Fear and paranoia are running so high over Hardin, Montana’s decision to put a shady private security contractor in charge of a local prison that the town agency behind the deal has posted a message on its website saying that “there are no commandos in the streets,” and seeking to knock down other outlandish rumors.
A message on the website of the Two Rivers Authority, Hardin’s economic development arm, reads:
We welcome anyone to visit our town! There are no commandos in the streets. There is no fence or gate being built around Hardin. People are free to come and go as they please. APF is not running our town or our police force.
The message is a response to false rumors that have surfaced on conspiracy-oriented web sites, such as that the APF deal is part of a plan by the Obama administration to have “all major cities locked down” by the end of October.
But the town has done little, of course, to ease more legitimate anxieties about the lack of information available about APF, and about the lengthy criminal record of Michael Hilton, the APF staffer involved in the deal.