Monday, May 21, 2012

Defense Logistics Agency: Barber chairs so dangerous they must only be used by law enforcement agencies

Be sure to follow this one after the break--it takes a sudden turn that you never would have predicted.

In Arizona there is now government outrage against Pinal County (Arizona) Sheriff Paul Babeu requisitioning surplus military material and passing it out to other local agencies or even auctioning it off to help balance his budget:

Neither the government nor Mitt
Romney has much use for gay
conservative (libertarian) Arizona
Sheriff Paul Babeu

An Arizona sheriff has allegedly ignored a Pentagon rule, collecting millions of dollars’ worth of surplus military equipment that is intended for law-enforcement use and distributing some of the gear to non-police agencies.
During the past two years, the office of Sheriff Paul Babeu has received more than $7 million worth of Humvees, fire trucks, guns, defibrillators, barber chairs, underwear, thermal-imaging scopes, computers, motor scooters and other items, The Arizona Republic reports.
Babeu takes maximum advantage of the program:
Federal regulations, according to the paper’s report, require the surplus items to be used solely by law-enforcement agencies, especially counterdrug and counterterrorism efforts.
Yet Babeu’s office, which helps oversee the program in Arizona, has doled out hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of unused equipment to non-police agencies and a business.
The rules also ban them from obtaining the equipment for the purpose of fundraising.
But internal e-mails obtained through public-records requests by the newspaper show sheriff's officials touting their ability to get products from the Defense Department at no cost and to fortify their finances by selling the goods at auction. In a budget presentation to Pinal County supervisors in March, Babeu said he intends to balance his budget in part by auctioning equipment procured from the military.
Of course, government officials are wringing their hands in concern:
Critics say that by requisitioning unneeded supplies, the sheriff's office may be depriving other police agencies of equipment.
Yep, damn the man!  

He is denying the Drug Enforcement Agency access to . . . barber chairs!  

Maniacal terrorists will slip past the TSA because their agents lack . . . military surplus underweare!

Certainly the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms--or other law enforcement agencies--should have first call on . . . discarded military fire trucks!

Wouldn't want local Arizona rescue squads to get hold of defibrillators . . . .

And the notion that a local government official would actually sell off government surplus in order to balance his department's budget?

Find me a hanging tree!  That bastard's too dangerous to live.

Oh, but just for the record, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office released a statement asserting that:

The equipment we have obtained has already been used to save lives and improve public safety in Pinal County.
The Department of Defense and the State 1033 Program Coordinator all have approved of our use of the equipment we have acquired. 

Final note:  Paul Babeu has also resigned from his position in the Mitt Romney campaign, and gone for Ron Paul, while running for Congress:

Babeu, an emerging Republican figure and strong border defense sheriff, resigned from his position as Arizona co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign on Saturday afternoon amid allegations of threatening to deport a former male lover.
“This is where I go Ron Paul on people,” Babeu told [CNN's Wolf] Blitzer. “I believe in less government at the federal level. They should get out of people’s lives. Unless its an enumerated power in the Constitution, it falls to the states. This is where it falls to the states.”
As for issues of sexuality, Babeu is clear that the government has no role:
“If it is not harming somebody else, then what does it matter? You can’t legislate love.” 
Nor does Babeu equivocate about his own sexuality.  Caught up in allegations of misconduct by a former partner, the Sheriff said:
“I’m here to say that all the allegations that were in the story were untrue — except for the instance that refers to me as gay,” Babeu said. “That’s the truth — I am gay.”  

1 comment:

Dana Garrett said...

I guess if you are an elected official like a sheriff and you can dole out surplus government equipment to various constituencies, then you are placed at a high comparative advantage at reelection time or if you decide to run for some other public office. I am quite certain that I don't want to underwrite through my tax dollars this sheriff's giveaways so that he can taint election processes. Sounds like a good government rule to me.