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A President Romney Should Shutter Dept. Of Homeland Security … J. D. Longstreet

Even the name of the department conjures up memories of  Nazi Germany.

“Homeland” sounds, to me, rather like “The Fatherland.” Speaking it’s name aloud just makes my skin crawl.

Look. DHS has the capacity to be to America’s citizens what the Gestapo was to the people of Hitler’s Germany and to the people of the countries occupied by the Nazis.

Yes, I do realize the majority of Americans today have little (if any) memory of that era. For those of us who DO remember it, all too well, we DO feel an obligation to warn the generations following us when we see OUR government drifting in the direction of that authoritarian, tyrannical, regime.

Consider this a warning!

Every time the government creates another “policing/intelligence agency” American citizens lose even more freedom and liberty.

Think about it a moment. That new department must justify its reason for existence and it must keep the money flowing from the treasury into its coffers. So, it feels an obligation to do something — and then find new and bolder things to do to try and make itself indispensable to the US government.

Hey. It’s the nature of the beast. It’s the way government agencies live and continue to survive. They grow bigger and bigger taking up more space in our daily lives — until we are darn near smothered with their omnipresence.

Read More:  A President Romney Should Shutter Dept. Of Homeland Security … J. D. Longstreet.

Rand Paul Tweets About Federal Hollow Point Bullet Purchases

By Peter Barbour

A hollow point bullet is an expanding bullet that has a pit or hollowed out shape in its tip, often intended to cause the bullet to expand upon entering a target in order to decrease penetration, causing the target to absorb more of the impact and disrupting more tissue as it travels through a body. Hollow point bullets are designed to inflict maximum damage to their targets. They’re not practice rounds. The purpose of hollow points is to kill and maim.

In a trend that has received little attention from the media, various US domestic government agencies have been quietly purchasing millions of rounds of these hollow point bullets and other types of ammunition this year. Senator Rand Paul (KY) took some criticism earlier this week for tweeting about these strange hollow point bullet purchases, which include some of the following examples:

In March, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) signed a 5 year contract with ATK (an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company) for the purchase of up to 450 million rounds of .40 caliber hollow point bullets (HST). The HST is a hollow-point round that holds its jacket even after passing through barriers. Ron Johnson, President of ATK’s Security and Sporting group said, “We are proud to extend our track record as the prime supplier of .40 caliber duty ammunition for DHS, ICE. The HST is a proven design that will continue to serve those who keep our borders safe.”

Recently the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement (initially reported incorrectly as the National Weather Service, NWS) purchased 46,000 rounds of ammunition for semiautomatic pistols, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) bought 174,000 rounds of hollow point bullets. The primary reason given by SSA for the purchase? Training. Here is an excerpt from that statement:

“Media reports expressed concerns over the type of ammunition ordered. In fact, this type of ammunition is standard issue for many law enforcement agencies. OIG’s special agents use this ammunition during their mandatory quarterly firearms qualifications and other training sessions, to ensure agent and public safety. Additionally, the ammunition our agents use is the same type used at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
Our special agents need to be armed and trained appropriately. They not only investigate allegations of Social Security fraud, but they also are called to respond to threats against Social Security offices, employees, and customers.”

Finally, there are reports from Reuters reporter Jason Reed and Irish Daily Mail columnist Mary Ellen Synon (who was also a London-based associate producer for CBS News 60 Minutes) that both say, “The DHS is also planning to purchase a further 750 million rounds of different types of ammo in a separate solicitation…including 357 mag rounds that are able to penetrate walls.”

Such large acquisitions of such deadly ammunition by so many federal domestic agencies– including some puzzling ones like the Social Security Administration– all over such a short period of time might reasonably be expected to elicit some kind of response or comment from the White House and Congress. But they haven’t, with the exception of Sen. Rand Paul, whose reaction last week was to tweet: See Here

Senator Paul was blasted immediately for his tweet by various sources (e.g. Daily Kos, Think Progress) because he incorrectly identified the rounds as going to the National Weather Service instead of NOAA. Paul didn’t even make an accusation, nor ask a question. He simply tweeted what was originally reported by media sources– that the NWS had purchased 46,000 rounds of ammunition.

Because millions of rounds of deadly ammunition have been purchased this year, primarily by DHS, it’s not unreasonable for voters and policymakers to ask questions about it. Why purchase so much ammo, and how will it be used? Why purchase hollow point bullets for training, as SSA is claiming, instead of cheaper firing range bullets? And how does this year’s quantity and type of ammunition purchases by DHS and other government agencies compare to the quantity and type of ammunition in prior year purchases?

And why isn’t the mainstream media asking these questions more?

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Fed’s explanation of hollow point bullets raises more questions

By: Anthony Martin

News reports indicating that multiple agencies of the federal government have ordered and are stockpiling multimillions of rounds of ammunition have pressured the Feds to offer an explanation. But the official explanation has only raised more questions.

On Friday the government stated that the hollow point bullets it has procured are “standard issue” and that they are used to train security agents used by each of the various federal agencies.

However, according to retired Maj. Gen. Jerry Curry, a decorated Army war veteran, the Feds’ explanation about the bullets fails to pass the smell test.

When this reporter first heard the government’s explanation for the hollow point bullets, the warning bells immediately rang indicating a cover up. As every gun owner knows if they are serious about developing and maintaining their shooting skills, the type of bullets used for practice at the firing range are normally different from the ammunition one would use when getting the firearm set to be used in the event of a home invasion or other situations in which one’s life is in mortal danger.

Firing range bullets are much less expensive and are not designed for the day to day use of the gun for maximum self protection. One uses the more expensive variety, such as hollow point bullets, for real-life danger.

Thus, immediately this reporter knew that when the government claimed that its agencies had purchased multimillions of rounds of hollow point bullets for “practice and training” at the firing range, something was amiss. Most citizens are likely unaware that such ammo is not used for practice and will accept the government’s explanation at face value. This is in all likelihood what the Feds are counting on.

And when Maj. Gen. Curry confirmed these suspicions in his article for The Daily Caller, it became clear that the Obama Administration has not been honest with the public concerning the current mass stockpiling of ammunition.

Curry stated,

Hollow point bullets are so lethal that the Geneva Convention does not allow their use on the battle field in time of war. Hollow point bullets don’t just stop or hurt people, they penetrate the body, spread out, fragment and cause maximum damage to the body’s organs. Death often follows.

In addition, Curry noted that during the Iraq War the U.S. military used 70 million rounds of ammunition per year. Compare that with the 750 million rounds of hollow point bullets that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ordered in March. And then it further ordered another 750 million rounds of various types of ammunition, some of which can penetrate walls. Curry declared,

This is enough ammunition to empty five rounds into the body of every living American citizen. Is this something we and the Congress should be concerned about? What’s the plan that requires so many dead Americans, even during times of civil unrest? Has Congress and the Administration vetted the plan in public.

I fear that Congress won’t take these ammunition purchases seriously until they are all led from Capitol Hill in handcuffs. Why buy all this ammunition unless you plan to use it. Unknown to Congress, Does DHS plan to declare war on some country? Shouldn’t Congress hold hearings on why the Administration is stockpiling this ammunition all across the nation? How will it be used; what are the Administration’s plans?

The other factor that is raising significant concerns about the ammo purchases is that the U.S. military and various law enforcement agencies at both the federal and local levels have enough fire power to adequately respond to any emergency or threat. But DHS now has enough ammo on its own to kill every single American citizen plus potential invaders such as Syrians, Iranians, or Mexicans.

Why? And for what purpose?

As a career Army officer, Maj. Gen. Curry believes that the stockpiling of this ammo is enough to warrant a congressional investigation, including an order from Congress that the purchases of hollow point bullets be stopped immediately.

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Who Does The Government Intend To Shoot?

Published: 9:40 AM 08/17/2012

By Major General Jerry Curry, USA (Ret.)

The Social Security Administration (SSA) confirms that it is purchasing 174 thousand rounds of hollow point bullets to be delivered to 41 locations in major cities across the U.S.  No one has yet said what the purpose of these purchases is, though we are led to believe that they will be used only in an emergency to counteract and control civil unrest. Those against whom the hollow point bullets are to be used — those causing the civil unrest — must be American citizens; since the SSA has never been used overseas to help foreign countries maintain control of their citizens.

What would be the target of these 174, 000 rounds of hollow point bullets? It can’t simply be to control demonstrators or rioters. Hollow point bullets are so lethal that the Geneva Convention does not allow their use on the battle field in time of war. Hollow point bullets don’t just stop or hurt people, they penetrate the body, spread out, fragment and cause maximum damage to the body’s organs. Death often follows.

Potentially each hollow nose bullet represents a dead American. If so, why would the U.S. government want the SSA to kill 174,000 of our citizens, even during a time of civil unrest? Or is the purpose to kill 174,000 of the nation’s military and replace them with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) special security forces, forces loyal to the Administration, not to the Constitution?

All my life I’ve handled firearms. When a young boy growing up on my father’s farm in Pennsylvania Dad’s first rule of firearms training was, “Never point a gun at someone, in fun or otherwise, unless you intend to shoot them. If you shoot someone, shoot to kill.” I’ve never forgotten his admonition. It stayed with me through my Boy Scout training, when I enlisted in the army as a Private to fight in the Korea
War, during my days as a Ranger and Paratrooper and throughout my thirty-four year military career.

If this were only a one time order of ammunition, it could easily be dismissed. But there is a pattern here. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has ordered 46,000 rounds of hollow point ammunition. Notice that all of these purchases are for the lethal hollow nose bullets.  These bullets are not being purchased and stored for squirrel or coyote hunting. This is serious ammunition manufactured to be used for serious purposes.

In the war in Iraq, our military forces expended approximately 70 million rounds per year. In March DHS ordered 750 million rounds of hollow point ammunition. It then turned around and ordered an additional 750 million rounds of miscellaneous bullets including some that are capable of penetrating walls. This is enough ammunition to empty five rounds into the body of every living American citizen. Is this something we and the Congress should be concerned about? What’s the plan that requires so many dead Americans, even during times of civil unrest? Has Congress and the Administration vetted the plan in public.

I fear that Congress won’t take these ammunition purchases seriously until they are all led from Capitol Hill in handcuffs. Why buy all this ammunition unless you plan to use it. Unknown to Congress, Does DHS plan to declare war on some country? Shouldn’t Congress hold hearings on why the Administration is stockpiling this ammunition all across the nation? How will it be used; what are the Administration’s plans?

Obama is a deadly serious, persistent man. Once he focuses on an object, he pursues it to the end. What is his focus here? All of these rounds of ammunition can only be used to kill American citizens, though there is enough ammunition being ordered to kill, in addition to every American citizen, also every Iranian, Syrian or Mexican. There is simply too much of it. And this much ammunition can’t be just for training, there aren’t that many weapons and “shooters” in the U.S. to fire it. Perhaps it is to be used to arm illegal immigrants?

We have enough military forces to maintain law and order in the U.S. even during times of civil unrest.

We have local police, backed up by each state’s National Guard, backed up by the Department of Defense. So in addition to all these forces why does DHS need its own private army? Why do the SSA, NOAA and other government agencies need to create their own civilian security forces armed with hollow nose bullets?

Were I the JCS, and if I wasn’t already fully briefed on this matter, I’d stop the purchase of hollow point bullets, ask the secretary of Defense why all this ammunition is being purchased and spread around the country? If I got answers like the ones Congress got during the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious – I’d start tracking all ammunition deliveries nationwide to find out what organizations and units are using them, for what purpose and, if it is not constitutional, prepare to counteract whatever it is that they are doing.

This is a deadly serious business. I hope I’m wrong, but something smells rotten. And If the Congress isn’t going to do its duty and investigate this matter fully, the military will have to protect the Constitution, the nation, and our citizens.

Jerry Curry is a decorated combat veteran, Army Aviator, Paratrooper, and Ranger, who for nearly forty years has served his country both in the military and as a Presidential political appointee.

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Corpus Christi, Texas: Predator drones (el Mosco) have yet to prove their worth on border

The nine unmanned aircraft are expensive to operate but their results are unimpressive, critics say. But one official says the criticism is shortsighted.

https://i2.wp.com/www.flightglobal.com/assets/getasset.aspx

By Brian Bennett, Washington Bureau
April 28, 2012, 9:16 p.m

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The drug runners call it “el mosco,” the mosquito, and one recent evening on the southern tip of Texas, a Predator B drone armed with cameras buzzed softly over the beach on South Padre Island and headed inland.

https://i1.wp.com/www.latimes.com/media/photo/2012-04/69649860.jpg

Lyle Belew, the command duty officer in Predator Ops at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas, on the night of April 18, communicates with a Predator pilot. (Brian Bennett, Chicago Tribune / April 19, 2012)

“We’re going to get some bad guys tonight, I’ve got a feeling,” said Scott Peterson, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection supervisory air interdiction agent. He watched the drone’s live video feed in the Predator Ops room at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, about 50 miles away.

As the unmanned plane flew up the winding Rio Grande, which forms the border with Mexico, Peterson fielded excited phone calls. One agent had seen known scouts for a Mexican cartel at a Dairy Queen, suggesting a load of drugs was coming through. Another called in the precise spot where the shipment would land.

Soon the drone’s infrared camera picked up a man hauling bales of marijuana from an inflatable rubber boat into a minivan on the Texas side of the river. Then it spotted a second boat. Agents readied for a major bust.

But the April 18 raid was not the success Peterson had envisioned. He wanted the drone to track the smugglers to a stash house, and perhaps to ranking cartel members. Instead, Border Patrol agents rushed to the riverbank, sirens blaring. They seized half a ton of pot, a 1996 Plymouth Voyager van and a boat. The smugglers escaped and no one was arrested.

The mixed results highlight a glaring problem for Homeland Security officials who have spent six years and more than $250 million building the nation’s largest fleet of domestic surveillance drones: The nine Predators that help police America‘s borders have yet to prove very useful in stopping contraband or illegal immigrants.

The border drones require an hour of maintenance for every hour they fly, cost more to operate than anticipated, and are frequently grounded by rain or other bad weather, according to a draft audit of the program last month by the Homeland Security Department‘s inspector general.

Last year, the unmanned fleet flew barely half the number of flight hours that Customs and Border Protection had scheduled on the northern or southern borders, or over the Caribbean, according to the audit.

And the drones often are unavailable to assist border agents because Homeland Security officials have lent the aircraft to the FBI, Texas Rangers and other government agencies for law enforcement, disaster relief and other uses.

The audit slammed Homeland Security for buying two drones last year and ordering an additional $20.5-million Predator B system in Cocoa Beach, Fla., this year, saying it already owns more drones than it can utilize. Each drone costs about $3,000 an hour to fly.

“The big problem is that they are more expensive than traditional methods” of patrolling, said T.J. Bonner, former president of the National Border Patrol Council, a union of border agents.

To help pay for the drones, Customs and Border Protection has raided budgets of its manned aircraft. One result: Flight hours were cut by 10% for the P-3 Orion maritime surveillance planes that hunt smuggling ships on the West Coast and in the Caribbean.

The amount of illicit drugs seized in Predator raids is “not impressive,” acknowledged Michael Kostelnik, a retired Air Force major general who heads the office that supervises the drones.

Last year, the nine border drones helped find 7,600 pounds of marijuana, valued at $19.3 million. The 14 manned P-3 Orions helped intercept 148,000 pounds of cocaine valued at $2.8 billion.

In an interview, Kostelnik dismissed criticism of the border drones as shortsighted. He sketched out scenarios, such as a nuclear plant meltdown or detonation of a dirty bomb, where the drones could help assess damage without endangering a pilot.

If a major terrorist attack occurred in Washington or New York City, Kostelnik said, he could put drones overhead in five hours, assuming they could be flown up from Florida or carried on a cargo plane, to help first responders and policymakers.

“It is not about the things we are doing today,” Kostelnik said. “It is about the things we might be able to do.”

The recent raid on the Rio Grande showed some of the pros and cons of the border drones.

Inside the Predator Ops center, the crew watched as the minivan filled with marijuana drove away on a dirt road. The Predator’s camera followed. Suddenly, a figure raced in front of the minivan, waving his hands for the driver to turn back.

“He’s spooked!” said Lyle Belew, the mission commander. “Stay on him!” he ordered the camera operator as the van did a quick U-turn.

Instead of risking a potentially violent standoff in a nearby residential neighborhood, the agents on the ground decided to cut the operation short and try to seize the drugs at the river.

A Border Patrol SUV suddenly appeared on screen, chasing the minivan back to the riverbank. Then six figures jumped out of the minivan and into the water, taking one of the two rubber boats. Several Border Patrol agents ran down the beach in pursuit.

In the Ops Center, Border Patrol liaison Hector Black worried that cartel gunmen might open fire on his agents from the far side of the river.

“Ask them to pan [the drone camera] to Mexico to make sure nobody starts shooting at our guys,” Black said. “See if there are guys with long arms,” meaning rifles.

The banks looked empty, but the camera clearly showed six figures and a rubber boat drifting down the dark river and back into Mexico.

brian.bennett@latimes.com

Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times

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