Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Guns, Fighter Patrols, Dogs = Democracy

Paraphrased from the Detroit Free Press:

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Tuesday that an inauguration is "the most visible manifestation of our democracy."

The first inauguration since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks will lock down much of the nation's capital with unprecedented security...An army of more than 6,000 police officers, more than 2,500 military personnel and thousands of Secret Service and other agents from 60 agencies will employ the latest high-tech gear and surveillance to protect the 55th inaugural on Jan. 20.


Security teams will use chemical sensors, jet fighter patrols overhead and dozens of bomb-sniffing dogs. Agents in a new command center in suburban Fairfax County, Va., equipped with giant plasma screens and three-dimensional maps, will monitor all events. Large swaths of downtown Washington will be closed to traffic, and parking garage use and truck deliveries will be tightly restricted. Two subway stations will be closed much of the day. The no-fly zone for private planes will be extended to a radius of 23 miles from the city's center.


Unlike previous such events, the Bush administration is refusing to reimburse the District of Columbia for costs associated with the inauguration. That could amount to $11.9 million, said Mayor Anthony Williams.

It reminds me of the delegate at the Republican National Convention who, in an NPR interview, shouted something along the lines of "It's so great to have all this securtiy here! The guys with machine guns and all the security forces, I feel so safe!"


  1. Anonymous3:01 PM

    You realize that just as I read this, the helicopters started buzzing around overhead? They can tell I'm thinking the subversive thoughts.

    Anna Phor, in DC

  2. Ugh. How I hate "security". My very conservative FIL and his second family were here not long ago to visit us from Israel, and I got to have an absolutly astonishing view into the security-loving world, when his wife told me about a previous visit to Paris during Hannuka. They went to a big channuka party below the Eiffel tower, and the thing she remembered the most was the security! Not only did it make her feel safe, she said, it made her feel at home.

    Yes, she actually said that.