"DHS to go local? So advises the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group" By @marymad
DHS should shift focus to working on local / homegrown threats says Aspen Homeland Security Group http://publicintelligence.net/dhs-to-focus-on-providing-intelligence-on-domestic-threats via @heavenleeops
Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group
A bipartisan group of homeland security and counterterrorism experts
The Aspen Institute's Homeland Security Program works to heighten public awareness as to the nation's continued vulnerability to terrorism, and to persuade the nation to take the necessary steps to close the gap between how secure we should be and how secure we actually are. For more information, please visit www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/homeland-security.
Leadership & Staff:
Chief William Bratton - Chairman of Kroll, Altegrity Security Consulting
Michael Chertoff - Secretary of Homeland Security under George W Bush
Jane L Harman - US Representative from California
The Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group
Hearing before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
“Homeland Security and Intelligence: Next Steps in Evolving the Mission”
18 January 2012
American expectations of how their government secures the United States have evolved substantially, especially during the post-9/11 decade. From the post-World War II, 20th-century evolution of the national security architecture in the United States, focused on countering overseas nation-states with conventional forces, we now face requirements to protect at home. And not only to protect, but to prevent: the new, domestic security architecture is targeted more at securing borders, infrastructure, and cyberspace with defensive measures as it is at pursuing any single adversary with offensive measures.
The growth of our expectations of domestic security, and the evolution of threats away from traditional state actors toward non-state entities -- drug cartels, organized crime, and terrorism are prominent examples -- suggest that the DHS intelligence mission should be threat agnostic. Though the impetus for creating this new agency, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, was clearly terrorismbased, the kinds of tools now deployed, from border security to cyber protection, are equally critical in fights against emerging adversaries.
The DHS enterprise is more complex than other agencies responsible for America’s security, and its intelligence mission is correspondingly multifaceted. Its intelligence missions range from providing homeland security-specific intelligence at the federal level; integrating intelligence vertically through DHS elements; and working with state/local/private sector partners to draw their intelligence capabilities into a national picture and provide them with information. DHS, as it works to sharpen these missions, benefits from both a legislative mandate and a competitive advantage in a few areas that are unique within the federal intelligence community:
• Securing borders and analyzing travel -- from threats such as terrorists, drug cartels, and alien smugglers -- including integrating travel data with other federal information;
• Protecting critical infrastructure, from advising transportation partners on how to secure new transport nodes to providing sectors with after-action analysis of the infrastructure vulnerabilities exposed by overseas attacks; and
• Preventing cyber intrusions, from red-teaming vulnerabilities in the US private sector to sharing best practices among corporate entities.
Many agencies conduct all-source analysis of threat based on more traditional models of intelligence. As DHS grows its intelligence mission, though, we should understand that its development will benefit from unique data and responsibilities that other agencies do not share. The foundation for a separate DHS intelligence mission includes a few key elements:
• Access to unique, homeland-relevant data, such as CPB and ICE information;
• Responsibility for securing the border and critical infrastructure;
• Access to personnel who have intimate tactical knowledge of current issues and trends in these areas; and
• Responsibility for serving state/local partners as well as private sector partners in key infrastructure sectors.
In an age of budget constraints, pressure on DHS to focus on core areas of responsibility and capability -- and to avoid emphasis on areas performed by other entities -- may allow for greater focus on these areas of core competency while the agency sheds intelligence functions less central to the DHS mission. Analysts and managers in Washington’s sprawling intelligence architecture often speak of the value of competitive analysis -- analysts at different agencies, for example, looking at similar problems to ensure that we miss no new perspective, no potentially valuable data source.
There remains room for this type of analysis, but there are enough agencies pursuing the terrorist adversary to allow DHS to build a new analytic foundation that emphasizes data, analytic questions, and customer groups that are not the focus for other agencies. Analysis that helps private-sector partners better understand how to mitigate threats to infrastructure, for example, should win more resourcing than a focus on all-source analysis of general threats, such as work on assessing the perpetrators of attacks. Conversely, all-source analysis of terrorist groups and general terrorist trends should remain the domain of other intelligence agencies.
In contrast to intelligence agencies that have responsibilities for more traditional areas of national security, DHS’s mandate should allow for collection, dissemination, and analytic work that is focused on more specific homeward-focused areas. First, the intelligence mission could be directed toward areas where DHS has inherent strengths and unique value (e.g., where its personnel and data are centered) that overlap with its legislative mandate. Second, this mission direction should emphasize areas that are not served by other agencies, particularly state/local partners whose needs are not a primary focus for any other federal agency.
In all these domains, public and private, DHS customers will require information with limited classification; in contrast to most other federal intelligence entities, DHS should focus on products that start at lower classification levels, especially unclassified and FOUO, and that can be disseminated by means almost unknown in the federal intelligence community (phone trees, Blackberries, etc.). Partnerships and collaboration will be a determining factor in whether this refined mission succeeds. As threat grows more localized, the prospect that a state/local partner will generate the first lead to help understand a new threat, or even an emerging cell, will grow. And the federal government’s need to train, and even staff, local agencies, such as major city police departments, will grow. Because major cities are the focus for threat, these urban areas also will become the sources of intelligence that will help understand these threats at the national level, DHS might move toward decentralizing more of its analytic workforce to partner with state/local agencies in the collection and dissemination of intelligence from the local level.
This new approach to intelligence -- serving local partners’ requirements, providing intelligence in areas (such as infrastructure) not previously served by intelligence agencies, and disseminating information by new means -- reflects a transition in how Americans perceive national security. For this reason, state/local agencies, as clients for DHS intelligence, should also be involved in the development of requirements for what kinds of intelligence on emerging threats would be most helpful, from changing tactics for smuggling aliens into the United States to how to understand overseas terrorist incidents and translate them into analysis for the US.
Similarly, different private sectors in the United States, from the hospitality industry to transportation, should drive requirements for DHS, in addition to serving as sources for information about what emerging vulnerabilities these industries are seeing. DHS should utilize existing public private partnerships to both drive requirements and aid distribution.
After the Mumbai attacks, for example, DHS intelligence might have partnered with private sector entities in the hospitality industries -- and state and local police agencies responsible for major hotel centers and ports -- to develop unclassified graphics and text explaining how the terrorists entered ports; how they breached perimeter security at facilities in the city; how security within facilities struggled during the ensuing battle; and how the attacks compared with other attacks in recent years against public buildings. Most or all of this information would have been available in public media, and it can be displayed in interactive, graphic format, with support from analysts who specialize not in international terrorism but instead in engineering, building security, port security, etc. The requirements for any product would have been driven by the hospitality industry and major city police chiefs. None of this bears any resemblance to what more traditional intelligence agencies have done since in post-WWII world of foreign intelligence; this type of analytic product is more closely aligned with the new, and growing, world of homeland security intelligence.
By focusing intelligence collection, dissemination, and analysis in these areas, DHS could grow an intelligence architecture that builds on its core strengths, avoid competition with agencies in other areas, such as general terrorism analysis; and provide unique product and partnerships that other agencies not only lack but are will not view as their core competencies.
Because homeland security intelligence requires a new understanding of products, customers, and delivery, training managers and analysts must reflect a way of doing business that is fundamentally different than the business practices taught at agencies that have focused historically on foreign intelligence. DHS might consider the development of a homeland security training institute that develops this training -- from new ways to portray information geospatially to different paths for developing requirements from state and local partners -- as an entirely new enterprise. This training should include a separate element responsible for research, for bringing in American and foreign scholars who look at this issue, and for ensuring that doctrines for collecting, reporting, and analyzing knowledge in the homeland security environment is captured in one place and documented.
