Republicans are so desperate to pass corporate immunity in FISA.
They have a master plan, and YOU aren't part of it.
UPDATE (kudos to Saildude):
Here's what Saildude said:
"I recorded this conversation with the USCG after I took a news reporter over to get pollution samples in public waters.
His own words are "They are responsible for the security of their facility".
I thought he misspoke- I stand corrected."
And his link to a recording with the USCG confirming potential use of force:
A link to reporting criteria:
Notice that the "suspicious persons" sound an awful lot like the people George W. Bush despises:
"Report any persons near critical infrastructure/key resource facilities who do not fit the surrounding environment, such as individuals wearing improper attire for conditions or not normally present in the area (such as, homeless persons, street vendors, demonstrators, or street sweepers)."
So whatever you do, don't demonstrate anywhere, and for god's sake, don't be HOMELESS!