Grace Wyler dissects the conspiracy theory about federal ammunition hoarding for VICE:
Last month, conservative blogger Matt Drudge tweeted that he predicts 2013 will be the “year of Alex Jones,” the conspiracy theorist extraordinaire who most recently made headlines by suggesting that the Boston Marathon bombings were a “false flag” attack perpetrated by the FBI.
Drudge has a point. As the leading purveyor of New World Order conspiracies, Jones has a growing Internet following of casual fearmongers who see nefarious government intrigue in the most mundane bureaucratic chores (e.g. water fluoridation), and believe it’s only a matter of time before we are all living in FEMA concentration camps.
To the average person, this looks like lunacy. But is it all just conspiratorial blather? Or is there any truth to what Alex Jones and his fanboys are selling?
Mostly, the ideas are just nuts. But the most recent conspiracy theory du jour—that the government is stockpiling ammunition for an eventual showdown with the American people—has been surprisingly resilient.
The theory first began circulating last year, when the Infowars crowd noticed that the Department of Homeland Security had put in a procurement request for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition—a surprisingly large number of bullets, even by a normal person’s estimation.
DHS has tried to quell the rumor-mongering, assuring Congress that the bullets are primarily used for training purposes. A DHS spokesman told Republican House investigators last month that the department wasn’t actually planning on buying all 1.6 billion bullets, and that the ammo would be spread over 70,000 agents over five years. In a letter to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) last November, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that DHS plans to buy around $37 million worth of ammo in 2013, which, based on past year’s expenses, would amount to around 100 million rounds. She also pointed out that the department has actually marginally decreased its ammunitions purchases over the last few years…
[continues at VICE]