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edward long

Association of Old Crows

TEDCRED 100+

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What thoughts do TEDster's have regarding plausible reasons why the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is purchasing major firepower?

Here are two recent procurements made by Secretary Napolitano (my former governor) presumably to meet her department's strategic needs: 1.6-BILLION cartridges for .40 caliber and 9mm firearms; 2,717 MRAP's (Mine Resistant Armor Protected motorized vehicles) retrofitted for DOMESTIC (aka Homeland) use. Advances in taxpayer funded Technolgy and Design are meant to enhance our society, right?. . . right?

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Closing Statement from edward long

18 possibilities mentioned by respondents:
For use in Syria (1). To protect and serve citizens (1). A pre-sequester spending spree (1). No problem at all (2). To stimulate the economy (1). To match forces with armed citizens (4). A conspiracy against citizens (1). Just good purchasing policy (2). Preparing for chaos after economic collapse (2). Marshall Law (2). To drive-up metals markets (1).

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    Mar 11 2013: My best bet would be too look at the people who were 'conspiratorial' in relation to this conversation's question - even just 5 years ago.

    "Big Corporate Politics" "corporate capitalism" "banking wars" "Rothchild Legacies"

    Recently I saw a picture... It was provocative enough to note: First woman's face wore a veil - only showing her eyes, and the other woman's face had a blind fold on. The first was labelled 'the east' and the other 'the west'.

    What I take from this picture is a reminder of the difference between contemporary China and America.

    While in China it is clear there is a socialism-communism type republic in practice http:s//www.businessinsider.com/chinese-communist-party-one-chart-2012-9c (Note: the top 6 CCP are also some of the largest corporation owners of China.)

    In America we are capitalism-democracy type republic in practice. However, who directly profits from our major corporations, which run America (which is a dozen or so), in food, entertainment, clothing, and other basic necessities. Are not lapped onto pop-politics. However, we can notice the rapid growth of lobbyist over the past half century... Laws and policies designed to help corporate interest, with no regard for the everyday American, at this point is normative.

    Comparably, it's to the point where America is a Brave New World and China is 1984.

    While we are able to be controlled by distractions of enjoyment... The majority of China is pushed around by government directly. We are entertained into ignorance, while they are feared into acceptance.

    ___

    The blindfold is beginning to get scratched off in this country at a more collective rate, and the government is aware of that, because I am aware of that, and I am no one special.

    Perhaps the policy of entertaining us into ignorance, has a contingency plan when people realize all of the political deceptions. That plan involves protecting their interest, at all cost.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WibmcsEGLKo
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      Mar 11 2013: I think I missed your point sir. Your comment has what to do with the MRAP's and ammunition?
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        Mar 12 2013: While we believe we are being constructive with having this conversation about Marshal Law or the MRAP. We are actually only continuing to push a system which is collapsing. While we talk politics, politicians and big business have systems in play robbing our nation dry.

        We have become a culture of 'Me' and by becoming such, we ignore those who actually make policies which effect our living standards. Therefore, while you ask why they are buying ammo, I dictate to you why wouldn't they if people are starting to realize the truth.

        We are in a police state. While for the past half century the policing was done with propaganda and mindless entertaining. Now will become militant in action.

        We're going to see more protest and activism, whether or not our biased news outlets show the occupations and the riots... Is not going to stop people from realizing what anyone else can realize if they really get to the bottom of the situation.
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          Mar 12 2013: Ah! Now I see your point. The DHS is preparing to use deadly force against American citizens on US soil. Thank you for sharing sir!
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    Gail . 50+

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    Mar 8 2013: My "suspicion" is that there was a great spending spree prior to the sequester-required military budget cuts.
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      Mar 8 2013: An innocent fiscal maneuver? I hadn't discovered that possibility. Thank you!
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    Mar 8 2013: Scary stuff. My two cents are that if it walks, quacks, and looks like a duck..
    The gov't is preparing for Marshall Law.
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      Mar 8 2013: You're scaring me Gregory! Really? Do they have the technology to target only conservatives, or do they figure, "If you are not submitting to the New, New Deal you must be a dangerous malcontent and deserve to be gunned-down by a US tank or drone. We seem to have a nightmare brewing.
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    Mar 8 2013: Not to mention the drones, damn good question FE. Are they preparing for the riots?

