Cops and Former Secret Service Agents Ran Black Ops on Green Groups

Dandelion Salad

By James Ridgeway
Additional reporting by David Corn, Jennifer Wedekind, Daniel Schulman, and Nick Baumann
Mother Jones
April 11, 2008

A private security company organized and managed by former Secret Service officers spied on Greenpeace and other environmental organizations from the late 1990s through at least 2000, pilfering documents from trash bins, attempting to plant undercover operatives within groups, casing offices, collecting phone records of activists, and penetrating confidential meetings. According to company documents provided to Mother Jones by a former investor in the firm, this security outfit collected confidential internal records—donor lists, detailed financial statements, the Social Security numbers of staff members, strategy memos—from these organizations and produced intelligence reports for public relations firms and major corporations involved in environmental controversies.

In addition to focusing on environmentalists, the firm, Beckett Brown International (later called S2i), provided a range of services to a host of clients. According to its billing records, BBI engaged in “intelligence collection” for Allied Waste; it conducted background checks and performed due diligence for the Carlyle Group, the Washington-based investment firm; it provided “protective services” for the National Rifle Association; it handled “crisis management” for the Gallo wine company and for Pirelli; it made sure that the Louis Dreyfus Group, the commodities firm, was not being bugged; it engaged in “information collection” for Wal-Mart; it conducted background checks for Patricia Duff, a Democratic Party fundraiser then involved in a divorce with billionaire Ronald Perelman; and for Mary Kay, BBI mounted “surveillance,” and vetted Gayle Gaston, a top executive at the cosmetics company (and mother of actress Robin Wright Penn), retaining an expert to conduct a psychological assessment of her. Also listed as clients in BBI records: Halliburton and Monsanto.


9 thoughts on “Cops and Former Secret Service Agents Ran Black Ops on Green Groups

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  7. This is part and parcel of the InfraGard, ‘domestic mercenaries’ issue — and we must keep our EYES WIDE OPEN.

    Infragard – First in a Series by Virginia Simson

    NO one will touch THIS article with a barge pole on the blogosphere either. WHY? This is a very important issue ..

    Particularly now that the SECOND GREAT DEPRESSION IS HERE.

    We will have a great work ahead dismantling tyranny in years to come ..

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