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Dakota Access Security Firm Top Adviser Led Military Intel Efforts for 92 LA Riots

Published: July 6, 2017
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Source: Steve Horn

James 'Spider' Marks

Retired Major General James “Spider” Marks chairs the advisory board for TigerSwan, a private security firm hired by Energy Transfer Partners to help police protests of the Dakota Access pipeline — an approach for which Marks has shown vocal support.

DeSmog has found that Marks also headed up intelligence efforts for the task force which brought over 10,000 U.S. military troops to police the 1992 riots following the acquittal of Los Angeles Police Department members involved in beating Rodney King. In addition, Marks, a long-time military analyst for CNN, led intelligence-gathering efforts for the U.S.military’s 2003 “shock and awe” campaign in Iraq, which was dubbed “Operation Iraqi Liberation.”

In recent months, Marks has endorsed Dakota Access and its southern leg, the Bayou Bridge pipeline. He has shown this support by writing op-ed pieces published in various newspapers and on the website of a pro-Dakota Access coalition runby a PR firm funded by Energy Transfer Partners.

I spent a good portion of my adult life in Iraq, and I must tell you that the similarities are stark,” Marks said in November of the anti-Dakota Access encampment set up by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Marks, according to The Washington Times, traveled to Standing Rock “as an adviser to the Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now” (MAIN), a pro-pipeline front group run by the Republican Party public relations firm, DCI Group.

“General Marks is still an adviser to the coalition. He is given a modest stipend for his time and expertise,” DCI Group's Craig Stevens told DeSmog of Marks' relationship with MAIN. “TigerSwan is not a member of the Coalition nor does the Coalition receive any funding from them.” Stevens manages public relations efforts for MAIN and is the crisis management lead for DCI.

In February, Marks traveled to Louisiana to speak in favor of the Bayou Bridge pipeline at a Louisiana Department of Natural Resources hearing.

Neither Marks nor TigerSwan responded to requests for comment for this story. TigerSwan has recently come under fire by the North Dakota Private Investigative and Security Board for operating in the state without a permit, with the Board filing a legal complaint about the matter. Energy Transfer Partners says TigerSwan is no longer working on its behalf in North Dakota.

Read more here.

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