Tag Archives: weapons

US Warship Headed To Yemen Waters To Block Iran Weapons

US Warship Headed To Yemen Waters To Block Iran Weapons

By  Lolita C. Baldor, AP

A helicopter takes off from a Jinggangshan warship to search the waters suspected to be the site of the missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.   STRINGER/CHINA/REUTERS
A helicopter takes off from a warship.

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a stepped-up response to Iranian backing of Shiite rebels in Yemen, the Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is steaming toward the waters off Yemen to beef up security and join other American ships that are prepared to intercept any Iranian vessels carrying weapons to the Houthi rebels.

The deployment comes after a U.N. Security Council resolution approved last week imposed an arms embargo on leaders of the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels. The resolution passed in a 14-0 vote with Russia abstaining.

Navy officials said Monday that the Roosevelt was moving through the Arabian Sea. A massive ship that carries F/A-18 fighter jets, the Roosevelt is seen more of a deterrent and show of force in the region.

The U.S. Navy has been beefing up its presence in the Gulf of Aden and the southern Arabian Sea in response to reports that a convoy of about eight Iranian ships is heading toward Yemen and possibly carrying arms for the Houthis. Navy officials said there are about nine U.S. warships in the region, including cruisers and destroyers carrying teams that can board and search other vessels.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ship movement on the record.

Saudi Arabia and several of its allies, mainly Gulf Arab countries, have been trying to drive back the rebels, who seized the capital of Sanaa in September and have overrun many other northern provinces with the help of security forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The U.S. supports the Saudi campaign.

Western governments and Sunni Arab countries say the Houthis get their arms from Iran. Tehran and the rebels deny that, although the Islamic Republic has provided political and humanitarian support to the Shiite group.

The U.S. has been providing logistical and intelligence support to the Saudi coalition launching airstrikes against the Houthis. That air campaign is now in its fourth week, and the U.S. has also begun refueling coalition aircraft involved in the conflict.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest would not comment specifically on any Navy movements in Yemeni waters, but said the U.S. has concerns about Iran’s “continued support for the Houthis.

“We have seen evidence that the Iranians are supplying weapons and other armed support to the Houthis in Yemen. That support will only contribute to greater violence in that country. These are exactly the kind of destabilizing activities that we have in mind when we raise concerns about Iran’s destabilizing activities in the Middle East.”

He said, “The Iranians are acutely aware of our concerns for their continued support of the Houthis by sending them large shipments of weapons.”

The expanded U.S. Navy activity in the region comes at a sensitive time, as the U.S. and six world powers have reached a framework deal with Iran to control its nuclear program. Since the preliminary deal with reached on April 2, Iran and the U.S. have been disputing the details of the deal. And on Monday, a lawyer for Tehran-based Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian said Tehran had charged Rezaian with espionage and three other crimes. The Obama administration dismisses the charges as “absurd.”

The U.S. Navy generally conducts consensual boardings of ships when needed, including to combat piracy around Africa and the region. So far, however, U.S. naval personnel have not boarded any Iranian vessels since the Yemen conflict began.

Officials said it’s too soon to speculate on what the Navy ships may do as the Iranian convoy approaches, including whether Iran would consent to a boarding request, and what actions the Navy would take if its request was refused.

Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, has been pushed to the brink of collapse by ground fighting and the Saudi-led airstrikes in support of current President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who was forced to flee to Saudi Arabia. Observers say the fighting in the strategic Mideast nation is taking on the appearance of a proxy war between Iran, the Shiite powerhouse backing the Houthis, and Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia.

Russia lifting sanctions for missile deliveries to Iran, starts oil-for-goods swap

Russia lifting sanctions for  missile deliveries to Iran, starts oil-for-goods swap

BY GABRIELA BACZYNSKA

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani at the welcoming ceremony during a summit of Caspian Sea regional leaders in the southern city of Astrakhan, September 29, 2014. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Kremlin
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani.

(Reuters) – Russia paved the way on Monday for missile system deliveries to Iran and started an oil-for-goods swap, signaling that Moscow may have a head-start in the race to benefit from an eventual lifting of sanctions on Tehran.