    Are they preparing in Europe as well?
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      Mar 8 2013: It does not seem like a stretch to think these purchases are in anticipation of a need to exercise military-like force right here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. It's always a good idea to ask, "What else might this stuff be for?" All I can think of is maybe they are going to secure the border with Mexico using lethal force. A Florida politician wants anyone who buys ammunition to attend anger management classes. Ms. Napolitano surely will need to attend those, holy cow! 1.6 billion rounds? I don't know if the EU is also preparing for "something".
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    Mar 12 2013: As long as they act in the best interests of their own nation then some might say it is okay.
    Which I would agree with to a certain extent, I mean we hire our leaders to protect us not to protect other nations interests, even if this does ensure war. That is the sad reality (in my opinion!)
    So yes I think it "might" be okay if I were american.
    I am not, however I feel mixed about this statement.
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      Mar 12 2013: The question is about the possibility that these massive procurements are not readily identifiable as being "in the best interests" of American citizens. How say you on that?
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        Mar 12 2013: First I believe you must mathematically calculate the risk, and harm this may do to America's internal and external affairs which is complicated in itself (as many Ted talks realize : Humans are awful at predicting risk).
        I would say it might be necessary if there is war coming up.
        I mean for us to " enhance our society" we must eliminate the threats to "our society". So in that sense I agree with the fact that many may be buying much military equipment.
        When you say society do you mean all "society's" (e.g the world) or just a few (e.g America).
        Because it all comes down to which is more important to you : National interest (America's interests over other nations interests) or Global interest (which could outweigh America's interests)!
        Hope this is related to the question you asked and I haven't got "too" side tracked. :p
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          Mar 12 2013: Mr White.
          You may be confused about the creation of a national civilian police force in the USA.
          first of all you have to know that the USA use the old English Law for civilian police. We elect our sheriffs for our local law. States have police forces that enforce state laws and the Federal government has marshals to enforce federal laws and some police authority has been given to the FBI and to some Treasury offices for the enforcement of specific laws.
          In the beginning of the republic of the USA, The original constitution was amended with a bill of rights that would ensure Americans that their "federal Government" would never gain dominance of power and be able to establish control over the constitution. American have a number of individual rights including the right to have guns to defend the Constitution.
          This aspect of our constitution is rather unique in the world and is not clearly understood by non Americans. But it is us. and we prefer it that way.
          By laws the Federal Armed forces can not be used to police inside the USA. Most Federal Military Officers understand that law and would probably respect it .However, a new national police force of the scope that could be contemplated and with the availability of tens of thousand federal employees of the Department of Home Land Security that are currently employed as transportation security officers could be converted into a national police force with little political effect. It could be as simple as a change in mission directive by the Federal Administration. So, as a non American, you may wonder, why a powerful national police force is a concern. Many countries have them. That is true and not a problem for most. But, it the life time of some Americans and its recent memory is the great global wars with other nation's who became belligerent after their national central government started a strong central policing activity. American want no part of a central government with a strong central police.
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    Mar 12 2013: Do I want to be concerned?
    Military members take oaths to obey lawful orders and to defend the constitution. Most are trained to know the legal interpretation of those commitments.
    Now we have 10's of thousands TSA agents, they also take the oath of office, I am not sure of the "lawful orders' phrase. Further, the military addresses the "I have a gun and I am in control" attitude, again not so sure about weapons training for TSA agents. Have began seeing TSA agents providing augmentation security at large sporting events, where no transportation is an issue, well parking maybe.

    TSA has supposedly bought or ordered enormous quantities of ammunition for "training" allegedly stored all over the country, as well as a large number of weapons capable of suppressive fire. More then sufficient to defend an airport terminal from a major terrorist attack.
    Concern? Why should I be concerned?
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      Mar 12 2013: Thank you sir. I understand you see no cause for concern in this matter. It is just government business as usual. Here's hoping you folks who see it that way are correct!
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        Mar 12 2013: Your irony or my irony?
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          Mar 12 2013: Sorry man, I am Irony challenged. What are you asking?
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        Mar 12 2013: Then it is my irony...
        I listed a number of grave incidents, actions, and attitudes and I asked why should I be concerned...that was my irony. The question really is "Why shouldn't I"?
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          Mar 12 2013: Thank you for sanitizing your remark by removing the irony, now I get it.
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    Mar 12 2013: A visible manifestation of arms escalation on a domestic scale?

