Tag Archives: marines

More Bureaucrats Have Guns Than U.S. Marines

Hope-and-Change

BY: Elizabeth Harrington

There are now more non-military government employees who carry guns than there are U.S. Marines, according to a new report.

Open the Books, a taxpayer watchdog group, released a study Wednesday that finds domestic government agencies continue to grow their stockpiles of military-style weapons, as Democrats sat on the House floor calling for more restrictions on what guns American citizens can buy.

The “Militarization of America” report found civilian agencies spent $1.48 billion on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment between 2006 and 2014. Examples include IRS agents with AR-15s, and EPA bureaucrats wearing camouflage.

“Regulatory enforcement within administrative agencies now carries the might of military-style equipment and weapons,” Open the Books said. “For example, the Food and Drug Administration includes 183 armed ‘special agents,’ a 50 percent increase over the ten years from 1998-2008. At Health and Human Services (HHS), ‘Special Office of Inspector General Agents’ are now trained with sophisticated weaponry by the same contractors who train our military special forces troops.”

Open the Books found there are now over 200,000 non-military federal officers with arrest and firearm authority, surpassing the 182,100 personnel who are actively serving in the U.S. Marines Corps.

The IRS spent nearly $11 million on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment for its 2,316 special agents. The tax collecting agency has billed taxpayers for pump-action and semi-automatic shotguns, semi-automatic Smith & Wesson M&P15s, and Heckler & Koch H&K 416 rifles, which can be loaded with 30-round magazines.

The EPA spent $3.1 million on guns, ammo, and equipment, including drones, night vision, “camouflage and other deceptive equipment,” and body armor.

When asked about the spending, and EPA spokesman said the report “cherry picks information and falsely misrepresents the work of two administrations whose job is to protect public health.”

“Many purchases were mischaracterized or blown out of proportion in the report,” said spokesman Nick Conger. “EPA’s criminal enforcement program has not purchased unmanned aircraft, and the assertions that military-grade weapons are part of its work are false.”

“EPA’s criminal enforcement program investigates and prosecutes the most egregious violators of our nation’s environmental laws, and EPA criminal enforcement agents are law enforcement professionals who have undergone the same rigorous training as other federal agents,” Conger continued.

Other administration agencies that have purchased guns and ammo include the Small Business Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Education, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The report also highlighted that the Department of Health and Human Services has “special agents” with “sophisticated military-style weapons.” Open the Books also found $42 million in gun and ammunition purchases that were incorrectly coded.

“Some purchases were actually for ping-pong balls, gym equipment, bread, copiers, cotton balls, or cable television including a line item from the Coast Guard entered as ‘Cable Dude,’” the report said.

Open the Books appealed to both liberals like Bernie Sanders—who has called for demilitarizing local police departments—and conservatives in its report.

“Conservatives argue that it is hypocritical for political leaders to undermine the Second Amendment while simultaneously equipping non-military agencies with hollow-point bullets and military style equipment,” Open the Books said. “One could argue the federal government itself has become a gun show that never adjourns with dozens of agencies continually shopping for new firearms.”

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Update June 23, 10:15 a.m.: Following publication of this article, Adam Andrzejewski, the CEO of Open the Books who wrote the report, pushed back against the EPA’s statement, and provided contract data to back up his claims.

“How can the EPA spokesperson deny hard facts from their own checkbook?” he said. “Alongside our oversight report, OpenTheBooks.com also released a PDF of all raw data. This line-by-line transactional record from the EPA’s own checkbook on page 113 clearly shows that in 2013 and 2014 the EPA purchased tens of thousands of dollars of ‘Unmanned Aircraft’ from Bergen RC Helicopters Inc which on a net basis amounted to approximately $34,000.”

“All of the assertions in our oversight report are the quantification of actual spending records produced and reported to us by the federal agencies themselves,” Andrzejewski said.

SOURCE

Given the opportunity for “equality” few Female Marines’ volunteer

Female Marine officers are unlikely to join the infantry anytime soon, in part because of a lack of volunteers for the Marine Corps‘ Infantry Officer Course, which was opened to women in September.

Only two of about 80 eligible female Marines have volunteered for the course — a grueling, three-month advanced regimen conducted at Quantico, Va., that was opened to women to research their performance.

Of the two female volunteers, one washed out on the first day, along with 26 of the107 men, and the other dropped out two weeks later for medical reasons, a Marine Corps spokesman said.

The research effort was launched after the Pentagon opened to women more than 14,000 jobs that could place them closer to front lines and combat.

The Marine Corps wants to test at least 90 more women in the course before making any decision about women serving in infantry roles, the spokesman said.

Getting 90 more female volunteers may be difficult. About 125 female officers each year enter the Basic School, a prerequisite and candidate pool for the Infantry Officer Course, the spokesman said.

