"Cytel, LLC / Urban Shield" scandal (2014) [link]
"The Privatization of Urban Shield by the Cytel Group", 2014-09-12 by Lynda Carson, posted to "Indybay.org" newswire [https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/09/12/18761515.php]:
Oakland - The Alameda County Board of Supervisors are responsible for the privatization of the militarized Urban Shield events that have been fully privatized into a money making for profit venture despised by protesters from the local community, and booted out of Oakland by Mayor Jean Quan.
The recent Urban Shield events in Oakland which included the largest SWAT training exercise in the world, are a series of militarized war games conducted in a continuous 48 hour exercise hosted by the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, with the support of more than 200 local, state, federal, international and private sector partners. Additional support came from the Bay Area Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), and Urban Shield was promoted by the Cytel Group.
During the past two years, as a companion to the militarized Urban Shield events, a five-day convention of major arms dealers selling their militarized weapons to local law enforcement agencies for use in urban combat settings have been held twice downtown, at the Oakland Marriott Convention Center. The latest event held in recent days included an exposition of vendors displaying anything from 3-D printable drones, to combat knives, armored vehicles, sniper rifles, unmanned ground vehicles, anti-terrorism tee shirts, and other militarized items.
The massive Urban Shield military arms weapons convention in Oakland being held to sell military weapons to local law enforcement agencies, is in addition to the Pentagon's 1033 program which also provides militarized weapons to law enforcement agencies. Militarized weapons including grenade launchers, mine resistant ambush protected vehicles (MRAPS), assault rifles, helicopters, bayonets, combat knives, night-vision equipment, night-vision sniper scopes, airplanes and other militarized items to be used by local law enforcement agencies, and SWAT Teams across the nation. These are militarized weapons that may be used and displayed by local law enforcement agencies and SWAT Teams when they are busy suppressing local populations that protest at City Hall, or when protesters are out in the streets protesting against trigger happy cops, or the weapons may be in use when our school children are being terrified while their grade school is placed under lock-down.
The Urban Shield Conference held in Oakland is a $1 million five-day event being paid for by the federal government and the military industrial sponsors of Urban Shield. Sponsors pay as much as $500 to $15,000 for a spot at the conference to highlight and demonstrate their militarized products.
A partial list of Urban Shield's sponsors include the Department of Homeland Security, 3M, CISCO, AirCover Integrated Solutions, Armored Mobility Inc., Benchmade Knive Company, Drakontas (Dragon Force C2), Elephant Hunt Clothing (guns & skulls), First Spear, Franklin Armory, International Armored Group, iRobot (unmanned ground vehicles), Mile High Shooting Accessories (snipers rifles), Motorola Solutions Inc., Patriot Ordance Factory Rifles, Raven Crest Tactical (knives), Revision Military, The Armored Group LLC, Voodoo Tactical, Winchester Ammunition, Adamson Police Products, and many other corporations including the Cytel Group, Inc., that specializes in bringing the Urban Shield Program to government regions throughout the U.S. and abroad.
In response to Urban Shield, hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets and blocked the streets of Oakland in recent days to show their opposition to the military demonstration exposition, police training exercises and the militarization of our nation's police forces that have been taking place. California Partnership which is a statewide coalition of groups advocating for policies and programs to bring an end to poverty, organized the protests against Urban Shield.
It was back on July 31, 2007, that Urban shield was turned into a money making venture when the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to authorize the Alameda County Sheriff's Office to accept cash sponsorship funds from individuals and corporations to support the militarized training event Urban Shield (Agenda Item 48). The profiteers set up a cash fund that was authorized for the purpose of depositing donations and fees used to offset the costs associated with the militarized training event and war games. The success of the profit making venture resulted in additional militarized Urban Shield events being held and hosted by the Sheriff's Office each year since 2007 in Oakland, and the Bay Area. Additional militarized Urban Shield events are also being held annually in Austin, Texas, Boston, New Orleans and abroad, as a direct result of the actions by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.
