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Bulletproof Security: Mining Company Hires Paramilitary Commandos to Guard Their Precious Equipment, and Wisconsin Is Unhappy

by Abby Zimet

In response to protests against test drilling for a controversial proposed $1.5 billion open-pit iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin by Gogebic Taconite, the mining company has hired masked, camouflaged, assault-rifle-toting guards from a self-described, Arizona-based "no compromise" security force that boasts of "rigorous tactical firearms training" and "professional operators" who combine "logistics with tactical support" to "instinctively and smoothly manage surrounding threats."  Thanks to the mindless Rambo-ing up, the "surrounding threats" are now mostly the once-peaceable, now-pissed residents who, in a letter from Democratic legislators, blast the company's “confrontational and incendiary step that will clearly do more to intimidate local citizens and increase local tensions than it will to make you, your staff, or your equipment any safer.”

“Some of the local people are wondering what the heck? It’s come to a sad situation when you’ve got to have a machine gun to protect a business that people around here don’t want.” - Paul DeMain, editor of the News from Indian County.

Update: More on the Arizona businessman behind Bulletproof. Besides mercenaries-for-hire, he also deals in real estate and payday loans.