TigerSwan, the mercenary security company, most known to have suppressed the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, DAPL, is now profiting off of managing disaster relief in Houston and the U.S. colony, Puerto Rico.
The Intercept, an investigative journalism site, reported that "TigerSwan has gone from suppressing a movement seeking to slow climate change to marketing itself as a company that can help clients survive climate change’s most severe consequences."
The security firm which was hired by the pipeline company, Energy Transfer Partners, used military tactics at Standing Rock, one of the Indigenous sites of protest against the DAPL. TigerSwan internal documents revealed that it compared the anti-pipeline movement to a "jihadist insurgency."
In sync with its profiteering motives, TigerSwan even went on to explain the important role the firm would play in the upcoming disasters, warning about "billion-dollar weather and climate disasters" across the U.S. last year.
"The frequency and cost of 2017’s natural disasters should give all Americans pause. The barrage of hurricanes, unprecedented rainfall and flooding, searing wildfires, and extreme heat affect us all in one way or another," the firm said in a post.
The security firm also used dubious ways to promote its services, such as "your unblinking eye," a phrase commonly used by the military to describe drone surveillance.
Pamela Spees, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, who also represented the anti-pipeline protests, told the Intercept, "It raises a lot of concerns when you have this growing patchwork of private and state interests that are basically executing law enforcement and security functions in these settings."
According to the Intercept, the security firm also claimed more credit in disaster assistance than its actual performance.
"Emergency preparedness is of the utmost importance as experts believe that years like 2017 may become the new normal in terms of disaster intensity," TigerSwan noted.
"Three former TigerSwan contractors who worked with the app, and declined to be named for fear of legal and employment consequences, said it was unlikely to provide protection that emergency services could not. They said the app had a host of problems, including GPS that was frequently imprecise," the Intercept reported.
“A lot of places you would need something like that are in countries with no infrastructure. So having the button, cool, if you’re in the middle of a city," said one of the company's former contractors.