After the militarized Urban Shield event was proven to be a money maker by using publicly owned assets in the Bay Area for its militarized war games and events, on February 24, 2009, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to authorize the Alameda County Sheriff's Office to enter into an agreement (Agenda Item 30) with BAE Systems, Inc. for the sole purpose of expanding the militarized Urban Shield events in other states across the nation, and abroad. As things turned out, on July 8, 2010 the expanded Urban Shield agreement with BAE Systems, Inc. was terminated by mutual consent because BAE Systems, Inc. was unable to meet the material obligations of the agreement.
Currently, Jerry DeMuro is the CEO of BAE Systems, Inc., formerly known as BAE Systems North America, which is a major subsidiary of the British defense and aerospace company BAE Systems plc, a global defense, security and aerospace company with sales of $14.4 billion during 2011.
After the expanded militarized Urban Shield agreement with BAE Systems, Inc. was terminated on July 8, 2010, on May 24, 2011, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office requested authorization from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to authorize Sheriff Gregory J. Ahern to enter into an agreement with Anne M. Baker, CEO, of the Cytel Group, LLC for the development of individual disaster training excercises and programs similar to Alameda County's "Urban Shield".
The Sheriff's Office asked the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to authorize the Sheriff to receive a license fee of $10,000 from the Cytel Group as payment for the first year of their limited use of the Urban Shield marks and materials, including for each additional year a fee of one percent (1%) of the gross revenues being collected by licensee or affiliates for each and every individual excercise and/or program conducted by the Cytel Group.
On June 7, 2011 the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the agreement with the Cytel Group, and authorized the Sheriff to deposit all fees collected from the agreement with the Cytel Group into an approved "Urban Shield" cash fund (Fund 84624, Org 900000, Account 499990) to help offset the costs associated with future militarized Urban Shield events and exercises.
Indeed, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors agreed to the privatization of Urban Shield by voting on an agreement in which the Cytel Group was allowed to pay $10,000 to the Sheriff's Office during the first year of the agreement, including a fee of 1% of the gross revenues collected by the Cytel Group for every individual program conducted in a militarized Urban Shield event.
The Cytel Group is not allowed to develop, market or sell Urban Shield electronic games or Urban Shield entertainment products, even though the 25 SWAT Teams competing in the war games lately may have found the war games to be very entertaining.
The Sheriff's Office also has the right to terminate the Urban Shield contract and the licenses granted in the event that the Cytel Group or its affiliates are in violation of the agreement, and if the contract/agreement is terminated, all rights shall revert back to the Sheriff's Office.
The Cytel Group, Inc. and the Alameda County Sheriff's Office Connections -
According to public records with the Secretary of State in California, the incorporation papers for Cytel Group Inc., were filed on August 6, 2010. James Lester Baker who resides at 912 Redhaven Street, in Brentwood, California, is listed as the Agent For Service Of Process for the corporation, with the Secretary of State in California. The entity number for Cytel Group Inc. is C3311002. Anne Marie Baker, the wife of James Lester Baker, is part owner of the corporation and is listed as the "Secretary" of the corporation by Linked In.
A contract document from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office involving the Cytel Group in a business transaction worth more than a half-million dollars to provide anti-terrorism tactical training and expertise, lists Anne Marie Baker as the President of the Cytel Group, even though "Linked In" has her listed as the "Secretary" of the corporation.
What is also intriguing about the contract situation with the Cytel Group and the Alameda County Sheriff's Office that involved two contracts worth $275,000 each to provide anti-terrorism tactical training and expertise to the Sheriff's Office, is that James Lester Baker and his wife Anne Marie Baker both used to work for the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.
Ayman Masri of the country of Jordan also used to be a Deputy Sheriff in Alameda County, and he also worked for the Cytel Group before going back to Jordan and becoming the Program Manager at the Guardian Shield Program at the King Abdullah ll Special Operations Training Center.
As an employee of the Sheriff's Office, James Baker used to be the assistant sheriff at the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. His wife used to be a sheriff's technician at the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, according to Linked In. This was before they were awarded two contracts worth $275,000 each, to provide anti-terrorism tactical training and expertise to the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. Originally, each contract was worth $250,000, but at a later date the contracts were changed to add an additional $25,000 to each contract beginning November 1, 2011 through March 1, 2013.