The creation of DHS led to a rapid growth in a workforce, and a thirst for analytic product, that required the US Government to move quickly, before the foundations of homeland security intelligence were established and before we had the luxury of a full post-9/11 decade to understand where we need to go. We have an opportunity now to step back and review how much this new enterprise differs from traditional analysis, and how we can succeed, beyond what we understood even five years ago, in delivering new, innovative product to different customers. And in how we can develop simple processes through which they deliver clear requirements to analysts in Washington and at fusion centers across the country. This review provides that opportunity.
Department of Homeland Security
"Homeland Security Advisory Council Members" last reviewed / modified on November 2, 2011
Chief William “Bill” Bratton (Vice Chair), Chairman of Kroll, Altegrity Security Consulting
Chief William Bratton (vice-chair) was recently named the Chairman of Kroll, part of Altegrity Security Consulting. Bratton began his law enforcement career in 1970, and has served as Los Angeles Police Department Chief, Chief of the New York City Transit Police, Boston Police Commissioner, and New York City Police Commissioner. He is also the only executive to serve two terms as the elected President of the Police Executive Research Forum. Chief Bratton's professional honors include the Schroeder Brothers Medalthe Boston Police Department's highest award for valor.
Clark Kent Ervin, Director, Homeland Security Program, The Aspen Institute
Clark Kent Ervin is the Director of the Aspen Institute’s Homeland Security Program. Before joining the Institute in 2005, he served as the first Inspector General for the United States Department of Homeland Security. Prior to his service at DHS, he was the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of State. Mr. Ervin was Associate Director of Policy in the White House Office of National Service in the administration of President George H.W. Bush and has practiced law twice in the private sector.
Raymond Kelly, Police Commissioner, City of New York
Raymond Kelly is the Police Commissioner of the City of New York. Commissioner Kelly formerly served as Senior Managing Director, Global Corporate Security, at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. Before that, he served as Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service and as Under Secretary for Enforcement at the U.S. Treasury Department. He also served on the executive committee and was elected Vice President for the Americas of Interpol.
Chuck Wexler, Executive Director, Police Executive Research Forum
Chuck Wexler is Executive Director of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a Washington, D.C.-based policing think tank. He leads a staff that conducts policing research, provides management services and consulting for police agencies, and develops senior police executives to be tomorrow’s police chiefs. PERF’s research has a direct impact on policy and practice in policing around the world. Prior to working at PERF, Mr. Wexler worked as operations assistant to the Police Commissioner in Boston.
Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Working Group
Homeland Security Advisory Council Spring 2010
Secretary’s Tasking of HSAC
Recognizing that there have been many successful cases of local law enforcement working with communities to fight violent crime, at the February 2010 HSAC Meeting Secretary Napolitano tasked the HSAC to “…work with state and local law enforcement as well as relevant community groups to develop and provide to me recommendations regarding how the Department can better support community-based efforts to combat violent extremism domestically – focusing in particular on the issues of training, information sharing, and the adoption of community-oriented law enforcement approaches to this issue.”
Specifically, the initial recommendations will focus on the following issue areas:
• Best Practices:What are some best practices that demonstrate how information driven, community-based efforts can be effective in reducing violent crime within a community?
• Information Sharing:What type of information and intelligence should DHS be providing state and local authorities so that they are better able to leverage existing community-oriented policing efforts to identify and address ideologically-motivated violent crime?
• Training and Other Support:What type of training, technical assistance and funding support is required so that local authorities are better able to integrate information driven, community-oriented policing activities into overall efforts to establish safe and secure communities?
Police Executive Research Forum
The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) is a national membership organization of progressive police executives from the largest city, county and state law enforcement agencies. PERF is dedicated to improving policing and advancing professionalism through research and involvement in public policy debate. Incorporated in 1977, PERF's primary sources of operating revenues are government grants and contracts, and partnerships with private foundations and other organizations.
Chuck Wexler | @CWexlerPERF | 9:04 AM - 1 Nov 11
PERF’s new report on “Managing Major Events” is being used as a guide to handling Occupy protests: http://www.policeforum.org/dotAsset/1491727.pdf
"Critical Issues in Policing Series - Managing Major Events: Best Practices from the Field"
"Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper on Paramilitary Policing From WTO to Occupy Wall Street" November 17, 2011
We host a discussion on policing and the Occupy Wall Street movement with Chuck Wexler, director of the Police Executive Research Forum, which helped organize calls among police chiefs on how to respond to the Occupy protests, and with Norm Stamper, the former police chief of Seattle, who recently wrote an article for The Nation magazine titled "Paramilitary Policing from Seattle to Occupy Wall Street." "Trust me, the police do not want to be put in this position. And cities really need to ask themselves, is there another way to handle this kind of conflict?" Wexler says. Stamper notes, "There are many compassionate, decent, competent police officers who do a terrific job day in and day out. There are others who are, quote, 'bad apples.' What both of them have in common is that they 'occupy,' as it were, a system, a structure that itself is rotten. And I am talking about the paramilitary bureaucracy." We are also joined by Stephen Graham, author of "Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism," and by retired New York Supreme Court Judge Karen Smith, who worked as a legal observer Tuesday morning in New York after the police raided the Occupy Wall Street encampment. "I was there to take down the names of people who were arrested... As I’m standing there, some African-American woman goes up to a police officer and says, 'I need to get in. My daughter's there. I want to know if she’s OK.’ And he said, 'Move on, lady.' And they kept pushing with their sticks, pushing back. And she was crying. And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he throws her to the ground and starts hitting her in the head," says Smith. "I walk over, and I say, 'Look, cuff her if she's done something, but you don’t need to do that.’ And he said, 'Lady, do you want to get arrested?' And I said, 'Do you see my hat? I'm here as a legal observer.’ He said, 'You want to get arrested?' And he pushed me up against the wall." [includes rush transcript]
"The cop group coordinating the Occupy crackdowns" Shawn Gaynor | 11.18.11 - 11:23 am
Asher Wolf | @Asher_Wolf | 12:28 AM - 19 Nov 11
#PERF links to news about #OWS on their website (screencap.) Article link: http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_19343773 http://yfrog.com/kh48436496j
"#PERF Round-Up" By timeoutcorner 19/Nov/2011 01:14:45 AM PST
Tweets about #PERF from the beginning.
These are the collected tweets regarding the Police Executive Research Forum, or PERF. This is the NGO affiliated with Homeland Security, which just so happened to have 'written the manual' in 'how to deal with Occupy Wall Street'.
