I’ve tried to remain open-minded about the true birthplace of our nation’s 44th president, but it’s impossible to sit comfortably ‘on the fence’, when online, archived articles undergo sudden revision.
Case in point, an article from January, 2006 that appeared in the Honolulu Advertiser’s online version. Here’s a link to the current version of the article. I happened to read this very article yesterday and made both a printed, pdf version of the article and a screen capture of the now altered section.
The original article, Oct. 15, 2009 - Click to enlarge
Article as edited, October 16, 2009 - Click to enlarge
So, what’s the deal, huh? Shouldn’t the paper have titled this edited version as an Update with an explanation? If President Obama truly has the original birth certificate, why not just produce it?
For the life of me, I can’t figure out why the insertion of ‘private’ into the company name helps with any potential legal action. If I understand California regulations, it is unlawful to use the word ‘police’ in the name of any private investigative agency.
Note also that the company’s ‘logo’ has changed from the Serbian coat of arms (though it’s still in the Flash movie at the top) to an Eagle. Becky Shay told KULR8 News that the logo change was simply “the quickest thing he could to diffuse [sic] tension”. Shay claimed to have no knowledge of any litigation pending from the Serbian consulate.
By the way, today’s the firs time I’ve noticed the music playing in a small Flash window beneath the logo — Ravel’s ‘Bolero’. Interesting.
Surprisingly, the contract between APF (oops, I guess that’s APPF now) and Two Rivers Authority is still on the table, and a town meeting is scheduled for this afternoon (Monday, Oct. 5) at 3:00 pm at Hardin City Hall.
American Police Force's new spokesperson Becky Shay introduces company president Michael Hilton to the media during a press conference at the Two Rivers Saturday, September 26, 2009. (LARRY MAYER/Gazette Staff)
According to yesterday’s article at the Billings Gazette, APF spokeswoman Becky Shay (who used to work for the Gazette) ‘explained’ why the APF website disappeared for several hours yesterday.
The Web site for American Police Force, the California company working on a contract to fill Hardin’s empty jail, is temporarily down.
Becky Shay, APF’s public relations director, said the Web site, www.americanpolicegroup.com, crashed because it has received more job applications than the server can handle. APF has received at least 2,000 applications, many of which are for jobs at the 464-bed jail in Hardin.
“The surge came after the announcement for Hardin,” she said. “Our Web site is getting 20,000 to 30,000 hits a day, and a lot of those are job applications.”
Somehow, this explanation seems unlikely. Generally, an overwhelmed server simply reports a ‘server busy’ error, or the site simply fails to load. The APF site, however, reverted back to its ‘parked’ position at GoDaddy, as if all content had been removed.
Shay left her job with the Gazette to join the American Police Group as spokeswoman, promising ‘transparency’. However, she refuses to reveal the source of the group’s funding. I’m betting she doesn’t know. Sadly, if this all goes south, Shay may be knocking on the Gazette’s door with a smile and an apology.
'Captain' Michael Hilton was born in Serbia. (AP Photo)
Congratulations to all those who guessed that the ‘Phoenix’ crest used by American Police Forces (aka American Police Group) represents Serbia. According to an article written this morning by Bob van der Valk of montanawithkids.com, Michael Hilton was born in Montenegro, Serbia. Van der Valk made a few investigative phone calls to Hardin citizens to verify or debunk some of the internet rumors. His first call was to the mayor’s wife:
I informed her that the Internet community and talk radio were rife with reports that this private security force is already patrolling their town and that they had stopped several people in town yesterday. Those same reports also stated that they were building some type of heavy duty gates at the entrances into town. “No way is that happening”, she said, “ I would know since I drive around town every day and would have noticed anything out of place” She said that her husband had been fielding a lot of calls from inquiring reporters and others peppering him with questions about the American Police Force contract.
While the mayor’s wife might be inclined toward ‘partisanship’, van der Valk confirmed her answer through calls to several other citizens. Van der Valk also verified details of a recent AP article about APF’s arrival in town, and he answered the mystery about the captain’s reportedly ‘thick Russian accent’ and the odd emblem used by the APF group:
We did confirm that the Town of Hardin, Montana held a news conference conducted by Becky Shay, the spokesperson for the “American Police Force”, last Saturday. They had shown up earlier in the week with three darkened out Mercedes SUV’s with Hardin Police decals on their side doors. She quickly debunked the fact that they were taking over policing the town and the decals have been removed. The decals included a crest that closely resembles the Serbian-Montenegro national crest making the vehicles look even more official. One of their principals with the APF, Michael Hilton, was born in Montenegro and has been using the vehicles as a good faith symbol in dealing with Hardin and Two Rivers Authority officials to be used at the new facility.