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Anti-Terror Amateur Night in Barbados

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The above photo was published (without the red marks covering faces) in Barbados’ The Nation Newspaper on March 8, 2006, and shows members of the Royal Barbados Police Force SSU (Special Services Unit) undergoing training in the U.K. for anti-terror duties at Cricket World Cup 2007.

Only one problem… For the most obvious of reasons, professional Anti-Terror Units worldwide take great pains to conceal the identities and photographs of serving members. It is a pretty basic concept – If the bad guys know the faces and names of the good guys, it gives them an advantage.

History is full of criminal, military and terror attacks where the bad guys have taken out the security detail prior to their primary targets because they knew the identities and other intelligence about the security personnel.

So who was the idiot responsible for releasing this photo to the media? According to the anonymous friend who alerted Barbados Free Press to this story, the photo was supposed to remain “in house”, but some “higher up” in the RBPF left his brain at home that day and released the photo to show what a great job the police were doing to prepare for World Cup.

Idiot.

Our friend also says that Police Superintendent Forte was “absolutely furious” over the incident.

Barbados Free Press Comments

Superintendent Forte might be “absolutely furious” over the breach, but the photo is still online, so perhaps the good Superintendent should pick up the phone and have a little chat with Mr. Hoyte at The Nation. Mr. Hoyte, being the decent chap that he is, would surely understand and quietly take down the photo.

The big lesson to be learned from all this is that it cannot be “business as usual” anymore with certain old-guard police leadership thinking more of publicity and “looking good” than of operational integrity. The threats from Muslim terrorists at the Cricket World Cup are very real, and it is obvious that some management-types in the RBPF have not yet made the necessary attitude adjustment.

The RBPF Special Services Unit is staffed with some of the brightest, best and yes – the toughest – professionals anywhere… but will Senior Management allow them to be the best they can be?

Barbados Free Press will continue to follow this part of the Cricket World Cup 2007 story.

Previous Barbados Free Press article: “Cricket World Cup 2007 Prepares for Muslim Terror Threat…”

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

Another Hack Attack for Barbados Free Press

Hello friends:

We have been up and down a few times in the past 24 hours. It appears that someone – for some unknown reason – has taken a dislike to Barbados Free Press. We were hit with a targeted “DOS” denial-of-service attack that crashed us a bit, but did no real damage. (Great firewalls and lots ‘o prayer)

This is the same type of attack (once again from a Russian proxy server) that hit Barbados Free Press and Barbados Forum early in February, 2006.

BFP is now back up, way stronger and is turning away continuing attacks even as I write this.

Now, let me think…. who would want this website to be off-line? Hmmmmm…

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

Barbados Free Press – #3 in Google Search!

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Wow!

A standard web search* for “Barbados Politics” at Google returns Barbados Free Press articles as hits numbers 3 and 4 out of almost 3 million hits!

It looks like this thing might have a future…

Our thanks to our readers.

* This is a standard Google web search: not a “blog” search. Wow!

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Clyde Mascoll Strangely Silent in Barbados

Political pundit Peter Wickham comments on former Opposition Leader Clyde Mascoll’s strange silence since crossing the floor to join the Government…

“…it is somewhat interesting that a person (Mascoll) who had so much to say about being gagged before, has now gone silent.

When Mascoll was on the DLP’s benches, we could have read his opinion in a column every Sunday. But we are not hearing anything from him about his political future now that he is in the bosom of the Bees, said Mr. Wickham.”

Barbados Advocate article here.

Well said, Mr. Wickham. We don’t expect to hear too much from Mr. Mascoll now – and democracy in Barbados is all the worse for his silence.

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Barbados Environment Minister Admits Failure Over Hundreds of Illegal Garbage Dumps

Thompson_E.jpgElizabeth Thompson, Minister of the Environment for Barbados, has had one of those Road to Damascus divine revelation moments – at least according to an article in The Nation News.

“It’s time to arrest and charge illegal dumpers” she told the Legislature during the February 7, 2006 “debate” on the Trade in Endangered Species Bill.

Minister Thompson then revealed the absolute pitiful state of environmental laws enforcement in Barbados.

Despite the fact that our beautiful island has become an environmental “free for all” zone dotted with hundreds of illegal dump sites oozing all manner of foulness into the ground and our water…

Not one person or business has ever been charged and brought before the courts for illegal dumping in Barbados.

Not a single charge laid in the twelve years that Elizabeth Thompson has been Minister of the Environment!

Just what has she done?

“Thompson said she had written the police and the Attorney-General on the subject….

Oh very good! Written two letters! And just what does she now propose after 12 years?

“The day the police do some stings at these dumping sites and charge illegal dumpers, we might see a stop to this,” Thompson said.”

That is your plan? A few stings at a illegal dump or two? That’s it?

Minister, the environment has been your responsibility since 1994. Twelve years of widespread illegal dumping of garbage and chemicals in hundreds of known and unknown locations from one end of Barbados to the other and the best you can do is make a little squeak in the Legislature blaming the police?

Minister Thompson, in case your staff have not made you aware, some foreign tourist agencies are now cautioning that Barbados has some serious environmental and water problems. And, oh yes, I seem to recall that we have several hundred thousand visitors hoping to see a few cricket matches here in 2007.

And now your “plan” is to have some Constables watch a few dumps? That is the plan?

Dear Minister of the Environment Thompson…

You did get one thing right when you said in the Legislature, “It is not an issue that Government alone can address. It really has to do with what image we have of ourselves; our national practices.”

Well Minister, don’t worry – because here in this room, right now, four of us are empowering ourselves to create a comprehensive plan for the Ministry of the Environment to address the issue of illegal dumping in Barbados.

We will create this plan tonight while we listen to Bob Marley and enjoy a few Banks.

You have had 12 years to design and implement a plan. We will post our plan tomorrow*.

Where’s yours?

* Ok… We have day jobs so we will post our plan at the end of the week. 🙂

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Barbados Tender Process Corrupt?

The $120 million dollar flyover project announced last year by Barbados Minister of Public Works Gline Clarke continues to be the subject of rumours and questions about the lack of open process in the awarding of the contracts.

As usual, Oliver Jackman of The Nation was right on the money when he commented

“…there has been no official denial of allegations that the project was not put out to tender. If these allegations are accurate, there arises the question of the legal propriety of the ministry’s actions.”

“…it does seem to me that democratic governance in Barbados would benefit from the appearance of a whistle-blower or two.”

Barbados cannot afford to have international investors wondering about how public contracts are awarded, or how much of their money will end up going into illegal kickbacks. As citizens, we should not have doubts about where our money is ending up.

“Follow The Money” has always been good advice when investigating corruption. At Barbados Free Press, we intend to do exactly that.

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Politics & Corruption