"Confirmed: Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) coordinating Occupy raids" by aigeanta | SAT NOV 19, 2011 AT 06:07 AM PST
"PERF Executive Director Chuck Wexler, relies on "DHS Partnership" to "solve problems"" byjamess | SAT NOV 19, 2011 AT 02:15 PM PST
"Evidence: non-profit policing organization orchestrating nationwide anti-occupy crackdown" sosadmin | Sat, 11/19/2011 - 16:24
"PERF - Police Executive Research Forum Company Directory" BY: A GUEST | NOV 20TH, 2011
"chuck wexler iacp (perf)" BY: DOXCAK3 | NOV 19TH, 2011
"every perf work dox" BY: DOXCAK3 | NOV 20TH, 2011
"get to know the PERF" BY: DOXCAK3 | NOV 20TH, 2011
"Anonymous hacks cops coordinating Occupy evictions - PERF goes down" Michael Stone | NOVEMBER 20, 2011
"PERF 990 Filings" by Feminist Whore | MON NOV 21, 2011 AT 05:34 AM PST
"Interview: Police Executives' Research Forum Director Chuck Wexler" By KHADIJAH BRITTON | November 23, 2011
"What I Think of PERF" AYESHA KAZMI | 23/11/2011 at 21:25
"A PERF-ect Storm" By KHADIJAH BRITTON | November 26, 2011
"Missing the point: PERF and the surveillance industrial complex" sosadmin | Mon, 11/28/2011 - 14:55
"A Story of PERF-idy" Posted on 29/11/2011 by Andrew McInnes
"Occupy LA Raid: Los Angeles Police Reportedly Went Undercover At Encampment Prior To Raid To Gather Information" Associated Press | First Posted: 12/3/11 02:08 AM ET
Law Enforcement Tactics vs. Occupy
"Op-Ed: Disorderly Conduct? How Protesting Became a Crime in NYC" Alex Vitale | October 26, 2011 4:04 AM
"Paramilitary Policing From Seattle to Occupy Wall Street" Norm Stamper | November 9, 2011
"New York Police in Riot Gear Clear ‘Occupy’ Protesters From Zuccotti Park" By Esmé E. Deprez and Alison Vekshin - Nov 15, 2011 2:09 PM PT
"Update: 'Occupy' crackdowns coordinated with federal law enforcement officials" by Rick Ellis | NOVEMBER 15, 2011
"Surprise, Homeland Security Coordinates #OWS Crackdowns" By WONKETTE JR. | 8:55 PM NOVEMBER 15, 2011
"Oakland Mayor Jean Quan Admits Cities Coordinated Crackdown on Occupy Movement" Posted on November 15, 2011
"Mayors deny colluding on 'Occupy' crackdowns: City leaders say they traded notes on protesters but sweeps were no coordinated scheme" By Jim Gold updated 11/15/2011 7:17:28 PM ET
"Officials around U.S. shared advice on Occupy protests" By NIGEL DUARA The Associated Press | Originally published November 15, 2011 at 9:42 PM | Page modified November 16, 2011 at 11:48 AM
PORTLAND — Don't set a midnight deadline to evict Occupy Wall Street protesters — it will only give a crowd of demonstrators time to form. Don't set ultimatums because it will encourage violent protesters to break it. Fence off the parks after an eviction so protesters can't reoccupy it.
As local governments expressed concern over safety and sanitation at the encampments over the last month, officials from nearly 40 cities turned to each other on conference calls. They shared what worked and what hasn't as they grappled with the leaderless movement that began Sept. 17 when scores of people demanding a crackdown on corporate greed staked their claim to a Manhattan park and sparked a nationwide movement.
Some of that advice may have led to Tuesday's clearing of the original encampment at Zuccotti Park in New York, where police rousted protesters and a judge ruled that their free-speech rights do not extend to pitching a tent and setting up camp for months at a time.
While riot police sweeping through tent cities in Portland, Ore.; Oakland, Calif.; and New York City over the past several days may suggest a coordinated effort, authorities and a group that organized the calls say they were a coincidence.
"It was completely spontaneous," said Chuck Wexler, director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a national police group that organized calls on Oct. 11 and Nov. 4. Among the issues discussed: safety, traffic and the fierceness of demonstrations in each city.
"This was an attempt to get insight on what other departments were doing," he said.
From Atlanta to Washington, D.C., officials talked about how authorities could make camps safe for protesters and the community. On Oct. 11, police chiefs who had been dealing with the encampments for weeks warned that the homeless would be attracted to the food, shelter and medical care the camps offered.
There were more tidbits, including the midnight deadline.
Portland police did exactly that when they evicted protesters during the day from two downtown parks over the weekend. Officers came armed with pepper spray, beanbag rounds and stun guns but didn't need to deploy them.
Going in at midnight "would have been a confrontation that really wasn't necessary," police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said.
It was advice that came after the Oakland, Calif., protest was shut down Oct. 25 in a confrontation that turned violent. One protester, Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen, was badly injured.
In that city, where vestiges of the protesters' encampment were peacefully removed on Monday, city officials took part in strategy sessions with other big cities dealing with similar demonstrations.
Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said he participated in a call organized by Wexler's group and has talked with officials in the New York Police Department's civil-disturbance unit and high-ranking police officials in San Francisco.
He said a theme was how the atmosphere at the camps had shifted from a haven for peaceful protest to one for criminal behavior.
"Some chiefs had been tolerant of the progressive movement, but that all changed when the criminal element showed up," Jordan said. The Oakland camp's removal became an urgent issue after a 25-year-old man was fatally gunned down on Thursday.
"We don't need any more evidence than that," Jordan said. "We had to step it up."
Mayors of midsized and large cities held calls similar to the police group's twice last week, one of which was organized by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn did not participate in any conference calls with other mayors of Occupy cities, said spokeswoman Julie Moore. She did say that in the early days of the encampment, which started here Oct. 3, staff of the city Office of Intergovernmental Relations had separate conversations with their counterparts from Portland, San Francisco and Chicago.
About 65 or 70 arrests have been made since the protest started, Sgt. Sean Whitcomb of the Seattle Police Department said, and most have been peaceful. Protesters initially camped out at Westlake Park, but police made nightly sweeps and McGinn urged protesters to set up base outside City Hall. Protesters ultimately moved to Seattle Central Community College, where they have set up a tent city, but continue to hold protests at Westlake.
Some police departments didn't have to rely on the conference calls. Like most police agencies, they are constantly exchanging information.
Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said his department gets updates as much as several times a day from various sources, including other law-enforcement agencies and media outlets that are monitoring the Occupy protests.
Smith said he was unaware of other agencies' plans to evict protesters.
Whitcomb said he wasn't sure if Seattle police took part in the national consultations but said he wouldn't be surprised if commanders had taken part. "Ultimately we're acting on information that we have here, not with what's going in Boston or New York or Los Angeles," he added.
But New York City's action appeared to have emboldened Los Angeles, where Police Chief Charlie Beck said officials were working out a timeline to evict Occupy protesters from their camp outside Los Angeles City Hall.
City officials across the nation have said that the demonstrations have cost them millions of dollars. Seattle estimated Friday that the protest had cost $500,000. Businesses near Zuccotti Park in New York say protesters have cost them a combined $500,000 in profits.
The protest movement has "hurt the quality of life in every part of the city," said Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.
"In the past few days, the balance has tipped," said Portland Mayor Sam Adams.
On Monday, a few hundred New York residents and business owners organized a protest of the protests, wearing white masks and chanting: "Leave here now."
Even before the police descended on Zuccotti Park overnight, some early proponents of Occupy Wall Street had suggested that it was time to move on.
On Monday, Adbusters, the Canadian anti-corporate magazine that conceived of the movement, indicated that the protesters should "declare victory" and head indoors to strategize.
Additional material from The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and Seattle Times staff
"Police Crackdowns on OWS Coordinated among Mayors, FBI, DHS" Posted on 11/16/2011 by Juan Cole
"Build Up To A Raid: NYPD Planned Occupy Wall Street Eviction For Weeks" By Garth Johnston on November 16, 2011 10:00 AM
"Caught on Camera: 10 Shockingly Violent Police Assaults on Occupy Protesters" Joshua Holland | November 18, 2011
"FBI Claims It Does Not Have Any Documents on Occupy Wall Street" Jason Leopold | Tuesday 22 November 2011
"The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy: The violent police assaults across the US are no coincidence. Occupy has touched the third rail of our political class's venality" Naomi Wolf | Friday 25 November 2011 12.25 EST
"Naomi Wolf’s ‘Shocking Truth’ About the ‘Occupy Crackdowns’ Offers Anything but the Truth: Naomi Wolf's latest theory veers wildly from the known facts." Joshua Holland | November 26, 2011
"Updated: The Shocking Truth About Naomi Wolf's Factless Assertions" By karoli | November 26, 2011 09:30 AM
"No, the Crackdown Against Occupy Wall Street is Not the Work of the Shadowy Elite" E.D. Kain | 11/26/2011 @ 1:21PM
"Naomi Wolf’s ‘Shocking Truths’ on #OWS Crackdowns are False" Angry Black Lady | November 27, 2011 4:37 pm
"Undercover Cops at Occupy Protests" Sue Basko | November 30, 2011
Occupy UC Davis
"Police officer pepper-sprays seated, non-violent students at UC Davis" By Xeni Jardin at 8:35 pm Friday, Nov 18
"The roots of the UC-Davis pepper-spraying" Glenn Greenwald | SUNDAY, NOV 20, 2011 4:09 AM PST
"UC Davis Pepper Spray Incident, Four Perspectives" Uploaded by waxpancake on Nov 21, 2011
"Former LAPD chief to head pepper-spraying probe" November 22, 2011 | Posted by Cory Golden
The former chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, William Bratton, will head up a review of Friday’s arrest and pepper-spraying of unarmed Occupy UC Davis protesters.
