Conspiracy theorists working overtime

Updated
 

I knew Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller was headed in some strange directions, but I didn’t realize it had gone so far over the edge that it would publish pieces like these.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) confirms that it is purchasing 174 thousand rounds of hollow point bullets to be delivered to 41 locations in major cities across the U.S. No one has yet said what the purpose of these purchases is, though we are led to believe that they will be used only in an emergency to counteract and control civil unrest.

Those against whom the hollow point bullets are to be used – those causing the civil unrest – must be American citizens; since the SSA has never been used overseas to help foreign countries maintain control of their citizens.

The Daily Caller piece, written by a retired Army major, goes on to argue the Social Security Administration expects to kill 174,000 American citizens, possibly as part of a larger plot that involves arresting every member of Congress and arming “illegal immigrants.” The article, for lack of a better word, concludes that an American military coup may be necessary. No, really, that’s what it says.

I can only imagine how legitimate media professionals, who joined Daily Caller hoping to advance their careers in journalism, must feel.

For what it’s worth, the Associated Press looked into the conspiracy theory, and wouldn’t you know it, the truth is mundane: “The bullets are for Social Security’s office of inspector general, which has about 295 agents who investigate Social Security fraud and other crimes, said Jonathan L. Lasher, the agency’s assistant IG for external relations. The agents carry guns and make arrests – 589 last year, Lasher said. They execute search warrants and respond to threats against Social Security offices, employees and customers.”

Most of the bullets will be expended, not by “illegal immigrants” targeting Americans, but by law enforcement officials on a firing range. The bullets themselves “are the normal police round used for duty ammunition.”

When your wacky uncle sends you an all-caps email, insisting that the president intends to kill us all, you can tell him to relax.

Postscript: This is, by the way, distinct from Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) strange conspiracy theory about armed meteorologists.

Conspiracy theorists working overtime

Updated