The moves come after world powers, including Russia, reached an interim deal with Iranthis month on curbing its nuclear program.

Russia Missile weapons rocket

The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin signed a decree ending a self-imposed ban on delivering the S-300 anti-missile rocket system to Iran, removing a major irritant between the two after Moscow canceled a corresponding contract in 2010 under pressure from the West.

A senior government official said separately that Russia has started supplying grain, equipment and construction materials to Iran in exchange for crude oil under a barter deal.

Sources told Reuters more than a year ago that a deal worth up to $20 billion was being discussed and would involve Russia buying up to 500,000 barrels of Iranian oil a day.

Officials from the two countries have issued contradictory statements since then on whether a deal has been signed, but Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday one was already being implemented.

“I wanted to draw your attention to the rolling out of the oil-for-goods deal, which is on a very significant scale,” Ryabkov told a briefing with members of the upper house of parliament on the talks with Iran.

“In exchange for Iranian crude oil supplies, we are delivering certain products. This is not banned or limited under the current sanctions regime.”

He declined to give further details. Russia’s Agriculture Ministry declined comment and the Energy Ministry did not respond to request for comment. There was no comment from Iran.

Iran is the third largest buyer of Russian wheat, and Moscow and Tehran have been discussing the oil-for-goods barter deal for more than a year.

Russia hopes to reap economic and trade benefits if a final deal is concluded to build on the framework agreement reached in the Swiss city of Lausanne between Iran and six world powers – Russia, the United States, France, Britain, Germany and China.

They have until June 30 to work out a detailed technical agreement under which Iran would curb its nuclear program and allow international control in exchange for a lifting of economic sanctions.

TWO TO TANGO

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the agreement in Lausanne wiped out the need for Moscow’s ban on the delivery of S-300 and that the system was defensive, hence would pose no threat to Iran’s foe, Israel.

“As a result of suspending the contract, we did not receive major sums that we were due. We see no need to continue doing this given progress in talks on Iran’s nuclear program and the absolutely legitimate nature of the forthcoming deal,” he said.

The United States and Israel had lobbied Russia to block the missile sale before it did so in 2010, saying the S-300 system could be used to shield Iran’s nuclear facilities from possible future air strikes.

Leonid Ivashov, a retired Russian general who now heads the Moscow-based Centre for Geo-Political Analysis think-tank, said the move was part of a race for future contracts inIran.

“If we now delay and leave Iran waiting, then tomorrow, when sanctions are fully lifted, Washington and its allies will get Iran’s large market,” RIA news agency quoted him as saying.

Ryabkov suggested Russia had high hopes that its steady support for Iran would pay off in energy cooperation once international sanctions against Tehran are lifted.

“It takes two to tango. We are ready to provide our services and I am sure they will be pretty advantageous compared to other countries,” he said. “We never gave up on Iran in a difficult situation… Both for oil and gas, I think the prospects for our cooperation should not be underestimated.”

He also reiterated Moscow’s view that an arms embargo on Iran should be lifted once a final nuclear deal is sealed.

Sanctions have cut Iran’s oil exports to about 1.1 million barrels per day from 2.5 million bpd in 2012. Analysts say Iran is unlikely to see a major boost in exports before next year.

One upper house lawmaker asked Ryabkov whether lifting sanctions on Tehran could undermine Russia’s position on global energy markets, including as the main gas supplier to Europe.

“I am not confident as yet that the Iranian side would be ready to carry out supplies of natural gas from its fields quickly and in large quantities to Europe. This requires infrastructure that is difficult to build,” he said.

(Additional reporting by Polina Devitt, Olesya Astakhova and Vladimir Soldatkin, Editing by Timothy Heritage and Angus MacSwan)

Obama orders review of giving local police military gear

Obama orders review of giving local police military gear

Militarized police in Ferguson, Missouri MO
Police officers point their weapons at demonstrators protesting against the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 18, 2014.  REUTERS/JOSHUA LOTT

WASHINGTON –– President Obama has ordered a review of the government’s decade-old policy of sending military equipment to local police departments across the country, a senior administration official said Saturday.

