Monday, December 03, 2007
US government security contractors take over public beach, bust expensive camera
Beaches in Hawaii are public areas. You know that. Bob Sato, the producer of a local public access TV show for children, knew that. The security contractors who attacked and choked him knew that. But just as in Iraq, they behaved as though they were above the law:
Sato had set up at Mana Beach to begin filming for his TV show when a number of men sporting ITT Security shirts confronted him.
The result is currently available for view on YouTube under the heading "Attack at Mana Beach." If the footage ever does air on Channel 52, it will be one of the more important things local kids will ever see.
It in the film, these military contractors (think "Blackwater") tell Sato he has to move from his spot on the beach but he refuses. With no signs posted and Mana Beach a public place, it just so happens that Sato is within his constitutional rights to stay put. Not that this matters to the armed security agents who respond by turning up the heat. They threaten Sato, demanding he turn off his camera and give them the tape; one man even grabs the 60-year old film maker by the neck.
Sato's camera captures the confrontation and while the ten-minute clip is not as refined as the standard Hollywood depiction of an Orwellian future, it's jusy as scary . . . actually more so because it's reality TV and it's not about what could happen but what is happening, right now, rght here in Hawai`i. Over and again Sato is told, "You going up against the U.S. government, bra, you not going win." [Big Island Weekly - Read > Comment > Small World Big Island -- A line in the sand]
This should not be allowed in Hawaii. We're not Iraq. [Update: I've been deservedly taken to task in an email. This should not be allowed in Iraq either.]
As the story goes on, Sato called the police to report the assault and was rewarded with a disorderly conduct ticket.
I don't know who is working for justice in this case, but I hope it will not be dropped. Security contractors are not above the law on US soil.
Good thing that they didn't have a Taser. The thought just entered my mind.
Post a Comment
Requiring those Captcha codes at least temporarily, in the hopes that it quells the flood of comment spam I've been receiving.