UC President Mark Yudof asked Bratton to report back within 30 days. Yudof did so in response to separate requests from UCD Chancellor Linda Katehi and Assembly Speaker John Pérez, D-Los Angeles.
“My intent,” Yudof said in a news release, “is to provide the chancellor and the entire University of California community with an independent, unvarnished report about what happened at Davis.”
Bratton’s report will be presented to an advisory panel of students, faculty, staff “and other UC community members.” Its members have not yet been named.
That panel will make recommendations to better ensure the safety of nonviolent protesters to Katehi. She, in turn, will present to Yudof a plan for implementing changes, according to the news release.
One of the country’s best known lawmen, Bratton, 64, led the LAPD from 2002 to 2009. He previously served as police commissioner in New York City and Boston.
More recently, Bratton has launched a global security firm, Altegrity Risk International, and been tapped by British Prime Minister David Cameron for advice in curbing gang violence in that country.
Bratton’s selection to lead the review may prove to be a controversial one with student protesters.
Speaking in an August interview with The Telegraph newspaper, after rioting in England, Bratton said police should have “a lot of arrows in the quiver.” He advocated a doctrine of “escalating force” with weapons including rubber bullets, Tasers, pepper spray and water cannons, the paper reported.
“In my experience, the younger criminal element don’t fear the police and have been emboldened to challenge the police and effectively take them on,” Bratton told The Telegraph.
In Los Angeles, he earned praise from city officials for the falling crime rate there, as well as a grudging respect from some critics for outreach to the black and Latino communities.
When Bratton announced his resignation, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa credited him with transforming the LAPD “into a beacon of progress and professionalism, a department seen as a partner, not an adversary, no longer bound by the misdeeds of the past.”
Bratton’s time in Los Angeles was not without controversy for the department, including a clash with unarmed protesters.
The city paid $13 million to settle lawsuits and took disciplinary steps after officers at a May 2007 immigration rally fired foam rounds into a crowd, instead of at the ground in keeping with policy, and struck protesters and journalists more than 100 times with batons, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“I’m certainly not proud of the event, but I am proud of the report,” Bratton told the Times on Tuesday, adding, “I am looking for a similar report that will give a truthful and objective, candid account of the events” at UCD.
Bratton will lead one of four planned investigations related to the UCD incident.
The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office is also investigating whether excessive force was used; the UCD Academic Senate is planning a probe; and Katehi said Tuesday that an outside firm would be providing a departmentwide review of UCD’s police.
Yudof also named UC General Counsel Charles Robinson and UC Berkeley School of Law Dean Christopher Edley Jr. to lead a systemwide examination of how all 10 campuses deal with nonviolent protests.
“We are moving forward to identify what needs to be done to ensure the safety of students and others who engage in non-violent protests on UC campuses,” Yudof said. “The right to peaceful protest on all of our campuses must be protected.”
"Occupy Davis-Something Doesn't Smell Right" by Horace Boothroyd III | TUE NOV 22, 2011 AT 07:01 PM PST
"Courts, police say pepper spray 'defensive' only" Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer | Wednesday, November 23, 2011
"Letter From Reynoso Indicates UCD Police Not Cooperating With Investigation" by David Greenwald | Wednesday, 25 January 2012 04:20
A letter from former Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso sent to UC President Mark Yudof indicates there will be delays in the original timeline. The delay means that Justice Reynoso is now "targeting February 21, 2012 for the release of the report of the Task Force."
Mr. Reynoso indicates the changes result "primarily from our negotiations with the Federated University Police Officer's Association (FUPOA) for access to non subject officers."
"The timing of the release of the Task Force report is dependent on the fact-finding report from Kroll," the former Justice continued. "The Task Force feels it is imperative to have the most complete view possible of the events that took place last November. This includes interviews from subject and non subject officers as well as students and faculty."
Cruz Reynoso's letter indicates that, while Kroll has conducted a number of interviews with students and faculty, they have "not had access to subject and non subject officers."
He further indicated, "Through several rounds of negotiation the General Counsel's office has made an agreement with FUPOA for access to non subject officers. Interviews with non subject officers are taking place this week."
In short, the police, after extensive negotiations, have allowed those officers who are not subjects of the investigation to interview with Kroll, but not those officers involved.
This calls into serious question the veracity of any investigation - if it does not include interviews with those officers actually involved in the pepper spraying of students.
One of our initial concerns about the investigation by William Bratton and Kroll was that they have full access to records and subpoena power.
UC Davis News Service Spokesperson Andy Fell, back in late November, assured the Vanguard that "both campus and UC will cooperate fully with them and make available to them any documents they need, subject only to legal restrictions such as those governing student records, personnel files etc."
He continued, "As a private contractor, Kroll doesn't actually have subpoena power. But they are going to get whatever they want. "
Cruz Reynoso concluded his letter indicating, "While the timeline for the release of the report has been delayed for a few weeks, I am very pleased that an agreement was reached for access to non subject officers as this is a critical component in understanding not only the frame of mind, but a complete understanding of the events that took place, including the view of police officers."
As we noted at the time, the lack of access to personnel files is not a small factor, however, as the investigators may need to examine some of the police personnel files to understand their history.
The Vanguard remains concerned, despite claims that "they are going to get whatever they want," that when push comes to shove a promise can be revoked, or information hidden under the guise of police personnel files or other confidential matters.
This concern is now playing out as the investigators are apparently finding it difficult to get the police to talk, and without such interviews the results of the investigation will be incomplete.
"POLL: OK That the UC Spent $100K on Post-Pepper Spray Consultant? They didn't want to put out misinformation on such a big issue, so they hired a consultant at a rate of $375 per hour." By Justin Cox Email | January 27, 2012
Vote in the poll below this story.
UC Davis’s approach to the on-campus Occupy camp shifted dramatically in the days after the now-famous pepper spraying. A consultant that was hired by the UC system in the incident’s aftermath might have something to do with that, based on a report in the Davis Enterprise.
Prior to that big moment, authorities had a firm no-camping policy and police approached the Occupation in riot gear, armed with pepper spray. After the incident, police hardly came around at all. And the students were allowed to reoccupy the following Monday. They also vacated during winter break and reoccupied once again at the start of the winter quarter.
Cory Golden reported today in the Enterprise that the UC system paid $100,000 for a crisis-communications consultant to help cope with the pepper spray fallout. Golden also pointed out ties between that consultant and the firm that is "independently" investigating the incident.
Until 2010, that same consultant, a division of Marsh Risk Consulting, had ties to Kroll Inc.— the outside firm hired by UC to provide an independent account of what happened that day on the Quad.
Lynn Tierney, the UC’s Associate Vice President of Communications, told Golden that they didn't want to put out misinformation on such a big issue, so they hired the help at a rate of $375 per hour. Check out the Enterprise story to see what else UC Davis spent during the fallout.
What do you think of the UC's decision to hire the consultant? Vote in the poll below.