    If it's impossible to reverse domestic possession of firearms, then homeland security would have to appear to be able to cope with any eventuality involving their use. That might include political unrest involving ordinary people armed with weapons as powerful as assault rifles.

    Is there any reason why Homeland Security should fear political unrest?
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      Mar 12 2013: An excellent corollary question sir. Assuming the administration is outfitting itself to engage and defeat significant civilian opposition to its policies. In this case if you are going to take away a citizen's assault rifle you had better have equipment not easily defeated by that assault rifle. Makes sense.
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    Mar 11 2013: There could be a lot of reasons, some listed here such as:
    -- big quantity purchases at great discounts... properly stored have a very long shelf life.
    -- Arming a new national civilian police force, but that would mean new national laws concerning police powers
    I don't see anything like that happening.

    Do I?
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      Mar 12 2013: Do you see anything like a new civilian police force under federal control? It could well be happening whether you see it or not. It was, after all, promised in a campaign speech made iby Janet's boss, QUOTE-- ""We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded." --Barack Hussein Obama, Colorado, USA, 2008.
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    Mar 11 2013: Is an armored defensive vehicle firepower and are small caliber munitions major?
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      Mar 11 2013: An MRAP is an offensive, attack-type weapon system capable of delivering death and mayhem from a distance. They are not "defensive" by any means. As for the small-caliber ammo, I personally think 1,800,000,000 rounds is to be considered "MAJOR". If I buy 500 rounds it trips all sorts of flags at the FBI, DHS, Police, Sheriff, ATF, and who knows where else. Your point sir?
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        Mar 12 2013: Have you seen the movie trailer http://youtu.be/CZIt20emgLY ? "Fear is not real; it is a product of the thoughts you create. Danger is very real, but fear is a choice." - +Cypher Raige (+After Earth movie)
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    Mar 11 2013: How is this conversation inspiring people to be connected and share ideas to bring people from all interests together, TED mission statement?
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      Mar 11 2013: Thank you. Your arithmetic has fanned the flames of concern. 216 "soldiers" cruising in 54 MRAP's in each of 50 states, each soldier firing 75 rounds-per-day, 365-days per-year, for 5 years is supposed to sound like a business-as-usual day in America under Obama? An MRAP is a custom-made, extra-heavily armored vehicle designed for survivability against Improvised Explosive Devices (IED's) and land mines. It can survive AK-47 fire and anti-tank mines while protecting the occupants. The historic occurence of AK-47's, land mines, and IED's being used INSIDE the USA is ZERO. The MRAPS Nappy bought have upgrades for use inside the USA. For what scenario is the administration preparing? That is my question.
  • Mar 11 2013: Just a random comment here. I used to work in law enforcement and want to mention something you may be forgetting. Every armed agent may use 1000+rounds/year between target practice and qualification. They carry guns that hold 16 rounds, plus 2 more 15 round magazines. They may have a backup gun with 16 more rounds, plus they may have a rifle w/mags totaling another 50+ rounds. I would say any armed DHS agent could account for well over 1000 rounds between training and what they carry. They also said they got a big price break by ordering more rounds at once.

    I know the number of rounds purchased sounds big but I bet Walmart sells 10x that many rounds in a year. I know if I go shooting, I personally could go through several hundred rounds. The Us Army probably buys that quantity in a month.

    So.... I say..... big deal...... I hope they got a good discount.
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      Mar 11 2013: I hope you're right, BUT, it really looks like more than thrifty purchasing procedures. At at the height of the Iraq war the DOD was going through 5.5 million rounds a month. http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/security/has176250.000/has176250_0.HTM At that astonishing rate of consumption Napolitano has enough ammo for 24 YEARS+ years of sustained all-out warfare against an agressive enemy! Barack Hussein Obama said in a Colorado campaign speech in 2008, "We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded." It does not seem far-fetched, or conspiratorial, to think he is assembling that KGB/SS/Brown Shirt-type force as we speak.
  • Mar 9 2013: Well, these are my thoughts
    and this kind of action, to me, means they know exactly what is coming.

