What is one sure sign that your government is slipping into a police state?
When bureaucratic agencies such as the Social Security Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration begin arming themselves with bullets that were banned in international warfare by the 1899 Hague Convention and are illegal for civilians to own in some jurisdictions.
This is no joke.
The Social Security Administration is purchasing 174,000 rounds of .357 hollow-point pistol ammunition and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is purchasing 46,000 rounds.
These are not the only two agencies that appear to be arming for war.
In 2010, the Department of Education bought a number of 12-gauge shotguns to add to its existing shotgun inventory and is compatible with its combat training. Why are Department of Education employees undergoing combat training? The barrel length of these sawed-off shotguns are useless for anything other than close-quarter fighting.
Other federal agencies seem to have small armies as well. In addition to the obvious ones, such as the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, State Department, Justice Department and CIA, there are the Transportation Security Administration (apparently they do more than grope the elderly and little children), Department of Commerce, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, (and you thought Obamacare was going to be voluntary), Department of Veterans Affairs, etc.
According to the 2008 Census of Federal Law Enforcement Officers, released in June, from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, an agency of the Department of Justice, in September 2008 there were 120,000 full-time armed federal agents, about 40 for every 100,000 citizens. This represents a 14 percent increase compared to 2004. An additional 1,600 armed agents were stationed in U.S. territories, mostly Puerto Rico.
More telling is that only about 37 percent of those armed agents are involved in criminal investigation and enforcement duties.
At least 73 federal agencies have armed agents and 24 of those agencies, excluding offices of inspectors general, employed 250 or more full-time armed agents.
For example, U.S. Customs and Border Protection in 2008 employed 36,863, which was a 33.1 percent increase from four years earlier. I fear what that increase will look like in 2014 when the 2010 Census of Federal Law Enforcement Officers numbers are released. (And why does it take four years to compile this data?)
The bulk of that increase was in the Border Patrol, which increased its force by 59 percent, continuing a trend of growth. From 1996 to 2008, the Border Patrol added about 12,000 officers, more than tripling in size. And 90 percent of those agents are stationed on the Mexican border.
Other agencies also reported huge increases in the number of armed federal officers. The Pentagon Force Protection Agency grew by more than 50 percent; the Veterans Health Administration increased its armed force by 29.1 percent; the Bureau of Diplomatic Security jumped by 27.2 percent; National Nuclear Security Administration increased by 24.3 percent; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement grew by 19.7 percent; and the Secret Service increased by 10 percent.
One might not find these numbers alarming by themselves. However, other events also need to be considered.
In December, President Barack Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the U.S. military the power to detain indefinitely U.S. citizens without charges or trials at the discretion of the president. This authorization obliterated a right the British and American governments have recognized since the June 15, 1215, signing of the Magna Carta by King John of England.
Don’t count on the Supreme Court to stop that. It has said in another case, “There is no bar to this nation’s holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant.”
Then there are the growing number of communities making it illegal to video record law enforcements officers. Now why would you want to keep the citizenry from recording the actions of its police officers?
Meanwhile, sheriff departments and municipal police departments are acquiring military weapons systems at an alarming rate, including machine guns, armored personnel carriers and the like.
Government buildings, including schools, have been turned into fortresses with armed guards and metal detectors. In 2008, the military’s Consequence Management Response Force came online. It is a full-time military force training to be used in the continental United States to respond to attacks, crowd control, and, most notably, dealing with civil unrest.
In other words, the government is training and planning to use the U.S. military against its citizens.
I’m no Chicken Little nor am I an ostrich with my head in the sand. At this pace, the United States will be unrecognizable in the very near future.
Are you paying attention, America?