"SNAPSHOT: Kroll Inc." BY: DEINOS77 | NOV 21ST, 2011
* * * * * * * * * * DESCRIPTION * * * * * * * * * *
Kroll could tell you what it does, but then it would have to charge you. The risk consulting company offers advisory services in a number of key areas: business intelligence, data security and recovery, due diligence, employee background screening (through Kroll Background America), investigations and disputes, litigation technology (through Kroll Ontrack), risk and compliance, and security consulting and systems design and engineering (through Kroll Security Group). Founded in 1972 by Jules Kroll, the firm has offices in more than 55 cities in 27 countries. Altegrity acquired Kroll in 2010 from insurance broker Marsh & McLennan Companies in a deal valued in excess of $1 billion.
Kroll is one of four businesses operated by the international screening and security systems company. Kroll's fact-finding and computer forensics expertise diversifies Altegrity's global investigative offerings (driven by Altegrity Risk International) in such areas as data loss and identity theft. The integration of Kroll with Altegrity is being led by William J. Bratton, a former Los Angeles police chief, who joined Altegrity in 2009 and today serves as Kroll's chairman.
Bratton, who managed police forces in both Los Angeles and New York, faces a number of challenges at Kroll. Before joining Altegrity, Kroll suffered declining revenues in its background screening business due to weak demand for employment and mortgage-related background screening. Kroll sought to regain its financial footing by divesting a number of lackluster assets. In 2010 the company sold Kroll Laboratory Specialists, its substance abuse testing division, to Inverness Medical Innovations for $109.5 million. (Kroll Laboratory Specialists was subsequently renamed Alere Toxicology Services, or ATS.)
In 2009 the company dropped its Kroll Government Services, a provider of background investigations and employment screening to US government agencies, to private equity firm Veritas Capital. The previous year Kroll put its Corporate Advisory & Restructuring Group on the sale rack. The Group advised stakeholders of financially- troubled companies.
At the same time, Kroll has expanded its international presence by forming a market intelligence operation serving Latin American businesses. The move followed a step-up in its European activities via three acquisitions: a FPR Limited, a UK-based employment screening company; Ibas Holdings, a Norwegian data recovery company; and Talbot Hughes McKillop, a corporate restructuring business in London.
HISTORY: Jules Kroll, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan, began Kroll Associates in 1972. The firm initially specialized in internal fraud investigation, and its reputation grew during the 1980s. By the early 1990s Kroll Associates was receiving such high-profile assignments as finding Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein's hidden assets and improving the World Trade Center's security after its first attack in 1993.
* * * * * * * * * KEY EXECUTIVES * * * * * * * * * *
William “Bill” Bratton Chairman
Philip Casey President and CEO
Don Buzinkai CFO
Jeff Kubacki CIO
"Welcome to the murky world of Kroll Inc - the private CIA" By Ben Hills - June 25, 2005
They helped track down billions of dollars of treasure looted from Kuwait by Saddam Hussein. They finally proved that "God's Banker", Roberto Calvi, found hanging under London's Blackfriars Bridge with bricks in his pockets, was murdered. They were hired by Prince Charles to find the "Princess Di tapes".
Move over James Bond, this is the real-life fantasy world of the thousands of former cops and spooks, bodyguards, forensic accountants, journalists and criminal lawyers who made up what claims to be "the world's foremost independent risk consulting company", Kroll Inc.
Not for nothing did a former executive of the company describe Kroll as "like a private CIA".
"Of course, there's lots of boring stuff too - corporate profiles, background checks on employees, data recovery," says a rival in the business, "But these are the ones that get the adrenaline going."
In the process, inevitably for a company employing large numbers of former CIA, FBI and Special Forces people, the company has occasionally been accused of misconduct - the bugging scandal in Brazil is just the latest in which Kroll Inc has been embroiled.
Founded in 1972 by a New York assistant district attorney, Jules Kroll, the company expanded aggressively across America and internationally into 60 countries. In Australia, Kroll formed an ongoing partnership with the accountancy firm Ferrier Hodgson.
Its customers were a who's who of the business world: Ford, Citibank, Hilton hotels, drug company Pfizer and Nestle among them. It has also worked for the US government.
Although its bread and butter work was legal corporate intelligence, such as profiling takeover targets, in countries such as Brazil, and now Iraq, where kidnapping is rampant, Kroll also specialised in "close body work" - bodyguards, protection and ransom.
In May last year, Julius Kroll received an offer he could not refuse. Marsh & McLennan, the New York insurance broker which claims to be the world's largest, took over Kroll for an eye-popping $US1.9 billion ($2.46 billion), more than $US100 million of which was pocketed by its founder.
Capitalised at $US6 billion, and with 60,000 employees in more than 100 countries - including Australia - Marsh & McLennan was the colossus of the industry, claiming a 40 per cent share of the global market for insurance broking.
But the company saw insurance as a mature market and wanted to expand into the related risk-management industry. No one could have foreseen when the takeover deal was signed in May last year that the sky was about to fall in.
Last October, New York's crusading district attorney, Eliot Spitzer, filed suit against Marsh & McLennan, accusing the company of having, for years, colluded with big insurance companies to "cheat customers in an elaborate charade of price fixing and bid rigging".
The three insurers he named were the giants American International Group, Zurich America Insurance Company and Ace Ltd. Adding spice to the story was the relationship between them: AIG was headed by the 79-year-old insurance industry legend Maurice "Hank" Greenberg; his son Jeffrey ran Marsh & McLennan, and; another son, Evan, was boss of Ace.
Spitzer claimed that Marsh & McLennan jacked up insurance premiums - thus increasing its commissions, and the profits of the insurers - with "fake bids, collusion, improper steering of business, payments by insurers to avoid solicitation of competing of competing quotes, and threats against those resisting participation in the fraudulent schemes".
The company "acted, in short, less like a broker with a fiduciary obligation to its clients than as the linchpin of a racket", Spitzer said.
Marsh & McLennan's shares tumbled more than 25 per cent, despite pledging it was "committed to getting all the facts, determining any incidence of improper behaviour and dealing appropriately with any wrongdoing".
Jeffrey Greenberg was forced to resign. His replacement was a man the company had inherited a few months earlier when it took over Kroll Inc, Michael Cherkasky, who was uniquely placed to steer the company through the scandal which threatened to destroy it.
For 16 years, Cherkasky was a white-collar crime buster for the New York District Attorney's office; Spitzer, now prosecuting Marsh & McLennan, was his protege. In 1994, Cherkasky joined Kroll - gamekeeper become poacher - working his way up to the chief executive's office.
Within three months, Cherkasky had overseen a clean-out of Marsh & McLennan's board, and the sacking of most of the executives deemed accountable for the corruption. In January, he persuaded Spitzer to drop the civil charges against the company by pledging to pay $US850 million to clients around the world - including Australia - that Marsh & McLennan had defrauded.
Criminal charges are still pending against 10 former executives of Marsh & McLennan and the insurance companies. In February, Kathryn Winter, the 50-year-old managing director of Marsh Inc, pleaded guilty to fraud in the Manhattan State Superior Court. She faces up to four years' jail, depending on how keenly she co-operates with Spitzer's investigators.
Cherkasky personally apologised to 120 of his biggest clients, and showed thousands of staff the door in a bid to restore the ailing giant to profitability.
He is now engaged on an even greater challenge - to convince outraged clients who had been deserting the company in droves, that Marsh & McLennan is serious about its reforms.
"A Corporate Sleuth Tries the Credit Rating Field" By JANET MORRISSEY - Published: February 26, 2011
FEW people ever penetrate the dark side of money, but Jules Kroll is one of them.
Fortunes plundered, ransoms paid, deals cut — the uncovering of such secrets, and the million smaller confidences that are his history, have made Mr. Kroll a rich man.
It was nearly 40 years ago, when he practically invented the business known as corporate intelligence, that he first came to the attention of crafty boardrooms. At a time when “private eye” still conjured images of cheating spouses and seedy hotels, Mr. Kroll built a sort of private C.I.A. and went corporate. If a Fortune 500 company or an A-list investment house wanted the dirt, it hired Kroll Inc. to dig it up.