Since September, women in every new class of the Basic School have been given the opportunity to volunteer for the Infantry Officer Course, and they will continue to be offered the chance, he said.

A Marine Corps spokeswoman said no women have volunteered for the next Infantry Officer Course, which begins in January.

Testing and evaluating

The Marines have yet to implement the research option for female enlisted Marines who volunteer to train at the Infantry Training Battalion, the all-male advanced regimen at the Corps’ School of Infantry at Camp Geiger, N.C., a spokeswoman said.

The research is part of efforts to gather information that could help guide decisions on what opportunities can be opened to women.

The Pentagon ordered the services to issue a progress report on the jobs it opened to women and to look into other areas, including the infantry, that could be opened to women.

Those reports and research are to be sent by the end of this month to Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, who will issue any policy changes and recommendations to Congress.

Since May, the Marine Corps also has been testing women’s endurance and strength.

Tests include lifting a 72-pound machine gun above their heads while wearing a 71-pound rucksack, marching 12 miles in less than five hours carrying a 71-pound rucksack and evacuating a mock casualty weighing about 200 pounds.

The scores will be used to compare male and female performance and to gauge whether the current combat fitness test and physical fitness tests are appropriate measures for combat fitness.

Female Marines interviewed by The Washington Times said they are nervous and excited about the outcomes of the research, which could decide the future of women in the Corps.

Although the two female volunteers for the Infantry Officer Course did not complete it, there will be others who will, they say.

Only new female lieutenants are offered the chance to volunteer for the Infantry Officer Course. This has upset some senior female officers, who say they would jump at the chance and might better handle the stress of being the only woman in an intense, all-male environment than brand-new female officers.

All created equal?

The senior women attribute the lack of female volunteers to the fact that they would not be assigned to infantry jobs even if they complete the course. Successful candidates would have to return to their previously assigned jobs.

They are also worried about the impact made by a female combat engineer whose article in the Marine Corps‘ official magazine questioned whether women can stand the physical strain of combat and received national attention.

In a July article in Marine Corps Gazette titled “Get Over It! We Are Not All Created Equal!” Capt. Katie Petronio said she suffered from restless leg syndrome, severe muscle atrophy and infertility resulting from 10-month and seven-month deployments, respectively, to Iraq and Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, she commanded 30 Marines who were building patrol bases in Helmand province, one of the most dangerous areas at that time.

“At the end of the seven-month deployment, and the construction of 18 [patrol bases] later, I had lost 17 pounds and was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (which personally resulted in infertility, but is not a genetic trend in my family), which was brought on by the chemical and physical changes endured during deployment,” Capt. Petronio wrote.

Capt. Petronio discussed her article on CNN, upsetting female Marines by appearing in uniform and not mentioning that she was about five months pregnant at the time. She gave birth in October.

Corps leaders say they are aware of sensitivities and hope to get past the hyperbole with facts-based research, a spokesman said.

The Corps also will submit the results from a servicewide online survey of active-duty Marines and some reservists about their experiences with female Marines and the potential challenges of opening more units and positions to women.

After this, “I’ll be able to look Congress, secretary of defense, secretary of the Navy in the eye and say, ‘Sir, this is my recommendation when we’re all through,’” Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James F. Amos said in August.

Read more: SOURCE
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CONFIRMED! GROUND INVASION OF LIBYA TO OCCUR LATER THIS YEAR!

Huge Marine Drill Confirms Ground Invasion of Libya

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
June 20, 2011

On Sunday, CNN reported on a huge Marine war exercise dubbed Exercise Mailed Fist.

“The exercise is designed to test the capability of every type of Marine Corps aircraft, including MV-22 Ospreys and F/A 18 Hornets, as well as some Navy ships and Air Force planes,” CNN reported.

The exercise will encompass a large area on the U.S. East Coast – from Quantico Marine Base in northern Virginia to the Navy’s Pinecastle Bombing Range in Florida. Most of the exercise activity will occur above North and South Carolina.

The drill begins today and ends on Friday.

Thousands of Marines will take part. According to CNN, it will be biggest drill of its kind ever held on the East Coast.

“Exercise Mailed Fist is the first exercise of its specific kind and the largest 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing exercise conducted in recent history,
” Staff Sgt. Roman J. Yurek, Marine Corps spokesman, told CNN. “In the past, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing units had to deploy to the West Coast to conduct this type of training.”

It appears the Pentagon has released information about the exercise exclusively to CNN. A Google News Search produces scant results on Exercise Mailed Fist.

CNN is a notorious focal point for Pentagon psyops. In 2000, the Pentagon confirmed that psyops personnel, soldiers and officers, have worked in the CNN headquarters in Atlanta. In February of that year, Dutch journalist, Abe de Vries, reported on the presence of U.S. Army personnel at CNN for the Dutch daily newspaper Trouw.

