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The Military Industrial Complex Yard Sale

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Every year the Pentagon distributes its excess equipment to local police departments across the country. This equipment includes assault rifles, grenade launchers, armored vehicles, night-vision goggles, and various aircraft.





The Pentagon, however, is passing around much more than military-grade nightmare gear, according to data released to MuckRock under a Freedom of Information Act request. Here’s a list of items that the Pentagon has also distributed the to local agencies across the country (I’ve also published this list previously on my blog):

31 armoires

1 money counter

6 french horns and 1 euphonium

179 assorted lawn mowers

271 assorted treadmills

72 golf carts and 1 order of golf balls

2 pizza ovens

Pizza Anniversary

37 kitchen spatulas, 35 laboratory spatulas, and 3 dental spatulas

71 dessert spoons, 82 tea spoons, and 12 picnic spoons

30 shower curtain hooks

1 pair of cotton underwear

1252 laundry bags

1 recumbent exercise bike

39 scooters

copfishing

5809 wet weather poncho liners

2 food carrying carts

17 dish towels

23 soccer balls

3 fishing boats, 19 kayaks, and 7 canoes

10 men’s pajama trousers

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21 kevlar goatskin combat gloves

4758 neckerchiefs

1 santa’s uniform

1 simulated suicide bomber vest

4 black rain coats

3 “slaving” accessories (I’m hoping this is a typo)

1 bouncy castle w/ blower

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The Times, which recently ran an interactive piece about the Pentagon’s equipment program, notes that “this data does not represent all of the military-style gear that law enforcement agencies have. Agencies also purchase equipment with their own money or with federal grants.” It’s a distinct possibility that there’s more than one police department with a bouncy castle out there, inhabited, I hope, by a santasuit-wearing cop holding an assault rifle in one hand and a dental spatula in the other.

Download the original data here.

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