Which is why his latest venture seems at once so unusual and yet so very Kroll. At 69, an age when other multimillionaires are working on their backswings, he is getting into — of all things — the credit ratings business.
Yes, credit ratings: gilt-edged triple-A’s, middling double-B’s, ignominious D’s. You might wonder why anyone pays attention to them anymore. After all, the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 laid bare the conflicts at the heart of the ratings game. The world learned that the three dominant services — Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch — had stamped sterling ratings on mortgage investments that turned out to be nearly worthless. It was a lesson that nearly brought down the financial system.
Ratings agencies, to many, seem like Wall Street’s enablers. What is Jules Kroll thinking? This is the man the Haitian government hired to track down financial assets linked to Jean-Claude Duvalier. The man Kuwait hired to ferret out the oil wealth of Saddam Hussein. One of Mr. Kroll’s cases, involving kidnapping, inspired the movie “Proof of Life,” and plans are in the works for HBO and Scott Rudin, the producer of “The Social Network,” to make a pilot for a television series loosely based on his exploits.
Mr. Kroll says that if he can do all of that, why, he can get to the bottom of an investment security, too. He and his son Jeremy, 39, are staking the family name on a venture called Kroll Bond Ratings. They say the business will marry hard-nosed credit analysis with their trademark corporate sleuthing. Maybe the leading ratings agencies — a triumvirate some liken to an oligopoly — can learn a thing or two from the gumshoes of Wall Street.
“They never really looked under the covers, which is what I have done all my life,” Mr. Kroll says. “If they were in any other business, they would be out of business.”
THE pertinent question for Mr. Kroll is why anyone should listen to him on the subject. The fundamental problem with the dominant agencies, their critics say, is that they are paid by the companies whose securities they evaluate, under the so-called issuer-pay model.
Some small ratings services have challenged the establishment by having investors — that is, the people who actually buy securities — pay for ratings. But for all his talk about shaking up this industry, Mr. Kroll is hewing to the status quo. Like Moody’s, S.& P. and Fitch, Kroll Bond Ratings will be paid by the issuers, just as the big three are.
Wall Street types tend to look askance at credit ratings no matter who is providing them. Not even Warren E. Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway owns about 12 percent of Moody’s, says he depends on ratings in making investment decisions. Mr. Buffett prefers to make his own judgments on companies, he said last year while appearing before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.
But ratings services, despite their apparent failures, still play a crucial role in the capital markets. Virtually every investor, big or small, is affected by what they do. And even the pros have to pay attention, because ratings often figure into the investment guidelines of big money management firms, banks and insurance companies.
Some wonder if Mr. Kroll is out of his depth this time.
“What does he know about giving me a rating on a security?” asks Richard X. Bove, an analyst at Rochdale Securities.
Others aren’t so quick to write off Mr. Kroll. Michael F. Price, the prominent value investor, is bankrolling Kroll Bond Ratings. So is Frederick R. Adler, one of New York’s most successful venture capitalists. And William L. Mack, the big real estate investor. The venture capital firms Bessemer Venture Partners, RRE Ventures and New Markets Venture Partners have invested a combined $24 million in it. And Mr. Kroll has personally staked $5 million.
That is pocket change by Wall Street standards. But Rob Stavis, a partner at Bessemer, says Kroll Bond Ratings could well pay off. “We often go after industries where there are significant incumbents when we believe they’re ripe for disruption,” he says. His firm was an early investor in Skype.
Mr. Kroll, for his part, is thinking big — as he always has. He wants to grab 10 percent of this $4 billion-a-year industry within five years.
But even that seemingly modest goal may be a reach. Moody’s and S.& P. each have about 40 percent of the ratings market. The remainder is spread among Fitch and several lesser-known agencies.
“I think it’s a tough industry to break into, but if anyone can do it, it’s Jules Kroll,” says Michael Charkasky, the chief executive of Altegrity, which acquired Kroll Inc. last year. (Mr. Charkasky had worked for Kroll for more than a decade.)
IN the aftermath of the Panic of 1907, a self-taught financial analyst named John Moody pioneered the idea of assigning ratings to public securities. For much of its history, the industry he founded was a relative backwater — a steady if unglamorous moneymaker that tended to attract wonks or analysts who might not land jobs at a Goldman or a Morgan.
Then, in 1975, the Securities and Exchange Commission promulgated rules that anointed a handful of Nationally Recognized Statistical Ratings Organizations. The S.E.C. argued that assessing the safety of investments was so important to the soundness of the nation’s banks and brokerage firms that only respected ratings agencies should be allowed to do the job. In the early 1980s, there were seven of these organizations. By the mid-1990s, mergers had reduced that number to three. The S.E.C. has since added seven, bringing the total to 10.
Kroll Bond Ratings is one of them.
It is certainly an uncomfortable time for ratings agencies, big or small. A report by the Congressional panel that chronicled the financial crisis called the big three services “essential cogs in the wheel of financial destruction.”
But the S.E.C. wants to wean the financial industry from its dependence on all ratings. In February, the commission unveiled a plan to strip references to ratings from rules that govern securities offerings, the first of several such moves the S.E.C. must make under the Dodd-Frank Act. The commission is also supposed to create its own Office of Credit Ratings to police the agencies, although the S.E.C. has delayed that move because of a tight budget.
”It’s a bit daunting, but I’ve always enjoyed a challenge,” Mr. Kroll says of his venture.
JULES KROLL loves a good story. The bookshelf in his 12th-floor office in Midtown Manhattan is stocked with titles that speak to a life spent weighing risks — books like “The Threat Closer to Home: Hugo Chávez and the War Against America” and “Surviving and Thriving in Uncertainty: Creating the Risk Intelligent Enterprise.”
But Mr. Kroll has plenty of his own stories to tell. Like the time in 2003 when Edward S. Lampert, the billionaire hedge fund manager who controls Sears, was kidnapped on the Connecticut Gold Coast. Mr. Kroll was brought in to help the F.B.I. and pointed out that someone — it turned out one of the kidnappers — was using Mr. Lampert’s credit card to buy pizza.
“These guys were real geniuses,” Mr. Kroll says dryly. Mr. Lampert was later released unharmed.
Over the years, Mr. Kroll has helped to secure the release of about 185 other kidnap victims, mostly overseas.
He clearly relishes his cloak-and-dagger image. In 2005, for instance, he paid $27,000 at a charity auction for a walk-on part on “CSI: New York.” He gave away the role so a friend could raise more money for another charity.
But Mr. Kroll has never quite fit the corporate mold. He sold Kroll Inc. in 2004 to Marsh & McLennan, the giant insurance brokerage firm, for $1.9 billion in cash and pocketed about $117 million.
In 2008, Mr. Kroll resigned as chairman and made an unsuccessful bid to buy his old company back. When that failed, he and Jeremy struck out on their own and opened K2 Global Consulting, whose name refers to the two Krolls. K2 provides anticorruption, due diligence and forensic accounting services that compete with the old Kroll. It will do much of the due diligence for Kroll Bond Ratings. (Marsh & McLennan sold his old company to Altegrity in 2010.)
Jeremy Kroll is being groomed for the family business, but his father says he never pressured his children to follow in his footsteps.
“I’ve seen too many situations where families and business split families apart,” Jules Kroll says. (Mr. Kroll’s daughters, Dana and Vanessa, have worked off and on for Kroll. His son Nick is an actor and comedian who recently appeared on Comedy Central.)
Jeremy Kroll, who studied languages and fine arts at Georgetown, took a series of odd jobs after college. He went to Italy to paint for a year. Later, he scouted film locations and cleaned toilets for a film company before joining his father’s company in 1996.
