UPDATE****May 16, 2014
A May 7th solicitation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeks "the commercial acquisition of ballistic vests, compliant with NIJ 0101.06 for Level IIIA Ballistic Resistance of body armor." HERE
May 15, 2014
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a solicitation on May 7, 2014 that asks for "the commercial acquisition of submachine guns." The desired weapons for the Dept. of Agriculture should include the following specs:
40 Cal. S&W, ambidextrous safety, semi-automatic or 2 shot bursts trigger group, Tritium night sights for front and rear, rails for attachment of flashlight (front under fore grip) and scope (top rear), stock-collapsible or folding, magazine - 30 rd. capacity, sling, light weight, and oversized trigger guard for gloved operation.
Why does the USDA need such a weapon? To answer that question I went to the USDA website to look for an answer. The mission statement of the USDA states: "We provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management."
Does it say anywhere in that mission statement about the need to have submachine guns? No? Let's take a look at their vision statement for some clues. The USDA vision statement reads as follows: "To expand economic opportunity through innovation, helping rural America to thrive; to promote agriculture production sustainability that better nourishes Americans while also helping feed others throughout the world; and to preserve and conserve our Nation's natural resources through restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands."
Does the USDA need submachine guns with night-scopes and 30 round magazines to expand economic opportunities? Do they need the weapons to help rural America to thrive? Maybe they need the military grade weapons to help preserve and conserve our natural resources.
For even more clues, let’s take a look at the USDA's 'Strategic Plan Framework.' "USDA has created a strategic plan to implement its vision. The framework of this plan depends on these key activities: expanding markets for agricultural products and support international economic development, further developing alternative markets for agricultural products and activities, providing financing needed to help expand job opportunities and improve housing, utilities and infrastructure in rural America, enhancing food safety by taking steps to reduce the prevalence of food borne hazards from farm to table, improving nutrition and health by providing food assistance and nutrition education and promotion, and managing and protecting America’s public and private lands working cooperatively with other levels of government and the private sector.
The last part of that framework tells us what we need to know. "Managing and protecting America's public and private lands" may indeed require the use of .40 cal submachine guns by USDA agents. As we saw in Clark County Utah, heavily armed government agents (Bureau of Land Management) were needed to protect public and private lands from a lone cattle rancher.
Heavily armed government agencies are becoming the norm in today's America. We learned in 2011 that the U.S. Department of Education can in fact invade your home and hold you at gunpoint. A man named Kenneth Wright learned this the hard way. Armed federal agents (Dept. of Education) busted down Mr. Wright's door of his California home at six in the morning and held him and his family at gunpoint.
What was Mr. Wright's crime? The Dept. of Education was investigating his estranged wife's use of federal aid dollars for students...even though she didn't live at the house at the time. The Dept. of Education and the USDA aren't the only federal agencies that are furnished with SWAT teams and heavily armed agents.
40 federal agencies, which includes at least a dozen agencies not associated with law enforcement, have armed divisions. As of June 2012, there were 120,000 full-time government agents that were authorized to carry weapons and make arrests. The Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, the Parks Service are among 24 federal agencies that employ well over 250 armed officers with arrest authority.
The other 16 federal agencies that have less than 250 armed officers include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Library of Congress, the Federal Reserve Board and the National Institute of Health. As an interesting side-note, the EPA's charter says in part that its mission is to 'protect' the environment and the public. Sound familiar?
The increasing militarization of local police departments and government agencies should be a wakeup call to the citizens of this country. The purchase of 1.6 billion rounds of various ammunition by the Dept. of Homeland Security for its many sub-agencies should be a wakeup call as well.
The armed standoff between the BLM and a cattle rancher in Utah is not the first to involve armed federal agents and a private citizen and it won't be the last. The Bureau of Land Management has said it wants to seize 90,000 acres of land from Texas and I surmise armed citizens from all over the country will descend to Texas in order to greet the armed BLM agents.
I wouldn't be surprised if we see armed agents from the Department of Agriculture (brandishing new submachine guns equipped with 30 round magazines) in Texas to help BLM agents 'manage and protect' America's public and private lands.
USDA Orders Ballistic Body Armor.
A May 7th solicitation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeks "the commercial acquisition of ballistic vests, compliant with NIJ 0101.06 for Level IIIA Ballistic Resistance of body armor."