    All that stuff,
    is to be used on You! And against You!

    When 9/11 happened, I thought there is probably about 1,000 terrorists in the U.S., if that.
    So why were 299,999,000 Americans all suspect?
    Then I thought, well how about 10,000 terrorists?
    That's a much higher number and maybe more realistic, accurate and 'real'.
    So, why were and are, 299,990,000 Americans suspect?
    Now that list of potential terrorist suspects, as many know, grew to over one million!
    Really? One million terrorists are roaming America? Yet, they can catch those who have puny methods of coming into the country, ridiculous plans that unravel and in the next breath tell Americans they can protect them and they can't protect them, as a next attack, the next attack, is inevitable. And people believe this bull!
    You have a government admittance of using the military to spy on us/US citizens, despite this being prohibited and banned by Federal law.
    You have police, SWAT teams, the ATF, even the IRS, outfitted with arms, a la the military. All look like Stormtroopers and they are not to be used against terrorists. They are to be used against the citizens of us/US.
    But keep on coming up with those soothing lies you tell yourself in order to not look at and see, admit and do something about all the arms they have, and all the weapons they want dearly to remove from the hands of the citizens who will then have nothing, absolutely nothing, to protect themselves with.
    They twisted and manipulated the laws so that they can enter your homes, without warning, without reason, removing you and retaining you, where no one can find you, help you and they can do so indefinitely, without explanation or due process of law. They continually spew the idea of being a country "ruled by law".
    And you fall for it.
    By law, they can watch you, spy on you and you can't even film them!
    Not even from public property!
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      Mar 9 2013: Thoughtful, but unsettling comments Random Chance. One thing I see so far in this conversation is the prevailing idea of us and them, or we and they. Are we comfortable characterizing our government as unfriendly toward us, or even as an enemy? I wonder what it would take to rouse Mr. and Mrs. America out of their apathy and ignorance and demand to have this scary stuff truthfully explained? The worst kind of problem is not being aware that you need a solution. Chalk one up for gloom and doom.
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      Mar 9 2013: So Janet is not participating in the cause of the collapse, she is simply making ready for the chaos? Hmmm. Yet another terrifying possibility. Thank you?
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      Mar 9 2013: RE: "The annual military budget. . . "
      We have only been talking number of rounds here, not dollars. DHS recently topped-off their order with 200,000 additional rounds for $45,000. That is 22-1/2 cents per round. So, at that price, 1.6 billion rounds would cost $360 million which is about .05% of the budget number you quote. But so what? It's the number of rounds that is staggering.
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        Mar 9 2013: In terms of bang for the bucks Nappies budget is staggering. Once again we have proven that the government does not have to prove any value or return as is it not responsible or even answerable to anyone.

        I would love to find the bottom of the drain that the government throws our money down.
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          Mar 9 2013: Who says the pun is dead? "Bang for the buck"? How about 1,600,200,000 bangs! We do have the GAO and various oversight (well named)committees, but that is like having the coyote guard the henhouse. Again, as a nation, we suffer from our own apathy and ignorance.
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        Mar 9 2013: Interesting yu bring up GAO ... there is a web site that lists ineffective government programs as cited by the GAO .... expectmore.gov.

        One of those good fodder sites.

        Bob.
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    Mar 8 2013: Besides the all too likely Martial law possibility, there is second likely reasoning.

    With the green energy bubble popping, it is likely they have switched to owning copper mining and ammo manufacture stock.
    And thus they are buying ammo to drive up stock prices, along with saying that they are going to ban high capacity cartridges. To them costing us tax payers billions so they can make millions, is a reasonable thing to do.

    money and power is all they care about.
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      Mar 8 2013: Interesting possibilities sir. 6 times you use the word "they", or "them". My bet is you are referring to all those government and civilian folks who are in an alliance to advance their agenda(s) by manipulating the assets of the American people. Am I right? You don't think "they" are necessarily going to shoot us, but they are up to something no good? Maybe "they" don't want us dead, just subdued and manageable.
  • Mar 8 2013: Along the same lines as TED Lover's idea, it could be that that this stuff is intended for the rebels in Syria, and the administration is playing budget games.
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      Mar 8 2013: Sure. You are right. I recall some creative financing techniques being used to fund certain non-activities in Central and South America. The wheels came off that scheme and folks went to prison or early retirement from politics. It feels better to think they are going to shoot 1.6 billion foreigners rather than red-blooded Americans. None of the possibilities here are sounding too good. Thank you!
      • Mar 8 2013: Ed, thanks for bringing this to our attention.

