Leo Zappa
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http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/may/16/agriculture-...

Someone at work (a rather conservative-leaning fellow) sent me a link to this story from some right-wing blog. I was semi-intrigued, but couldn't find a major news source reporting it until this one. It appears to be true. If so, what the hell is the US Department of Agriculture doing requisitioning both body armor, and .40 caliber S&W submachine guns with 30 round magazines? And why did the Department of Agriculture buy 320,000 rounds of ammunition earlier this year? I can get Homeland Security buying ammo, and even (barely) the Postal Service, but Agriculture?

Does anyone here have knowledge of Agriculture's activities and responsibilities, and if so, do any of them require their employees to be heavily armed and armored??? Who are they expecting to fight??? On the surface of it, if this story is accurate, I have to admit I find this puzzling and, yes, troubling.

Here is the opening paragraph, for those who don't follow the link above...

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has put in an acquisition request to buy body armor — specifically, “ballistic vests, compliant with NIJ 0101.06 for Level IIIA Ballistic Resistance of body armor,” the solicitation stated.

The request was put in writing and posted on May 7 — just a few days before the same agency sought “the commercial acquisition of submachine guns” equipped for 30-round magazines, Breitbart reported.
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Seth Iniguez
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Perhaps it is in response to Cliven Bundy. If the USDA is in charge of enforcing agriculture laws, and we are seeing instances of armed resistance by ranchers, it isn't a big surprise to me that they need to prepare for crazies with guns in the wilderness.

EDIT: Looks like the forest service falls under the USDA, so yeah, armed park rangers too.
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Walt
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OK, that makes some sense (Forest Service). Dang, it's a hell of a thing seeing so many of our Federal institutions becoming militarized. I was in DC a month ago meeting with the staffs of several of our elected officials and when I went to lunch in one of the government cafeterias, I was somewhat taken aback by the plethora of uniformed and armed personnel present. I'm former military myself, but I didn't recognize half of the uniforms I saw there, and I just thought to myself that I didn't remember DC looking nearly so militarized when I lived there some 20 years ago.
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Ken
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I did a bit of searching, and can't find the solicitation on the "usual" web sites (GSA, FBO, etc.). I wish they would link to it in the story because it has to be public record. But they do have law enforcement authority on some matters and body armor for that wouldn't be out-of-bounds. They also don't provide a lot of detail. Is this 50 sets? 10? 1,000?

Federal agents deal with people who have guns. I don't have any issue with them being shielded from some damage, and would think nobody else would, either. They can cite some specifics if they want me to worry about how they're militarizing.
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Walt
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They have 737 law enforcement personnel (Wikipedia), so.... Some are thinking of moving USFS to Interior, with the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. Seems to make sense from my perspective; USFS needs Ag's research, but so do NPS & BLM.

With the US population becoming more militarized and (arguably superficially anarchist).... (The old call was "States' Rights"; the new call seems like "All gov't at any level is bad".)

"You don't know what you've got till it's gone."
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Tall_Walt wrote:
They have 737 law enforcement personnel (Wikipedia), so.... Some are thinking of moving USFS to Interior, with the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. Seems to make sense from my perspective; USFS needs Ag's research, but so do NPS & BLM.

With the US population becoming more militarized and (arguably superficially anarchist).... (The old call was "States' Rights"; the new call seems like "All gov't at any level is bad".)

"You don't know what you've got till it's gone."




For body armor, it looks like we're talking second chance vests that go on under the uniform. Nothing out of the ordinary there.
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Walt
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COMPNOR wrote:
For body armor, it looks like we're talking second chance vests that go on under the uniform. Nothing out of the ordinary there.

Honestly, I didn't look at the article. I just know we (CA) have a huge amount of USFS (and BLM) land surrounding our national parks and monuments. USFS is the primary LEO in those areas, so as you say, nothing out of the ordinary.
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Junior McSpiffy
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So what kind of soldiers serve in the Dept of Agriculture's militarized branch?

Kernels.

Aaron, that one was for you.
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Mac Mcleod
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GameCrossing wrote:
So what kind of soldiers serve in the Dept of Agriculture's militarized branch?

Kernels.

Aaron, that one was for you.


You are A maizing!

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Boaty McBoatface
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If this was a country that did not have wankers like the Bundy Bunch I would agree this makes no sense. But if I was in a job where I could expect to get shot at by someone in the performance of my duty I would expect protection (assuming this is true).
 
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Yogi Bear and Boo Boo had better watch out...
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=9fc3a01..., so yes it looks like they are looking at options to buy either hand duns or SMG's (with 2 round burst?).
 
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maxo-texas wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
So what kind of soldiers serve in the Dept of Agriculture's militarized branch?

Kernels.

Aaron, that one was for you.


You are A maizing!





Hey, that joke wasn't half bad!
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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Altair IV wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
So what kind of soldiers serve in the Dept of Agriculture's militarized branch?

Kernels.

Aaron, that one was for you.


You are A maizing!





Hey, that joke wasn't half bad!


It was all bad!
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I thought you guys knew that the Department of Agriculture is going to become Monsanto's military arm. Are there any seeds in your property that were not bought from agribusiness? I hope you like the smell of napalm in the morning.
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GameCrossing wrote:
So what kind of soldiers serve in the Dept of Agriculture's militarized branch?

Kernels.

Aaron, that one was for you.


It's in the couch cushions somewhere, dude. Keep digging.
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Junior McSpiffy
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she2 wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
So what kind of soldiers serve in the Dept of Agriculture's militarized branch?

Kernels.

Aaron, that one was for you.


It's in the couch cushions somewhere, dude. Keep digging.


Now you're just being silly. That line was lifted straight from The Tick. And if you are trying to tell me that The Tick ain't funny, then there is such thing as funny, and we can start discussing the post-funnyism world in which we live.
 
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Ken
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GameCrossing wrote:
Now you're just being silly. That line was lifted straight from The Tick. And if you are trying to tell me that The Tick ain't funny, then there is such thing as funny, and we can start discussing the post-funnyism world in which we live.


This post is just dripping with what's wrong with you.
 
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Junior McSpiffy
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perfalbion wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
Now you're just being silly. That line was lifted straight from The Tick. And if you are trying to tell me that The Tick ain't funny, then there is such thing as funny, and we can start discussing the post-funnyism world in which we live.


This post is just dripping with what's wrong with you.


I'm gonna go with "unable to stay away from the keyboard even in the throes of sleep deprivation based on a two-year-old's six a.m. wakeup call of 'pops... sun up.... daytime....'."
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Ken
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GameCrossing wrote:
I'm gonna go with "unable to stay away from the keyboard even in the throes of sleep deprivation based on a two-year-old's six a.m. wakeup call of 'pops... sun up.... daytime....'."


Saying you were drunk outta your gourd would have been more fun.
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