Monday, May 3, 2010

Secret Pentagon Program to Hoard Stuff

Via the Wall Street Journal:

The new plan, dubbed the Strategic Materials Security Program by the Pentagon, would give the military greater power to decide what it stockpiles and how it goes about buying the materials. It would also speed up decision making at a time when military technology evolves rapidly, commodity markets swing widely and countries around the world fight to secure access to natural resources.

"It's a risk-management program," said Paula Stead, who oversees the effort for the Defense National Stockpile Center at Fort Belvoir, in Virginia. The goal is to be able to obtain "a much broader" array of materials in "a much shorter time," she said.

It's only a matter of time before the birther-truther-Bilderberger types take  this thing and absolutely run with it.  The tinfoil hat crowd has been absolutely relentless in recent years, going apesheet over patently absurd conspiracy theories.  Most recently--a viral rumor that a North Korean submarine torpedoed the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico late last month. 

The WSJ story linked above covers a program that's been in place since WWII, through which the US government maintains a strategic stockpile of materials necessary for manufacturing the machines of war.   Mundane stuff like Aluminum, Zinc and other ores and minerals.  Would metals like Gold, Silver, Platinum and Molybdenum be part of it?  Probably so--every one of those has legitimate industrial and/or electronic uses.  But the wackos running around with black helicopter stories also happen to be goldbugs, so it's only a matter of time that they leap at any chance they get to imagine that a strategic stockpiling program is really a secret government gold grab.  You watch.

Extra Point:  One of the original purposes of National Forests were to insure the US Government had a supply of wood for shipbuilding, and what's all that gooey black stuff stored in those Gulf Coast salt domes?  Oh yeah:  the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.