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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/18/12

Is Mainstream Media Biting The Bullet For Homeland Security

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According To Some Media...Recent Stories Exposing DHS Mass Purchase Of Bullets Is Nothing More Than Embellished & Salacious Conspiracy Theory

There is no dispute that our government has been buying up large amounts of ammunition. Purchase orders made by domestic federal agencies from the Department of Homeland Security add up to at least 1.4 billion rounds of assorted bullets ranging from .357 Magnum to .223 and .40 Caliber rounds. Stories have appeared on the Internet in the last few weeks provoking articles on a number of both progressive and right-wing websites.

The majority of the ammunition ordered consists of JHP, better known as "hollow point" rounds, which are designed solely for their massive power of destruction to the human body. In short, hollow points are designed to kill, not wound, nor stop, nor provide a deterrent, but to put a human being down for good and in a very ugly way.

Americans are rightfully asking questions.  Why is this occurring? Do these purchases occur each year? What is the cost? Is the purchase amount consistent with other annual purchases since September 11, 2001? Are we, the people, the potential targets? Does the government want a shortage of bullets so Americans cannot get any? Why does DHS need all this destructive firepower when agencies like the Border Patrol are still patrolling with beanbag guns?

Another question being asked is, Where is mainstream media during all of this speculation into what our government is up to? Well, the answer is easy. They are taking a bullet for "Big Brother" by downplaying, ignoring and playing spin-doctor to America's real fear and concerns on this important topic.

Several media moguls, including CNN and the Associated Press found it necessary to publish stories accusing some Americans with creating a conspiracy theory against the government's gigantic purchase of ammunition's by the Department of Homeland Security. In fact, one writer surmised that this is nothing more than an episode that "illustrates what can happen when a seemingly salacious tidbit gets amplified and embellished on the Internet." Ironically, if the feds had not posted the original requisition for the 1.4 billion bullets, they would not be feeling so much heat from the public and these fallacy articles by CNN and the Associated Press would not have been needed.

Both articles failed to factually address the overall 1.4 billion-ammunition order. Instead, they explain why the Social Security Administration needs 174,000 rounds of ammo for its 295 or so white collar Office of Inspector General (OIG) agents; who, by the way, have not fired a shot on duty in their entire existence. There is no fear factor here unless you are a lawyer over billing your SSA appeal cases or an Administrative Law Judge with an extremely high rate of approval for people seeking more favorable rulings on their SSI.

Corporate Media also felt it important to mention that these SSA agents need deadly hollow point bullets because they, "are the normal police round used for duty ammunition due to their ability to stop when they hit an object as opposed to going through it and striking more objects." Hit an object? That object is a human being. And, yes, hollow point bullets can both penetrate and exit a human "object" and the result is a ghastly sight.

Nor did their recent articles mention that since 1969, the Geneva Convention outlawed hollow point bullets from warfare. So, why are we using them against are own people? Also, firing range bullets are much less expensive and are not designed for the day to day use of the gun for killing an enemy. One uses the more expensive variety, such as hollow point bullets.

To further cast doubt and downplay the seriousness of DHS's 1.4 billion rounds of ammo, mainstream media pointed out how this scandal all began. A few months ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ordered 46,000 rounds of hollow point bullets for their wildlife officers. A clerk mistakenly earmarked the ammo to go to the National Weather Service, which is under NOAA. The Internet became engulfed in stories questioning why the Weather Service needed all these bullets? That's when the purchase orders by DHS were discovered outlining the 1.4 billion rounds. Last week a NOAA spokesperson downplayed and explained that it was a simple "type-o."

So now, mainstream media is using that "type-o" to support their claim that this is all nothing more than salacious tidbit amplified and embellished on the Internet. Which is in support of the governments attempt to downplay the entire purchase.

The Straw Man Approach

According to definition, a "Straw Man" is a type of argument based on misrepresentation of an opponent's true position. The usage of the term in rhetoric suggests a human figure made of straw, which is easily knocked down or destroyed. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a similar yet unequivalent proposition and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.

In this case, both CNN and the Associated Press suggest that they are providing facts, which refute the entire Homeland Security ammo purchase (1.4 Billion) as just Internet tidbits of incorrect or inconclusive information. They achieve this by creating an illusion that the real issue is not why the DHS wants 1.4 billion bullets, but why Social Security and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration need the ammo they ordered. 

Then, they go on to create another illusion for us to believe that hollow point bullets are not deadly as the evidence clearly shows they are.  Now, we are to believe that this outlawed ammo is actually great because when shooting someone, these bullets won't exit the body and injure someone else. It just kills the person they shot instead of wounding them.

In a September 5th 2012 article by InfoWars, Alex Jones writes about corporate media's job to create fallacious straw man arguments. "It is the job of the corporate media to create fallacious straw man arguments and distract attention from the obvious economic collapse right before our eyes. The real tip-off is that the establishment media is now engaging in a concerted effort to portray journalists asking questions about the unprecedented ammo purchases as conspiracy theorists and "rightwing extremists' who should be dismissed sarcastically as lunatics."

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I am the publisher of an online news website and blog covering local, state and national news since 2007. Author of 4 cold-case murder books in the "Who Killed?" series published by Rooftop Publishing Company. Retired from mainstream media in 2007 (more...)
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