Senator Rand Paul asks; Why Obama administration has ‘given 12,000 bayonets to local law enforcement’.

Senator Rand Paul asks; Why Obama administration has ‘given 12,000 bayonets to local law enforcement’.

Senator Rand Paul grilled administration officials Tuesday about billions of dollars in military equipment and grants given to local police from the department of defense including nearly 12,000 bayonets.

ar with bayonet

The officials faced a unanimously skeptical group of senators at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee called to consider militarized policing after the well-armed response to protests and looting in Ferguson, Missouri, last month. Much of the hearing focused on the Department of Defense’s congressionally authorized 1033 program, which since 1990 has supplied cops with $5.1 billion in used military equipment.

“Let me be clear, we, the department, do this because we’re asked to,” said Alan Estevez, principal deputy under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. The program, he noted, was established to help cops fight the so-called War on Drugs.

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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a forceful critic of militarized policing, insisted on knowing why nearly 12,000 bayonets had been given to local law enforcement, but came up empty.

“I can’t answer what a local police force would use a bayonet for,” Estevez said. “We’re going to look at what we’re providing under the administration’s review of all these programs.”

Skepticism of the programs that have allowed for militarized policing was remarkably bipartisan. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., suggested that local officials should foot the bill for advanced equipment and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., sought answers on whether there are restrictions on forces being probed for civil rights violations.

The Obama administration has done some pretty crazy things but handing out bayonets to police officers is just plain creepy. What kind of hand to hand combat with the general population is the government anticipating that would require bayonets?

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