Obama will visit Fort Drum in New York on Thursday. It is speculated he will announce a decision on drawing down U.S. forces in Afghanistan, but the visit may also be related to a plan to send ground troops into Libya.

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The huge military exercise comes at a critical time. As we reported last week, the United States is in the preparatory stages of a ground invasion of Libya and a campaign against Syria.

“Infowars.com has received alarming reports from within the ranks of military stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas confirming plans to initiate a full-scale U.S.-led ground invasion in Libya and deploy troops by October,” Aaron Dykes reported on June 15.

Moreover, the source stated that additional Special Forces will be sent to Libya in July, with the 1st Calvary Division (heavy armor) and III Corps deploying in late October and early November. Initial numbers are estimated at 12,000 active forces and another 15,000 in support, totaling nearly 30,000 troops.

Other calls to the Alex Jones Show from military personnel confirmed the reports.

SOURCE

Exclusive: Obama authorizes secret support for Libya rebels

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON | Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:24pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, government officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

Obama signed the order, known as a presidential “finding“, within the last two or three weeks, according to four U.S. government sources familiar with the matter.

Such findings are a principal form of presidential directive used to authorize secret operations by the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA and the White House declined immediate comment.

News that Obama had given the authorization surfaced as the President and other U.S. and allied officials spoke openly about the possibility of sending arms supplies to Gaddafi’s opponents, who are fighting better-equipped government forces.

The United States is part of a coalition, with NATO members and some Arab states, which is conducting air strikes on Libyan government forces under a U.N. mandate aimed at protecting civilians opposing Gaddafi.

In interviews with American TV networks on Tuesday, Obama said the objective was for Gaddafi to “ultimately step down” from power. He spoke of applying “steady pressure, not only militarily but also through these other means” to force Gaddafi out.

Obama said the U.S. had not ruled out providing military hardware to rebels. “It’s fair to say that if we wanted to get weapons into Libya, we probably could. We’re looking at all our options at this point,” the President told ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer.

U.S. officials monitoring events in Libya say that at present, neither Gaddafi’s forces nor the rebels, who have asked the West for heavy weapons, appear able to make decisive gains.

While U.S. and allied airstrikes have seriously damaged Gaddafi’s military forces and disrupted his chain of command, officials say, rebel forces remain disorganized and unable to take full advantage of western military support.

SPECIFIC OPERATIONS

People familiar with U.S. intelligence procedures said that Presidential covert action “findings” are normally crafted to provide broad authorization for a range of potential U.S. government actions to support a particular covert objective.

In order for specific operations to be carried out under the provisions of such a broad authorization — for example the delivery of cash or weapons to anti-Gaddafi forces — the White House also would have to give additional “permission” allowing such activities to proceed.

Former officials say these follow-up authorizations are known in the intelligence world as “‘Mother may I’ findings.”

In 2009 Obama gave a similar authorization for the expansion of covert U.S. counter-terrorism actions by the CIA in Yemen. The White House does not normally confirm such orders have been issued.

Because U.S. and allied intelligence agencies still have many questions about the identities and leadership of anti-Gaddafi forces, any covert U.S. activities are likely to proceed cautiously until more information about the rebels can be collected and analyzed, officials said.
“The whole issue on (providing rebels with) training and equipment requires knowing who the rebels are,” said Bruce Riedel, a former senior CIA Middle East expert who has advised the Obama White House.

Riedel said that helping the rebels to organize themselves and training them how use weapons effectively would be more urgent then shipping them arms.

According to an article speculating on possible U.S. covert actions in Libya published early in March on the website of the Voice of America, the U.S. government’s broadcasting service, a covert action is “any U.S. government effort to change the economic, military, or political situation overseas in a hidden way.”

ARMS SUPPLIES

The article, by VOA intelligence correspondent Gary Thomas, said covert action “can encompass many things, including propaganda, covert funding, electoral manipulation, arming and training insurgents, and even encouraging a coup.”

U.S. officials also have said that Saudi Arabia and Qatar, whose leaders despise Gaddafi, have indicated a willingness to supply Libyan rebels with weapons.

Members of Congress have expressed anxiety about U.S. government activities in Libya. Some have recalled that weapons provided by the U.S. and Saudis to mujahedeen fighting Soviet occupation forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s later ended up in the hands of anti-American militants.

There are fears that the same thing could happen in Libya unless the U.S. is sure who it is dealing with. The chairman of the House intelligence committee, Rep. Mike Rogers, said on Wednesday he opposed supplying arms to the Libyan rebels fighting Gaddafi “at this time.”

“We need to understand more about the opposition before I would support passing out guns and advanced weapons to them,” Rogers said in a statement.

(Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by David Storey)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/30/us-libya-usa-order-idUSTRE72T6H220110330