Federal Fire Power: Instead of putting a lien on the property of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, the Bureau of Land Management surrounded his ranch with 200 armed agents. It's not the only agency with a private army.
Back in 2008, candidate Barack Obama slipped a little-noticed line in a speech, proposing a national police force reporting straight to him.
"We cannot continue to rely only on our military," he said. "We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."
As our military is slowly decimated by his policies and budget cuts — and with federal agencies armed to the teeth — we may be seeing what he had in mind at the ranch of a 67-year-old Nevadan.
Agents of a federal agency that many Americans were surprised to see so heavily armed even herded American citizens into "First Amendment zones," another surprise to those who thought the Constitution made the entire U.S. such a zone.
"The government's option," said Fox News contributor and former Judge Andrew Napolitano, "is to take the amount of money (Bundy) owes them and docket it — that is, file the lien on his property. The federal government could have done that.
"Instead, they wanted this show of force. They swooped in . . . with assault rifles aimed and ready and stole this guy's property, they stole his cattle. They didn't have the right to do that. That's theft, and they should have been arrested by state officials."
The Environmental Protection Agency also has a private army. In late August 2013, armed EPA agents joined agents of the Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force and swarmed gold mines near Chicken in the Last Frontier State.