Fun_People Archive
23 Dec
Delta Force in Seattle

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 99 22:47:33 -0800
To: Fun_People
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Subject: Delta Force in Seattle

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
From: Joe Weihe <>

[Peter- You passed on a report on the WTO protests (Another Eyewitness
Report...12/5/99) written by Portland student/reporter Jim Desyllas,
entitled COLLATERAL DAMAGE IN SEATTLE. He suggested that "the government
instigated a riot to discredit the movement against the WTO".  He also made
the following comment, which really stuck in my mind:

"I believe also the police had their own people in there, encouraging people
to break stuff - if people think I may be exaggerating, I saw supposed
protesters - they were screaming and so on - and then later, when everything
was over, the same people tackled other protestors and put handcuffs on
them. This whole thing, this police attack, this was US foreign policy, not
some action decided by some bureaucrat in Seattle."

Desyllas' comments may sound far-fetched to some, but they came back to me
as I read the following article in the Seattle Weekly:

	Delta's down with it


The Justice Department and the elite Delta Force pushed for Seattle
crackdown against WTO protesters.

It wasn't merely the Secret Service that wanted Seattle secure before
President Clinton arrived for his World Trade Organization visit December
1 (see "Protesters riot, police riot," SW, 12/2).  Two separate sources now
say the crackdown on demonstrators was pushed hardest by the US Justice
Department based on the concerns ofundercover units in the streets--among
them, members of the secretive US Army Delta Force seeking to prevent
terrorist chemical attacks in Seattle. The Delta contingent, known for its
clandestine global assaults and rescue operations, has quietly been assigned
some domestic security roles--such as its recently revealed involvement in
the Branch Davidian standoff.

"They thought the security preparations here were the worst they've ever
seen," says a former Special Forces Ranger who met with the Delta

Seattle Mayor Paul Schell has accepted the blame for the costly WTO security
breakdown after initially insisting the city was so prepared for the marches
and demonstrations thatSeattleites should come downtown and shop. Instead,
out-of-control rioting one day led to a violent show of force by local,
state, and federal officers the next. In the following days, 600
demonstrators were arrested and downtown was virtually deserted, with
businesses suffering an estimated $20 million in lost sales and property
damages (much of it covered by insurance).

 A Justice official asking anonymity confirms the elite Army special force,
operating under its cover name of Combat Applications Group (CAG), was in
Seattle a week in advance of the Clinton visit to scope out possible
terrorist acts. Under the control of the Joint Special Operations Command
(JSOC) at Fort Bragg , North Carolina, the contingent took up residence in
a Regrade motel and fanned out downtown dressed as demonstrators, some
wearing their jungle greens.

The potential terrorist chemical or bomb attacks never materialized in
Seattle as a serious threat,says an official. But using high-tech
equipment,the force mapped out potential problem areas as well as identified
possible violentdemonstrators. Some Deltas wore lapel cameras, continuously
transmitting pictures ofrioters and other demonstrators to a master video
unit in the motel command center, which could be used by law enforcement
agencies to identify and track suspects.  (Coincidentally,apparently, the
FBI last week was holding a terrorist suspect who entered the US at the Port
Angeles crossing. Officials said he carried a bomb timing mechanism and an
explosive liquid that might have been intended for a major Seattle
bombing--the Space Needle?--on New Year's Eve. The suspect, curiously, had
made a reservation and planned to stay, as the Deltas did, at a Regrade

Department of Defense undersecretary Walter Slocombe has acknowledged that
covert action teams such as Delta Force are deployed to combat terrorism.

"These guys are the Army hot shots, the cowboys," says the former Ranger
who shared a few beers with the unit in Seattle. "They were wigged out about
security here. They thought something drastic had to be done. I'd say they
got heard."

[Or maybe they just went ahead and did it themselves]

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