You don't need_____
To go with its billion rounds of ammo, DHS is acquiring 2,700 armored fighting vehicles. And of course drones.
Not that I'd begrudge anyone ten tons of ammo and some really cool cars, but why is it that spokesmen for government power protest "you don't need a (rifle of that type, large magazine, whatever)." Apparently that argument is only applicable when applied to citizens or taxpayers, not when applied to a governmental department.
UPDATE: via Instapundit, ACLU is investigating police militarization.
A prosecutor friend made an interesting point. Every Federal agency (even the Department of Agriculture and the IRS) seems to have its SWAT team. Why? Granted, agencies may need SWAT capabilities from time to time. But those folks don't need the agency's training, they don't need to know how to audit tax forms or do a net worth investigation or handle food stamp fraud. So why isn't there just a handful of Federal SWAT teams ... maybe two or four, spread out ... that agencies may call upon, rather than having, and paying for, their own team?
UPDATED UPDATE: My prosecutor friend figured on the agency's own people going in right behind the SWAT teams. Now, there might be some touchy issues here. Apart from Marshals and FBI, as I recall, agencies do not have *general* arrest powers. Any arrest outside their agency function is a citizen's arrest, with all the legal exposure that entails (no probable cause defense: the arrestee either did it or he didn't, and if he didn't, you're liable for false imprisonment no matter how much it looked like he did). So it might get delicate as to when and by whom an arrest was made. Were the suspects "free to go" after a brief detention, as of when the SWAT team went in? Etc. That might be resolved by putting the SWAT teams in Marshals or FBI.
EVEN MORE UPDATED: Little Green Footballs is reporting that it appears the armored fighting vehicles were a Navy procurement for the Marine Corps. The contract it found matches exactly the number and type of vehicles described.