At Kroll, he handled things as diverse as missing-person cases and corporate litigation. And he quickly picked up his father’s work ethic: in 2001, he insisted on leading a team into Bosnia to complete a United Nations case that involved finding stolen money in the Bosnian banking system, even though, several weeks earlier, Kroll auditors had been beaten and taken hostage by Croats. “I couldn’t ask people on my team to go there if I wasn’t willing to go there myself,” Jeremy Kroll says.
One of his paintings hangs at K2’s headquarters. It is a gloomy, abstract self-portrait that he painted in Florence. In the painting, one eye is muddled over. Jeremy says it represents people who see only one side of things. “There’s always more to the story,” he says.
Kroll Bond Ratings hopes to pick apart some of the trickiest investments ever devised. Those include securities backed by residential mortgages as well as other “structured” products. Such investments, many of them linked to risky home loans, were at the heart of the financial crisis.
When they rated those securities, the dominant agencies often relied heavily on the banks that underwrote them. Indeed, the two camps often worked hand-in-glove.
Mr. Kroll vows that his venture will dig deeper, all the way down to the individual mortgages behind such investments. That would be a daunting task, given that thousands of individual home loans often back a single mortgage security.
“I wouldn’t do a rating unless that information was available — otherwise, how the hell are you going to make a judgment?” Mr. Kroll asks.
But already, his ratings venture has had some embarrassments of its own. Last year Mr. Kroll bought Lace Financial, a boutique credit rating service, to kick-start his firm. No sooner was that deal made than the S.E.C. fined Lace $20,000 for playing down a potential conflict of interest and failing to disclose steps that led to rating upgrades favorable for a big client.
Mr. Kroll dismisses the episode. “This was all just procedural stuff,” he says. Lace’s old management has since been replaced. Mr. Kroll has also recruited some heavy hitters from established agencies — that is, from the same agencies that have come under so much criticism. Among his hires are Jim Nadler, who headed the structured finance group at Fitch, and Kim Diamond, a former managing director at S.& P. For K2, Mr. Kroll has hired former C.I.A. agents, forensic accountants, academics, litigators and investigative journalists.
But breaking the grip of the big three won’t be easy. “It’s tough to break into any industry where the three incumbents have 97 percent of all ratings,” says Brett R. Gordon, an assistant professor of business at Columbia Business School.
Spokesmen for Moody’s, S.& P. and Fitch say their companies welcome competition. But Daniel Noonan, a managing director at Fitch, points out that his agency has 50 offices in 36 countries. Moody’s and S.& P. are even bigger. Start-up companies lack the geographical reach and industry expertise of the established players, Mr. Noonan says.
Kroll also faces competition from new entrants like Meredith Whitney, a banking analyst who is getting into the ratings business, and Morningstar, of mutual fund fame, which recently acquired an agency called Realpoint.
Sean Egan, the president of another small ratings service, Egan-Jones Ratings, says Mr. Kroll is playing by the old, discredited rules. The issuer-pay model lets companies shop around for the best ratings, putting pressure on the agencies to inflate their grades, Mr. Egan says.
“If a firm is being paid primarily by one side, it’s very difficult to argue that they can adequately represent the other side,” says Mr. Egan, whose firm has investors subscribe to its service. “One cannot serve two masters.”
Mr. Bove, the analyst at Rochdale, says of Mr. Kroll: “If he thinks he’s going to make his name by knocking down the ratings of one security after another, who’s going to pay him?”
BUT if Jules Kroll can deliver accurate credit ratings, he just might have a shot. Michael Millette, the head of structured finance at Goldman Sachs, says he would consider turning to Kroll. In the old days, if a security wasn’t rated by the big three, investors wondered why. To many, such securities seemed a bit dodgy. Now, in the post-crisis world, “that’s all changed,” Mr. Millette says.
Mr. Kroll is, naturally, undaunted. “I would be foolish not to tell you there is a hill to climb here,” he says, “but we’re not climbing a cliff.” He says that the big three agencies lost considerable investor confidence during the financial crisis, and that the sector is ripe for new blood. And, anyway, he says, he would rather be right than popular. “Our name is on the line,” he says.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: March 6, 2011
An article last Sunday about Kroll Bond Ratings misidentified one of its investors. It is New Markets Venture Partners, not NewMarket Capital Partners.
"A Spy in the Jungle" by Mary Cuddehe - August 2, 2010
Last February I got an offer from Kroll, one of the world's largest private investigation firms, to go undercover as a journalist-spy in the Ecuadorian Amazon. At first I thought I was underqualified for the job. But as it turned out I was exactly what they were looking for: a pawn.
The call came one night while I was sitting in a parking lot in Cancún, trying not cry over the spare tire that had mysteriously gone missing from my rented baby blue Atos. The E-Z Rent-a-Car agent, a skinny teenager who seemed genuinely sorry, said the replacement would cost $200. I knew the magazine I was on assignment for could never afford such a fee, meaning I would barely break even on the story--yet again.
But just then my cell phone rang. It was a private-investigator friend from Mexico City calling about a "research" job in the jungle. I would have to go to Ecuador to work with a group that does espionage for Fortune 500 companies. Was I interested? "I'm sure you could use the money," he said, bluntly.
A week later, I was on a plane to Colombia. The Kroll recruiter my friend put me in touch with didn't seem eager to talk over the phone, suggesting it would be easier to meet in person. He invited me to join him for a long weekend at a luxury hotel in Bogotá. And this trip, unlike Cancún, would be all expenses paid--and triple luxe.
I arrived after dark at the hotel, located on a quiet street in a modern, glassed-in building. I hadn't heard from Sam, my Kroll contact, in days. But not knowing where or when I would meet him only heightened the intrigue. Who were these shadowy people and what was this job that couldn't be discussed over the phone?
I needn't have worried. As soon as I walked in, the receptionist slid a note over the front desk with a number for Sam. A bellboy who took me to my room to rest for a few minutes gave me a purple flower and offered me a glass of red wine. By then I was imagining Sam as the Hollywood amalgam of a spy--dashing, dangerous, rugged yet refined, as effortless in a board meeting as in a bar fight. But when the elevator doors opened into the lobby, the man I saw just looked like a guy from L.A. in a black shirt and jeans.
Which is more or less what Sam was. A formerly broke freelance writer, he had risen through the alternative-weekly ranks reporting on race and hip-hop. That night, we drank tequila, smoked cigarettes, and went salsa dancing, and Sam confessed that before moving to Kroll full-time, he had worked as a researcher for Larry Flint on a pre-election campaign to take down George W. Bush. "After that, I couldn't work in journalism anymore," he said. The thought didn't seem to pain him, I noticed. Sam was going gray, looked to be in his mid-40s, and carried himself with the ease that comes with professional achievement. He had obviously grown used to the comforts of Kroll's upper management. And the message seemed to be that these were comforts I could grow used to as well.
The next morning, we met in a large suite at the hotel. Just like my smaller room, it was cozy and low-lit and featured a stocked kitchenette, a plush white bed, a flat-screen TV, and expensive French bath products. Over several hours, Sam explained my assignment, should I choose to accept it.
In Lago Agrio, Ecuador, he told me, one of the biggest environmental lawsuits in history is being fought out in a jungle court. A group of citizens represented by American trial attorneys and an NGO called the Amazon Defense Coalition are suing Texaco on the grounds that the company polluted routinely and wantonly during the 20-odd years it operated there.
In Crude, a documentary about the case that Sam played for me, footage shows residents living in shacks that surround sludge pools, bathing in filthy streams, and seeking relief at clinics for terrible skin rashes. While the documentary comes across as a pretty slanted and shoddy piece of filmmaking, it was impossible not to feel depressed watching it on my shiny MacBook Pro in the comfort of a ritzy hotel. According to Karen Hines, a representative for the plaintiffs, Texaco dumped 330 million gallons of oil--far more than the BP spill--around Lago Agrio, poisoning their water supply and sickening them with cancers and other diseases.
