The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has posted a request to purchase “assorted small arms ammunition,” reports political analyst Michael Lotfi.
The solicitation by the USPS was posted on FBO.gov, the federal government’s federal business opportunities website. The process is now underway to arrange for the purchase of guns and ammo for some undisclosed use by the post office.
As Lotfi points out, it is curious that the postal service can afford to arm itself given their precarious financial position:
The USPS has been posting $1-5 billion quarterly losses for years. In fiscal year (FY) 2012 alone the USPS lost a record $15.9 Billion. At it’s current rate of spending, the USPS is projected to hit $45 Billion in debt within the next three years.
Of course, Obama administration officials probably care very little for the harsh economic realities. In fact, the USPS is just the latest federal agency to be the beneficiary of a billion-dollar weapons purchase.
Although the exact amount of the USPS purchase is not made clear in its request, billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent by several federal agencies to buy several billion rounds of ammunition.
As The New American has reported, for example, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has purchased over 27 billion bullets over the past year or so.
Brian Koenig, writing for The New American, put the DHS purchase in perspective:
To put the 1.6 billion rounds in ammunition — which, note, the agency purchased in the last 10 months — in perspective, during the peak of active battle operations in Iraq, U.S. armed forces used approximately 5.5 million bullets a month. “Extrapolating the figures,” InfoWars.com reports, “the DHS has purchased enough bullets over the last 10 months to wage a full scale war for almost 30 years.”
These monstrous sums of ammunition purchases have prompted concerns that the DHS is preparing for some form of domestic unrest. In 2011, DHS chief Janet Napolitano commanded Immigration and Customs Enforcement to put strategies in place for a mass influx of immigrants into the United States, requesting a plan to deal with the “shelter” and “processing” of a vast population of people.
Although most would have you believe that the notion of American internment camps is nothing more than the conspiracy-fueled minds of the fringe right, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia doesn’t think it’s such a far fetched idea. As reported by The New American’s Alex Newman:
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia ... made headlines nationwide this week after bluntly telling law students at the University of Hawaii that internment camps to detain Americans would eventually return. Acknowledging that the infamous Supreme Court-approved internment of Japanese-Americans in wretched camps during World War II was wrong, the conservative-leaning justice followed up by adding that “you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again.” In “times of war,” Scalia said, citing a Latin expression attributed to Cicero, “the laws fall silent.”
Even in recent years, Americans have been herded by federal officials into camps against their will. After hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, for example, authorities declared martial law, forcibly disarmed residents, and forced massive numbers of people into FEMA-run camps. During the recent swine flu hysteria, officials were also openly discussing and preparing for the forcible quarantine of Americans. More recently still, homeless people in some areas have also been coerced into camps under penalty of arrest.
What does Congress say about the arming of agencies of the executive branch?
When questioned about the purpose of the extraordinary purchases, Nick Nayak, DHS spokesman, explained:
DHS maintains a highly trained workforce to fulfill its mission for the American people in the most effective and efficient way possible. While DHS spending on ammunition represents less than one tenth of one percent of the DHS budget, we continue to pursue measures that leverage all of the Department’s resources in order to best make use of taxpayer dollars.
Bob Adelmann reported, however, that another congressman wasn’t quite placated by that answer:
Those remarks didn't satisfy Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, which held the hearing. Chaffetz noted that the DHS is using roughly 1,000 rounds of ammunition more per person than the U.S. Army: While the Army goes through roughly 350 rounds per soldier, the DHS is burning through between 1,300 and 1,600 rounds per officer. Chaffetz declared, "It is entirely ... inexplicable why the Department of Homeland Security needs so much ammunition.... Their officers use what seems to be an exorbitant amount of ammunition.”
When questioned about reports that the DHS had placed orders to buy more than a billion additional rounds of ammunition, Nayak replied that those reports were “simply not true,” adding that the agency needs reasonable quantities for training purposes and that it usually buys in bulk to save money.
In his article, Lotfi reports that “Congressman Huelskamp (R- Kans) has questioned DHS officials multiple times concerning the ammunition purchases and has yet to receive a serious answer.”
And DHS and the USPS are only the beginning. What of similar military-like acquisition of ammo made by other federal departments? For example:
In 2010, the Department of Education solicited for the purchase of:
twenty-seven (27) REMINGTON BRAND MODEL 870 POLICE 12/14P MOD GRWC XS4 KXCS SF. RAMAC #24587 GAUGE: 12 BARREL: 14" - PARKERIZED CHOKE: MODIFIED SIGHTS: GHOST RING REAR WILSON COMBAT; FRONT - XS CONTOUR BEAD SIGHT STOCK: KNOXX REDUCE RECOIL ADJUSTABLE STOCK FORE-END: SPEEDFEED SPORT-SOLID - 14" LOP are designated as the only shotguns authorized for ED based on compatibility with ED existing shotgun inventory, certified armor and combat training and protocol, maintenance, and parts.
In 2012, the Social Security Administration asked for 174,000 “.357 Duty Carry Sig 125 grain bonded JHP hollow point bullet ammunition.”
On behalf of the National Weather Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has joined the crowd clamoring for ammunition, asking for 46,000 rounds of hollow point bullets for themselves.
That’s a lot of bullets, especially in light of the well-documented shortage of ammunition available for purchase by civilians.
What’s behind this mass arming of federal agents who would seem to have no need to be packing such heat? No one knows for sure.
Could it be in preparation of some anticipated civilian uprising? There is some corroborating evidence for this “conspiracy theory” elsewhere, too.
A key plank of the Obama administration platform seems to be the conversion of the local police into a fifth branch of the U.S. armed forces.
The means of accomplishing this goal is the doling out of millions of dollars from the DHS to local police departments and county sheriffs' offices around the country.
Cash-strapped local law enforcement gobbles up the federal “grants,” purchasing military-grade vehicles, weapons, ammunition, and surveillance technology that would make the National Security Agency (NSA) proud.
Then, there is the increasingly military nature of police forces across the country, as well.
Steadily and speedily, the force of the militarized police is denying citizens the protections of fundamental civil liberties afforded us by the Bill of Rights. While there remain legions of law enforcement officers devoted to protecting and serving their fellow citizens, the federal government’s proffer of powerful, free or almost free weapons, vehicles, gear, and tactical training is making the allure of becoming an unofficial branch of the armed forces irresistible.
Americans wary of even the remotest possibility of the reinstitution of federal detention camps as mentioned by Justice Scalia and others, should encourage their elected representatives in Washington, D.C. to demand answers from the various federal agencies looking to arm themselves with billions of rounds of ammunition and military-grade weapons and vehicles.
Photo: AP Images