March 2, 2012
“Government is never more dangerous than when our desire to have it help us blinds us to its great power to harm us.” *Ronald Reagan*
Why would the Department of Energy (DOE) arm its agents? The answer might be simple if you consider the different roles of the DOE, one of which is to transport nuclear weapons, nuclear waste, and other items that require a high level of armed security. Ordinarily the DOE contracts out these tasks, but nevertheless, such convoys are usually accompanied by guards armed with a variety of weapons. An employee of CAPCO, a defense contractor located in Grand Junction, Colorado, during a routine scan of federal defense solicitations, discovered two documents from the Department of Energy with posting dates of February 7, 2012, and February 22, 2012. The employee of CAPCO claimed that he had never before seen requests from the DOE such as these for weapons that are much more appropriate for breaking down doors in American homes than for fighting off highway terrorists.
The government and its agencies, as a function of fairness to the market, publishes regular “solicitations,” which are simply open requests, for various materials on an Internet website called Federal Business Opportunities, or FedBizOpps.gov. The two documents in question were sent out by the DOE to defense contractors across the country within the pages of the publically accessible fedbizopps.gov website.
The February 7 document is a solicitation for “Combined Tactical Systems (CTS) Grenade, Hand, Smoke, Yellow, Model 6210-Y.” The agency named on the document is the Department of Energy, and the classification code for the smoke grenades is 10-weapons. The February 22 document is a solicitation for “12G, Slugs 2 ¾: Door-breeching frangible ammunition.” In lay terms, the February 22 solicitation is a request if for 12-guage shotgun shells that have the capability to knock down doors and pierce body armor. The shotgun slugs also have a classification of “10-weapons,” and were requested by the DOE.
This is an alarming development because, unlike the Military, which has civilian oversight in the Congress, federal agencies, such as the Department of Energy, lack direct oversight and their policies and procedures are largely determined outside of the control of elected officials. In other words, federal bureaucracies populated by unelected agents can create their own armies, purchase weapons of all kinds, and use their police powers against the citizens of the United States with little or no accountability to the voters.
There are examples of agencies using armed enforcers, who are highly trained in weapons and tactics, to raid civilian businesses, farms, and other operations. Recently, armed agents from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stormed raw milk producers using a variety of tactical weapons, in what looked like a Special Forces invasion of an enemy bunker. It is interesting to note that nearly all federal agencies have been given police authority through Executive Branch fiat, and that they have their own armed agents who are trained to conduct military-style assaults on civilian interests.
The employee of CAPCO was curious about the solicitations from the Department of Energy and so inquired to a colleague about why that department would want weapons designed for smoking out people and knocking down doors. His colleague answered with a shrug, “They probably want them for training,” and left it at that. Our question is, “Why would the Department of Energy train its agents to smoke people out and knock down doors.” With coal-powered electricity plants and other traditional energy manufacturers in the crosshairs of the Obama Administration, one can only speculate that the answer is one that threatens the rights of American citizens.
By Marjorie Haun 3/2/12