What is even more intriguing is that the Oakland Tribune reported on this situation in a 4/27/2012 article about the Cytel Group, in which James Baker claimed that he is the president of the Cytel Group, and that his wife Anne Marie Baker is the chief operating officer. Additionally the article mentions that James Baker sent an email to the Tribune in which he claims that he retired after 22 years with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office to found the Cytel Group as a way to promote the anti-terrorism Urban Shield program in the U.S. and abroad.
Oddly enough, during 2012 the Tribune also reported that the Cytel Group payed the full cost of $13,000 for air-fare for 11 members of the S.W.A.T. Team from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office to make a trip to Amman, Jordan, to participate in a U.S. funded Warrior Competition that included elite counterterrorism and special operation units from other countries. It appears that there may have been a conflict of interest in this transaction between the Cytel Group and the Alameda County Sheriff's Office for this venture, when the Cytel Group paid the air-fare for the S.W.A.T. Team from the Sheriff's Office.
What gets even more interesting about the relationship between the Cytel Group and the Sheriff's Office is that despite the fact that James Baker claims that he founded the Cytel Group as a way to promote the anti-terrorism Urban Shield program in the U.S. and abroad, and claims to be the president of the corporation, in the Tribune article they report that the Sheriff's Office stated in a report to county supervisors that the Cytel Group (a consultant group) is owned by a woman, namely Anne Marie Baker, the wife of James Baker. A woman owned business with two $275,000 contracts with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office to provide anti-terrorism tactical training and expertise.
Regardless that James Baker claims to be the founder and the president of the Cytel Group, in a February 28, 2012 contract document from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office regarding contracts #7095 and #7096, in the very first paragraph on page one of the document it clearly mentions that Anne Marie Baker is the president of the Cytel Group, not her husband James Baker. In part it appears that the contract may have been awarded because it was a woman owned company, despite the fact that James Baker claims that he founded the Cytel Group in the Tribune article of 4/27/2012.
Its nothing new for people to make a bundle of money from getting involved in the so-called war on terror, and in addition to Urban Shield there are more than 1,200 government organizations and more than 1,900 private companies working on counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence, with around 854,000 people that have top-secret security clearance in America, according to The Washington Post.
Additionally, according to whistle-blower Edward Snowden, he leaked the information revealing that the federal government spent as much as $52.6 billion in it's "black budget" during fiscal year 2013.
In the wake of the nation being horrified by rampant police shootings/killings and the militarization of the police, including the recent militarized police actions in Ferguson, and the notorious police actions that have been taking place in New Mexico, Oakland, and cities all across the nation, in addition to the recent protests against the Urban Shield war games and convention in Oakland recently, on Friday, September 5, 2014, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan announced that Urban Shield will not be back in Oakland next year.
In an announcement, Urban Shield is no longer welcome in Oakland, according to Mayor Jean Quan. According to Mayor Quan, the City Administrator's Office will be asking their agent not to pursue another contract with Urban Shield to have their conference in Oakland.
Click on link below for the contract to privatize Urban Shield...
* Original link [http://www.acgov.org/board/bos_calendar/documents/DocsAgendaReg_06_07_11/PUBLIC%20PROTECTION/Regular%20Calendar/Sheriff_Cytel_Group_LLC.pdf]
* Backed up at (archive.org)
Click on the link below for information about two other Cytel Group contracts with the Alameda County Sheriff's Department...
* Original link [http://www.acgov.org/board/bos_calendar/documents/DocsAgendaReg_02_28_12/PUBLIC%20PROTECTION/Regular%20Calendar/Sheriff_Cytel_Group.pdf]
* Backed up at (archive.org)
Click on the link below for Anne Marie Baker from Linked In...
* Original link [http://www.linkedin.com/pub/anne-baker/69/737/48a]
* Backed up at (archive.today)
Click on link below for James Lester Baker's profile on LinkedIn...
* Original link [http://www.linkedin.com/in/jameslesterbaker]
* Click on or download the images showing James Lester Baker's profile on LinkedIn as of Sept. 14th, 2014:
Cytel Group in Jordan
* Original link [http://www.cytelgroup.com/jordan-cytel]
* Backed up at (archive.org) (archive.today)
DOD / excess property program - 1033 program
* Original link [http://www.dps.mo.gov/dir/programs/cjle/dod.asp]
* Backed up at (archive.org) (archive.today)