The other day Booktv.com played a discussion among the three co-authors of "U.S. Marshals: Inside America's Most Storied Law Enforcement Agency." Click here to watch it.
The Marshal's service doesn't investigate or solve crimes, they just find and arrest fugitives. So it's a dangerous job. The authors ended up telling anecdotes from their work, and all were quite entertaining. One fellow told about how one of his colleagues went to the retirement party for a long time FBI agent. He asked the FBI agent how many times he had to draw his gun in the line of duty. The FBI agent proudly answered that he had not had to pull out his weapon one time during his 22 years of service. The U.S. Marshal agent did some on-upping with, "I draw my gun seven times before lunch!" (55:54)
Talk like that probably makes the U.S. Department of Agriculture employees feel insecure. They need their own action stories for the cocktail parties. How else do we explain its recent request for bids for weapons and vests? See US Dept. of Agriculture Seeking Bids on Ballistic Vests in Addition to Submachine-guns.
The USDA handles food stamps, so maybe they need the armor to protect themselves from recipients wanting more. Or maybe it's the corporate farmers impatient for their subsidies. In any case, it's another bureaucracy with an "us and them" culture arming themselves against citizens .