Federal officials began reconsidering civilian police department’s use of such equipment — including body armor, mine-resistant armored trucks, silencers and automatic rifles — following the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. Local police used military-style equipment during violent clashes with demonstrators protesting the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer.

See: Unreported In Ferguson: The Militarization of Local Police

“The president has directed a review of federal programs and funding that enable state and local law enforcement to purchase military equipment,” the official told CBS News.

ATF Police
ATF Police

“Among other things, the president has asked for a review of whether these programs are appropriate; whether state and local law enforcement are provided with the necessary training and guidance; and whether the federal government is sufficiently auditing the use of equipment obtained through federal programs and funding,” the official said.

The official said the review will be led by White House staff, including the Domestic Policy Council, the National Security Council, the Office of Management and Budget, and U.S. agencies, including the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury and in coordination with Congress.

The Little Covered Aspect of the Unrest in Ferguson: The Alarming Militarization of Local Police (PHOTOS)

During widespread coverage of the Ferguson unrest, the public has absorbed images of heavily armed police, snipers trained on protesters and tear gas plumes.

“This equipment flowed to local police forces because they were increasingly being asked to assist in counterterrorism. But displays of force in response to mostly peaceful demonstrations can be counterproductive,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.

“It makes sense to take a look at whether military-style equipment is being acquired for the right purposes and whether there is proper training on when and how to deploy it,” Holder said.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said police responses like that in Ferguson have “become the problem instead of the solution.” Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., said he will introduce legislation to curb the trend of police militarization.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said his committee will review the program to determine if the Defense Department’s surplus equipment is being used as intended.

The Little Covered Aspect of the Unrest in Ferguson: The Alarming Militarization of Local Police (PHOTOS)

As the country concludes its longest wartime period, the military has turned over thousands of surplus weapons and armored trucks to local police who often trained alongside the military.

A report by the American Civil Liberties Union in June said police agencies had become “excessively militarized,” with officers using training and equipment designed for the battlefield on city streets. The report found the amount of goods transferred through the military surplus program rose in value from $1 million in 1990 to nearly $450 million in 2013.

“Every police force of any size in this country has access to those kinds of weapons now,” said David Harris, a police expert at the University of Pittsburgh law school. “It makes it more likely to be used (and) is an escalation all by itself.”

In Louisiana, masked police in full body armor carrying AR-15 assault rifles raided a nightclub without a warrant, looking not for terrorists but underage drinkers and fire-code violations. Officers in California train using the same counterinsurgency tactics as those used in Afghanistan.

In 1990, Congress authorized the Pentagon to give surplus equipment to police to help fight drugs, which then gave way to the fight against terrorism. Though violent crime nationwide is at its lowest level in generations and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have largely concluded, the military transfers have increased.

Police say the equipment, which includes free body armor, night vision goggles and scopes, keeps officers safe and prepares them for the worst case.

“A lot evolved from the military, no question,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Chief Bill McSweeney, who heads the detective division. “Is it smart for them to use that stuff and perhaps look like soldiers from Iraq going into a place? Is that smart or over the top? I’d say generally that’s smart. Now, if you use that every time a guy is writing bad checks, that’s getting rather extreme.”

The U.S. has provided 610 mine-resistant armored trucks, known as MRAPs, across the country, nearly all since August 2013, including at least nine in Los Angeles County, according to Michelle McCaskill, a spokeswoman for the Defense Logistics Agency.

In rural western Maine, the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office asked for an MRAP. Cpl. George Cayer wrote in his request that Maine’s western foothills face a “previously unimaginable threat from terrorist activities.”

In Orange County, Florida, masked officers in tactical gear helped state inspectors raid barber shops in 2010 to find people cutting hair without a license. Using a mini battering ram and pry bar at times, police arrested dozens of people. Officials said they found illegal items such as drugs and a weapon.

McSweeney said it’s hard to argue that police shouldn’t use the best equipment available.

“It’s tempting to say, ‘Shouldn’t we wear these things? Shouldn’t we approach this as if we could get shot?'” he said. “How do you say no to that question?”

Nick Gragnani, executive director of the St. Louis Area Regional Response System, said such supplies have proved essential in hurricane relief efforts and other disaster responses.

“The shame of it will be … if somebody does a brushstroke and takes out all the funding and then we can no longer be prepared for that big incident,” he said.

The LAPD’s deputy chief, Michael Downing, who heads the department’s counterterrorism and special operations bureau, said officers are dealing with “an adversary who is more sophisticated, more tactically trained.”

Downing emphasized that though police might train with soldiers, they’re not warriors with a mission to kill but public servants with no “enemies.”

“In police work there are times we have to become soldiers and control through force and fear,” Downing said. “But we have to come back to being a public servant as quick as we can to establish that normality and that ethical stature with communities, because they’re the ones who give us the authority to do our police work.”

House Bill Would Keep Guns Away From Federal Regulators

House Bill Would Keep Guns Away From Federal Regulators

depthomelandsec1

Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT) has introduced a bill to de-militarize federal regulatory agencies such as the Department of Education and the IRS.

Unbeknownst to most Americans, these agencies and dozens of others employ a steadily increasing number of armed law enforcement officers and have acquired frightening amounts of arms and ammunition.

Police aiming at home DHS
Police In Boston in Armored Hummvee aiming at home

Stewart’s bill, entitled the Regulatory Agency Demilitarization Act, seeks to strip these agencies of their law enforcement authority and take away their weapons.

“I understand that federal agents must be capable of protecting themselves,” Stewart said. “But what we have observed goes far beyond providing necessary protection…Not only is it overkill, but having these highly armed units within dozens of agencies is duplicative, costly, heavy handed, dangerous and destroys any sense of trust between citizens and the federal government.”

In 2002, the Homeland Security Act gave dozens of non-traditional agencies the power to arrest people and use military grade firearms. Since then, dozens of agencies from the Department of Labor to the Peace Corps have hired armed officers and employed SWAT – type units.

DHS Armored Personnel Carrier
DHS Armored Personnel Carrier

“Like a lot of times, we write bad legislation in the heat of a crisis,” Stewart said. “We did it with Dodd Frank in reaction to the banking crisis. So that’s exactly what happened here, they gave this authority to federal agencies that never had it before. We have to pull it back now because it creates so much distrust with the America people.”

In recent years, there have been a number of disturbing reports of federal agencies abusing their law enforcement powers.

In 2012, the Social Security Administration requested 174,000 hollow point bullets. More recently, the USDA recently requested the use of .40 caliber submachine guns. And earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security contracted to purchase 704 million rounds over the next 4 years, or 2,500 rounds of ammo per officer, per year.

These requests go far beyond what is necessary and raise legitimate questions about what the ammo is actually intended for. Outside of a war zone, why would DHS need 2,500 rounds of ammunition per officer each year?

Congress should pass the Regulatory Agency Demilitarization Act and put all the questions to rest.

Police Depts Are Quietly Preparing for War

Police Depts Are Quietly Preparing for War

by ZERO HEDGE | InfoWars.com

At first blush, the title of this post could be perceived as somewhat negative by those who still have an impression of America’s police departments as guardians of safety, designed “to protect and to serve” the population of the “land of the free.”

However, said impression would be promptly washed away upon reading an article in today’s NYT which citing Pentagon data, reveals that under the Obama administration, “police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.

Police aiming at home
Boston police raid neighborhood

Which begs the question: just who is America’s police force, and by extension the Obama administration, which is behind this quiet militarization of local police forces with weapons that would normally be seen in a warzone, preparing for war against?

See: Boston police raid neighborhood in full assault gear without warrants

And while we already documented America’s conversation to a turnkey totalitarian banana republic (confirmed over a year later by Edward Snowden), behold America’s conversion to a police state:

In the past we have occasionally covered the slow (but sure) conversion of America’s Police force into an army, fully loaded with the latest weapons and equipments, not even we had an idea of the full extent of what was going on behind the scenes. As the NYT describes, all of the above-mentioned equipment “has been added to the armories of police departments that already look and act like military units.

ATF PolicePolice SWAT teams are now deployed tens of thousands of times each year, increasingly for routine jobs. Masked, heavily armed police officers in Louisiana raided a nightclub in 2006 as part of a liquor inspection. In Florida in 2010, officers in SWAT gear and with guns drawn carried out raids on barbershops that mostly led only to charges of “barbering without a license.

Surely in an age when the NSA managed to eradicated all terrorism (oh oops, Boston bombing, we forgot, just ignore that), the mantra that a “weapon unused is a useless weapon” has never rang more true, but dispatching crack police team to handle rogue “barbers”? Sadly, that may be just a harbinger of the crackdowns the US police state will unleash shortly on anyone even the least bit guilty of violating some law or regulation. Or maybe completely innocent, just guilty of sparking the USPD’s curiosity.

Meet the new normal SWAT: new, improved and, well, everywhere:

The number of SWAT teams has skyrocketed since the 1980s, according to studies by Peter B. Kraska, an Eastern Kentucky University professor who has been researching the issue for decades…. The ubiquity of SWAT teams has changed not only the way officers look, but also the way departments view themselves. Recruiting videos feature clips of officers storming into homes with smoke grenades and firing automatic weapons. In Springdale, Ark., a police recruiting video is dominated by SWAT clips, including officers throwing a flash grenade into a house and creeping through a field in camouflage.

The rationale for the weaponization of the US police force is simple: it’s yours if you want it. Also, it’s free.

The Pentagon program does not push equipment onto local departments. The pace of transfers depends on how much unneeded equipment the military has, and how much the police request. Equipment that goes unclaimed typically is destroyed. So police chiefs say their choice is often easy: Ask for free equipment that would otherwise be scrapped, or look for money in their budgets to prepare for an unlikely scenario. Most people understand, police officers say.

In the meantime, this is where the build up has come from…

Congress created the military-transfer program in the early 1990s, when violent crime plagued America’s cities and the police felt outgunned by drug gangs. Today, crime has fallen to its lowest levels in a generation, the wars have wound down, and despite current fears, the number of domestic terrorist attacks has declined sharply from the 1960s and 1970s.

Police departments, though, are adding more firepower and military gear than ever. Some, especially in larger cities, have used federal grant money to buy armored cars and other tactical gear. And the free surplus program remains a favorite of many police chiefs who say they could otherwise not afford such equipment. Chief Wilkinson said he expects the police to use the new truck rarely, when the department’s SWAT team faces an armed standoff or serves a warrant on someone believed to be dangerous.

Today, Chief Wilkinson said, the police are trained to move in and save lives during a shooting or standoff, in contrast to a generation ago — before the Columbine High School massacre and others that followed it — when they responded by setting up a perimeter and either negotiating with, or waiting out, the suspect.

… and where it is going.

In South Carolina, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department’s website features its SWAT team, dressed in black with guns drawn, flanking an armored vehicle that looks like a tank and has a mounted .50-caliber gun. Capt. Chris Cowan, a department spokesman, said the vehicle “allows the department to stay in step with the criminals who are arming themselves more heavily every day.” He said police officers had taken it to schools and community events, where it was a conversation starter.

Not everyone agrees that there is a need for such vehicles. Ronald E. Teachman, the police chief in South Bend, Ind., said he decided not to request a mine-resistant vehicle for his city. “I go to schools,” he said. “But I bring ‘Green Eggs and Ham.’ ”

The people are said to believe the explanation:

When you explain that you’re preparing for something that may never happen, they get it,” said Capt. Tiger Parsons of the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office in northwest Missouri, which recently received a mine-resistant truck.

You mean like the Fed stepping back from propping the global capital markets? Or like Caesar taking over Rome and only then handing over the power to the people?

But however you explain it and whatever you call it, don’t call it overkill, no pun intended. Actually call it overkill.

Pentagon data suggest how the police are arming themselves for such worst-case scenarios. Since 2006, the police in six states have received magazines that carry 100 rounds of M-16 ammunition, allowing officers to fire continuously for three times longer than normal. Twenty-two states obtained equipment to detect buried land mines.

In the Indianapolis suburbs, officers said they needed a mine-resistant vehicle to protect against a possible attack by veterans returning from war.

“You have a lot of people who are coming out of the military that have the ability and knowledge to build I.E.D.’s and to defeat law enforcement techniques,” Sgt. Dan Downing of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department told the local Fox affiliate, referring to improvised explosive devices, or homemade bombs. Sergeant Downing did not return a message seeking comment.

The police in 38 states have received silencers, which soldiers use to muffle gunfire during raids and sniper attacks. Lauren Wild, the sheriff in rural Walsh County, N.D., said he saw no need for silencers. When told he had 40 of them for his county of 11,000 people, Sheriff Wild confirmed it with a colleague and said he would look into it. “I don’t recall approving them,” he said.

Funny how that happens. Because that’s the whole point: if the police department is there to protect the people, shouldn’t the people decide how the police is armed? Apparently not. Then again, the light bulb did go over some heads.

At the Neenah City Council, Mr. Pollnow is pushing for a requirement that the council vote on all equipment transfers. When he asks about the need for military equipment, he said the answer is always the same: It protects police officers.

“Who’s going to be against that? You’re against the police coming home safe at night?” he said. “But you can always present a worst-case scenario. You can use that as a framework to get anything.”

Chief Wilkinson said he was not interested in militarizing Neenah. But officers are shot, even in small towns. If there were an affordable way to protect his people without the new truck, he would do it.

“I hate having our community divided over a law enforcement issue like this. But we are,” he said. “It drives me to my knees in prayer for the safety of this community every day. And it convinced me that this was the right thing for our community.”

Great, absolutely. Now just open it up for a vote and le the community itself decide!

Which brings us back to the original question: as the NYT succinctly summarizes the situation, “as President Obama ushers in the end of what he called America’s “long season of war,” the former tools of combat — M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, silencers and more — are ending up in local police departments, often with little public notice.”

Perhaps that sentence needs some qualification: as Obama, humiliated on the international arena by everyone, from Assad to Putin and back, and desperately seeking to avoid future embarrassment, redeploys weapons of mass murder, why is he seeking to put said weapons – many of which are of the offensive kind – not out to pasture but in America’s very own back yard?

Just who does Obama plan to wage his next, and hopefully last, war against? The good news is that everyone will get sufficient advance notice before said war begins by the squadrons of weaponized drones sent out to test the ground, and inflict the “accidental” collateral damage casualty, or million.

Why is the USDA Attempting to Buy Submachine Guns?

Why is the USDA Attempting to Buy Submachine Guns?

Politics
By: Jay Syrmopoulos, BennSwann.com 

USDA buys submachine guns

In an ongoing trend of militarization of federal agencies, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it was looking to procure on the General Services Administration website .40 caliber Smith & Wesson submachine guns.

The posting announced:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, located in Washington, DC, pursuant to the authority of FAR Part 13, has a requirement for the commerical acquisition of submachine guns, .40 Cal. S&W, ambidextrous safety, semi-automatic or 2 shot burts trigger group, Tritium night sights for front and rear, rails for attachment of flashlight (front under fore grip) and scope (top rear), stock-collapsilbe or folding, magazine – 30 rd. capacity, sling, light weight, and oversized trigger guard for gloved operation.  NO SOLICITATION DOCUMENT EXISTS.  All responsible and/or interested sources may submit their company name, point of contact, and telephone.  If received timely, shall be considered by the agency for contact to determine weapon suitability.

According to a report by Politico, the USDA provided the justification:

“more than 100 agents employed by the law enforcement division of the department’s Office of the Inspector General who carry such weapons because they are involved in the investigation of criminal activities, including fraud, theft of government property, bribery, extortion, smuggling and assaults on employees. From fiscal 2012 through March 2014, OIG investigations pertaining to USDA operations have netted more than 2,000 indictments, 1,350 convictions and over $460 million in monetary results.”

US Military Special OperationsWhy are numerous Executive Branches of the Federal government militarizing their services?

In addition to the USDA attempting to procure weapons and ammunition on the GSA website, many other federal agencies have recently bought billions of dollars worth of firearms and ammunition. These agencies include the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Education, the IRS, the US Postal Service, and the Social Security Administration.

This seems to be a disturbing and troubling trend that has left many Americans asking why these federal agencies, that wouldn’t seem as though they need large supplies of weaponry and ammo, are looking for such heavy firepower.