Below is from FNC’s Justin Fishel at the Pentagon:
The briefing focused heavily on Ferguson and the DoD’s weapons transfer program, known in the building as the 1033 program LESO (law enforcement support office) program.
Pentagon Press Secretary RADM John Kirby said the program to provide excess military hardware to local law enforcement is NOT under review, though the Secretary has asked for more details about the program.
The Secretary of Defense has the authority not to transfer the weapons to certain states if there are concerns about how the weapons are accounted for.
Some states have been suspended from the program in the past, which was started by Congress in 1991 during the height of the drug wars.
The states which have been suspended were suspended for “inventory accountability.”
Kirby says that the Pentagon was inundated with requests by members of Congress this summer to restart the delivery of MRAPs (mine resistant ambush protected vehicles) after shipments had been halted by DoD due to EPA emissions concerns.
“This isn’t some program run amok here.”
Kirby also released a list of all the equipment that has been transferred to Ferguson:
“And as for Ferguson, the Ferguson Police Department since
2007 has — we — the Defense Logistics Agency has transferred
to them — this is excess property — two Humvees, one
generator, and one cargo trailer to the Ferguson Police
Department. Now, in all of St. Louis County, over that same
period of time, which includes Ferguson, six pistols, 12 rifles,
15 weapon sites, an EOD robot, three helicopters, seven Humvees,
as I said, two of which are being used by Ferguson, and two
night-vision devices. That’s what they got.”
KIRBY ON REVIEWING DOD PROGRAM TO TRANSFER WEAPONS:
KIRBY: I don’t think the — I don’t think the president’s
demanded a review. I think what he said was he’s open to taking
a look at it and, if it needs to be reviewed, reviewing it.
Secretary Hagel has not ordered a review of this program. He’s
simply asked for some more information so that he can have a
more informed opinion about it.
But, look, it’s important to understand this is a — this
is a program legislated by Congress which allows the secretary
to transfer some excess military property to local law
enforcement. This has been on the books since 1991. And many,
many law enforcement agencies have benefited from it. In fact,
many citizens of many towns and cities all over the country have
benefited from it. But it — but how, as I said before, how and
where and under what circumstances the equipment actually gets
used is up to the local law enforcement agencies to determine.
Fox News Channel
Pentagon /State Dept. Producer