If you’re a gun owner, you’ve probably figured this out already because the Department of Homeland Security has been buying up obscene quantities of bullets for years now, effectively washing away the market for private buyers. I initially thought this was simply an end-run around actual gun control legislation — and I still think there’s a big element of that — but it seems there’s more to the story:
Has the Dept. of Homeland Security Become America’s Standing Army?
By John W. Whitehead
June 16, 2014
“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.”—James Madison
“Here [in New Mexico], we are moving more toward a national police force. Homeland Security is involved with a lot of little things around town. Somebody in Washington needs to call a timeout.”—Dan Klein, retired Albuquerque Police Department sergeant
If the United States is a police state, then the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is its national police force, with all the brutality, ineptitude and corruption such a role implies. In fact, although the DHS’ governmental bureaucracy may at times appear to be inept and bungling, it is ruthlessly efficient when it comes to building what the Founders feared most—a standing army on American soil.
The third largest federal agency behind the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, the DHS—with its 240,000 full-time workers, $61 billion budget and sub-agencies that include the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)—has been aptly dubbed a “runaway train.”
In the 12 years since it was established to “prevent terrorist attacks within the United States,” the DHS has grown from a post-9/11 knee-jerk reaction to a leviathan with tentacles in every aspect of American life. With good reason, a bipartisan bill to provide greater oversight and accountability into the DHS’ purchasing process has been making its way through Congress.
The article goes on to offer numerous examples of both the danger of having such a standing army (not to mention the fact that it’s illegal), as well as how such a mindset has been incentivized by DHS and appears to be rapidly taking hold. Some excerpts:
Spying on activists, dissidents and veterans. In 2009, DHS released three infamous reports on Rightwing and Leftwing “Extremism,” and another entitled Operation Vigilant Eagle, outlining a surveillance program targeting veterans. The reports collectively and broadly define extremists as individuals and groups “that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely.” In 2013, it was revealed that DHS, the FBI, state and local law enforcement agencies, and the private sector were working together to conduct nationwide surveillance on protesters’ First Amendment activities.
Stockpiling ammunition. DHS, along with other government agencies, has been stockpiling an alarming amount of ammunition in recent years, which only adds to the discomfort of those already leery of the government. As of 2013, DHS had 260 million rounds of ammo in stock, which averages out to between 1,300 to 1,600 rounds per officer. The US Army, in contrast, has roughly 350 rounds per soldier. DHS has since requisitioned more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammo, “enough,” concludes Forbes magazine, “to sustain a hot war for 20+ years.”
Directing government workers to spy on Americans. Terrorism Liaison Officers are firefighters, police officers, and even corporate employees who have received training to spy on and report back to government entities on the day-to-day activities of their fellow citizens. These individuals are authorized to report “suspicious activity” which can include such innocuous activities as taking pictures with no apparent aesthetic value, making measurements and drawings, taking notes, conversing in code, espousing radical beliefs, and buying items in bulk.
Utilizing drones and other spybots. The DHS has been at the forefront of funding and deploying surveillance robots and drones for land, sea and air, including robots that resemble fish and tunnel-bots that can travel underground. Despite repeated concerns over the danger surveillance drones used domestically pose to Americans’ privacy rights, the DHS has continued to expand its fleet of Predator drones, which come equipped with video cameras, infrared cameras, heat sensors, and radar. DHS also loans its drones out to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies for a variety of tasks, although the agency refuses to divulge any details as to how, why and in what capacity these drones are being used by police. Incredibly, the DHS has also been handing out millions of dollars in grants to local police agencies to “accelerate the adoption” of drones in their localities.
Hit the link above to read more.
The point here, in my opinion, is to question why the government needs to be doing all of this. Why are they purchasing massive quantities of ammunition, establishing surveillance on American citizens, and pushing local authorities to get ever more aggressive and devastating weaponry? It’s one thing to have proper training and equipment to combat terrorism or deranged gunmen, but it’s quite another for police forces to be preparing for an all out war. That begs the question: a war against whom? Remember…
Really? Why? What purpose would this civilian national security force serve? If the military cannot do it, and local law enforcement cannot do it, then what is this new security force going to do? And don’t forget this, either:
Soldiers attending a pre-deployment briefing at Fort Hood say they were told that evangelical Christians and members of the Tea Party were a threat to the nation and that any soldier donating to those groups would be subjected to punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
A soldier who attended the Oct. 17th briefing told me the counter-intelligence agent in charge of the meeting spent nearly a half hour discussing how evangelical Christians and groups like the American Family Association were “tearing the country apart.”
The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute training guide was obtained by Judicial Watch under a Freedom of Information Act Request. It was acquired from the Air Force but originated from the Pentagon.WASHINGTON
“This document deserves a careful examination by military leadership,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton told Fox News. “Congress needs to conduct better oversight and figure out what the heck is going on in our military.”
Included in the 133-pages of lesson plans is a student guide entitled “Extremism.”
The DOD warns students to be aware “that many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights and how to make the world a better place.”
Under a section titled “Extremist Ideologies,” the document states, “In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”
“It’s disturbing insight into what’s happening inside Obama’s Pentagon,” Fitton told Fox News. “The Obama administration has a nasty habit of equating basic conservative values with terrorism.”
The Pentagon did not return telephone calls seeking comment on the training materials.
The training guide warned that participation in groups that are regarded as extremist organizations is “incompatible with military service and is, therefore prohibited.”
“It’s craziness,” Fitton said. “It’s political correctness run amok.”
The training documents also focus on those who cherish individual liberty.
“Nowadays, instead of dressing in sheets or publically espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights and how to make the world a better place.”
The document relied heavily on information obtained from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a leftwing organization that has a history of labeling conservative Christian organizations like the Family Research Council as “hate groups.”
It is clear that the Obama administration views conservatives and those who value things like individual liberty, traditional Christian values, and the Founding Fathers as being the biggest problem facing this nation. Never mind that such people have yet to carry out any real attack; never mind that the actual terrorists are seeking nuclear weapons and attacking our soldiers and embassies around the world; never mind that drug cartels are invading our southern border; never mind that our President bows more often than he defends America; never mind that today’s Democrat party is hair-trigger quick to label political opponents Nazis, thugs, murderers, racists, bigots, and anything else that grabs a splashy headline. None of that matters to Obama. In his mind, it’s all justified because it’s a means to the most important end of all: ours.
So the question remains, and gets more ominous by the day: why the surveillance, stockpiling, and arming of DHS?
There’s my two cents.