In Texaco's defense, however, Sam explained that it's not entirely obvious who should be responsible for the damage. Texaco built and operated the wells at the center of the dispute back in the early 1970s. But the state-run oil company, PetroEcuador, has owned a 62.5 percent share in the wells since 1977. For that reason, when it came to cleaning up the sludge, the government assigned just 133 of the 321 sites to Texaco; PetroEcuador took responsibility for rest. Texaco spent $40 million in its cleanup efforts, and when the work was done, analysts from a Quito university came to collect oil and water samples. By 1998, all of Texaco's sites had been approved, and the Ecuadorian government signed a full release.
By then, the first lawsuit was already being argued in U.S. courts. That suit, filed in New York in 1993, was eventually dismissed, but it paved the way for the current suit, filed in Ecuador in 2003. This time, Chevron is the defendant--the California-based oil company purchased Texaco in 2001. Chevron rests its defense on four pillars: Chevron itself never operated in Ecuador; the Ecuadorian government already released Texaco from these claims; a 1999 Ecuadorian law allowing individual citizens to file claims is being applied retroactively and unfairly; and, finally, the plaintiffs have committed fraud.
Until fairly recently, it seemed that Chevron would prevail. But starting in 2006, a series of dramatic changes took place. First Rafael Correa, the leftist economist, won the presidency. (He has reportedly called the pollution "a crime against humanity," and in an interview with Democracy Now! Said, " Our oil company [PetroEcuador] has also done a lot of damage in the rainforest, but it is very clear that the problem comes from the Chevron-Texaco period.") Months later, William Langewiesche wrote a sympathetic profile of the lead local plaintiffs' attorney for Vanity Fair. Before you could say "cause célèbre," photos of Daryl Hannah with Lago Agrio oil dripping from a splayed hand were circulating everywhere.
The case truly began slipping away from Chevron when the Ecuadorian court assigned a single independent expert to assess the environmental damages. The expert settled on a $27.3 billion figure that Chevron alone would be held responsible for covering. A judgment could come as early as the first quarter of 2011, and at this stage, many believe Chevron will lose.
Sam explained that once the company realized it was losing the PR battle, if not the whole war, it regrouped and hired Kroll. Based in New York, Kroll has a global network of employees, vast resources, and powerful connections. I heard one story about the son of a New York heiress who was snatched by his father and taken somewhere in the Middle East. After months of fruitless searching, his mother turned to Kroll. The firm soon discovered that father and son were going to Cuba, where Kroll was able to negotiate the father's detainment. Given this reach, I knew Kroll could hire someone with a medical background, legal training, or at least some familiarity with Ecuador. But there was a reason they wanted me.
With one Google search, anyone could see that I was, in fact, a journalist. If I went to Lago Agrio as myself and pretended to write a story, no one would suspect that the starry-eyed young American poking around was actually shilling for Chevron.
My assigment, should I choose to accept it, involved a health study that took place around 2007, when a Spanish human-rights activist named Carlos Beristain went to Lago Agrio. After interviewing 1,000 residents, Beristain concluded that the community suffered abnormally high cancer rates, and his study became a key part of the court-appointed expert's report. But Chevron thought something was fishy: Beristain had failed to disclose the names of all his assistants or of the people interviewed. To Chevron, the names were key to proving that the interviews were real, not merely the concoction of a hotshot activist trying to make complex issues simple--and, perhaps, enhance his own fame. But the court refused to compel the release of the names, strengthening Chevron's suspicions that the survey had been rigged. Was it possible that the plaintiffs had colluded with Beristain to handpick the interviewees? Kroll wanted me to find out.
"You know you're irreplaceable," Sam told me on my last night in Bogotá. We were sitting outside a fancy Peruvian restaurant. Inside, about a dozen Kroll employees--all, it should be noted, as nondescript and un-spy like as Sam--were dining on fish and passion fruit cocktails. The smoke from Sam's cigarette curled in the lamplight, giving the moment a film-noir feel. But by then the excitement had mostly worn off, and I wasn't sure I could do this and live with myself. "There is no other Mary Cuddehe," Sam continued. "If you don't do this job, we'll have to find another way." Then he told me how much he could pay: $20,000 for about six weeks of work. Plus expenses.
Part of me wanted to say yes. I was thrilled by the idea of a six-week paid adventure in the jungle, and I was curious about the case. Had the health study been fixed? Were the plaintiffs colluding with Beristain? Was Chevron desperate and paranoid, merely trying to smear its opponents? Despite my curiosity, I knew I had to say no. If I'm ever going to answer those questions, it will have to be in my role as a journalist, not as a corporate spy.
"Altegrity names William Bratton as Chairman of Kroll" Media Release Sept. 16, 2010
"Kroll Chairman William Bratton participates in launch of the Aspen Homeland Security Group" Media Release Sept. 16, 2011
"Who is Bill Bratton?" by Susan from 29 | SAT NOV 19, 2011 AT 03:34 PM PST
"Bill Bratton Casually Reveals To Cenk Uygur That LAPD Coordinated With The CIA" - Tommy Christopher | 4:12 pm, January 26th, 2012
Former LAPD Police Chief and Collaborate Or Perish! author William Bratton seems to have dropped something of a bomb on Current TV’s The Young Turks, telling host Cenk Uygur Tuesday night that his LAPD “had interactions with the CIA” to “to make them aware of our capabilities and our needs.”
While the CIA’s coordination with the NYPD has been big news, Bratton’s bombshell has proven a silent but deadly, barely registering with the news media.
The Central Intelligence Agency’s role in advising the New York City Police Department following the attacks of 9/11 has been making news lately, most recently with the revelation that the Agency’s general counsel did not approve the assignment. An Associated Press investigation revealed that the CIA helped the NYPD target innocent Muslims for surveillance:
"In a series of investigative reports since August, the AP has revealed that, with the CIA’s help, the NYPD developed spying programs that monitored every aspect of Muslim life and built databases on where innocent Muslims eat, shop, work and pray. Plainclothes officers monitored conversations in Muslim neighborhoods and wrote daily reports about what they heard.(Raymond) Kelly, the police commissioner, has vigorously defended the NYPD’s relationship with the CIA. Testifying before the City Council in October, Kelly said the collaboration was authorized under the 1981 presidential order, known as No. 12333."
On Tuesday night’s TYT, host Cenk Uygur asked Bratton, who is also a former NYPD police chief, if the CIA had overstepped its bounds in its coordination with the NYPD. Mr. Bratton explained, “In dealing with information intelligence as it relates to terrorism, the CIA has a lot of information that is appropriate for use by American police forces,” within the law, and pointed out the intelligence firewalls that contributed to the 9/11 attacks.
Uygur then asked Bratton ”So, did you guys work with the CIA in Los Angeles when you were the police chief?”
Chief Bratton replied, “We had interactions with the CIA in the sense of meeting from them from time to time, certainly, just in order to make them aware of our capabilities and our needs. There is nothing that precludes that, and nothing wrong with that.”
He went on to compare the police-CIA pairing to a surgical team. “It’s like going into a surgery and the doctor that’s going to perform the surgery is not going to talk with the anesthesiologist?” said Bratton. “I don’t know that I’d want to be in that operating room.”
That’s a fair point, but I also don’t want my appendix to be taken out by a guy who lists “Wetwork” in the “skills” section of his resume´.
Unlike some liberals, I’m something of a realist (rather than an alarmist) when it comes to national security, particularly as it relates to intelligence. While Bratton’s argument has its appeal, such coordination between police and the CIA carries with it the inherent difficulty in maintaining oversight. Keeping track of what CIA agents are doing is a bit like judging a Ninja Beauty Contest: if they’re doing their job, you won’t see them.
Here’s the clip, from Current TV’s The Young Turks: