Why Do Postal Service, USDA, And Department of Agriculture Need SWAT Teams?
Every now and then there will be a flurry of news reports from sources outside the mainstream media, about military-like buildups of government agencies that have no association with national security. Then, the subject is forgotten.
The subject of drone use in the U.S. has brought this buildup back into the limelight, at least a little bit. Kirby Hammond wrote a very informational piece that was included in the July edition of the Tri-Cities TEA Party newsletter.
Entitled, "Obediance to Authority," it questions why the following departments have either made large purchases of weaponry and other tactical equipment, or have been given the means to outfit a SWAT team:
"...agencies with SWAT teams reportedly include the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Education Department. You can also add the USDA and the Postal Service as those who are obtaining guns and ammunition. "
So much as been reported over the last few years about how police units as well are being equipped with military-style armored vehicles, and it seems like everywhere we see guns, tanks and body armor. Is our crime rate really that bad? So why all this buildup?
According to FBI data, as reported by Hammond in his piece, the agency says major crimes in many areas of the country are down as much as 50%. Hammond points back to a statement made by President Obama shortly after he was elected:
“We cannot continue to rely only 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”.
Obama, in 2010, signed a measure called the DSCA, or Defense Support of Civil Authorities.
The directive clearly states it's purpose is to engage civilians in time of unrest. According to Hammond:
"Defense analysts say there has been a buildup of military units within non-security-related federal agencies, notably the creation of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams. The buildup has raised questions about whether the Obama administration is undermining civil liberties under the guise of counterterrorism and counter narcotics efforts."
Perhaps some answers can be found from a 1961 study that was done by Yale University Professor Stanley Milgram, it was called "Obediance to Authority." - which is where Hammond got the idea for his piece. In the study, Milgram refers to such societal buildups and use of authority by government:
“Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.”
Hammond and other critics compare what's happening today with Milgram's study, where ordinary citizens who work for the "government" can be turned into lethal forces of control over the population. He points to the NSA Scandal, drones, the previously mentioned arming of non-security groups, law enforcement over-reach, and other examples of power.
Having now read these facts and information, it probably seems even more strange that the Department of Education, USDA, Postal Service etc are getting armed to the teeth, doesn't it?