        That figure of 1.6 billion seems enormous. Is there a way to put that into perspective?
        Does someone perhaps know how many rounds are being used in Afghanistan or Iraq, daily, weekly or monthly?

        And you are right, it is hard to imagine a reason for these purchases that is in any way positive.
  • Mar 8 2013: Could be that they are spending federal money just to put the money into the hands of the corporations. I would not be surprised if there was some quid pro quo behind the scenes, perhaps the gun lobby will be backing off on the gun control legislation.

    If they actually think they might need to use all that stuff, this country is in big trouble.
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      Mar 8 2013: Hmmm. A disguised stimulus program with no nefarious agenda. Another less-dramatic possibility to consider. Your final statement is true no matter what is behind this particular secret government move. Thank you!
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    Mar 8 2013: Not to be cryptic, but, "there's no honor among thieves" comes to mind. Trust seems to be lacking big time in this country. Guns'll save us. Or at least keep those in line who we need kept in line, says the pot to the kettle, or rather the (ruthless, lobbyist) corporation to the government. Ha.

    You amass those kinds of weapons when you're preparing for something. Big. You don't just spend money like that for "insurance". Trust, there's plenty of insurance cavalry and ammunition already out there. You do that kind of roundup when you're expecting something. Domestic. Please excuse my one-word sentences. Apparently I find they bring home points.

    Bless us all :)
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    Mar 8 2013: Rumors abound. Nappy said she need it to train the Border patrole ... the one she doesn't let do their job. It is hard in my mind to think that enough ammo to train the US standing armed forces is necessary.

    There has long been a rumor that Obama had authorized a "special" force to enforce order if civil insurrection were to occur.

    In light of the efforts of the administration to legalize citizenship for all of the illegals currently here (11.5 million) it is hard to believe the purchase was for border enforcement, or for the defense of americans from foreign forces or terrorests actions. The simple answer would be civil disturbance.

    The administration has moved forward with the rural development program which is essentially UN Article 21 and has dedicated 25 US agencies to support this action. Part of the action would require the acquisation of private property and the enforcement of government decisions contrary to present practice. It is entirely possible that this could be a part of that enforcement.

    All of these are WAGs (wild guesses). The truth is that there has not been and continues to not be any transparency in the administration. The first letter from Eric Holder said that it is theoritacally possible that drones could be used against Americans in America. The second letter in response to Ron Paul's filabuster was .. no .. drones would not be used. Do you get the feeling that Eric Holder was called to the principals office and given new guidance. Why would you ever want to tell the truth ... this is politics ... so the answer is NO.

    Ed, some people can still think and question while most of the voting public remains sitting by the pool sun bathing and drinking coolade with free refills.

    I wish you well. Bob.
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      Mar 8 2013: I have to agree that the POTUS does not seem like the kind of guy who would gun-down undocumented/illegal aliens. Is Secretary Napolitano planning to do a lot of live-fire training? Aren't all the agents already trained? Is she planning to hire a bunch of new agents who will need training? If so, why hasn't she purchased new guns for them? When somthing looks like a conspiracy, moves like a conspiracy, and sounds like a conspiracy it is really hard to not formulate a theory about it. Would our own military people whom we all honor and support engage us in mortal combat? It sounds pretty far-fetched, but the invoices for bullets, tanks and drones make it hard to ignore.
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        Mar 8 2013: Ed, I don't think that the administration at any level believes in or trusts the military which gives support to a special force loyal to the administration under Nappy.

        A thinking person could add up all sorts of numbers and arrive at 4 every time.

        The problem IMO is that there is no transparency and without that I cannot give trust thus lends to all sorts of theories.

        Thanks for the reply. Bob.
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          Mar 8 2013: I do recall a rumor (the current modus operandi for information disbursment) about a, "special, elite" military-like force being amassed with one of the job requirements being a willingness to fire upon American citizens who pose a threat to national security. Hmmm.