Sunday, December 19, 2004

King George II's coronation to be most secure in history

One of my favorite scenes in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9-11 was Bush's limo careening down the street while getting pelted with eggs. Don't expect a replay of that scene this year. King George II's coronation will be held amid the tightest security in inaugural history, with police planning to search every one of the tens of thousands of people expected to line the parade route. (note: leave medical marijuana at home).

More than $4.5 million from the corporate world has been donated to the inauguration fund, much of it from the energy industry. ("Some people call you the 'have's', I call you my base.") To protect this pricey little party no expense has been spared:

"The extra security measures include bomb-sniffing dogs, sophisticated sensors to detect chemical, radiological or biological material, and expanded use of police helicopters and military aircraft. Thousands of police officers from the Washington suburbs and other cities will arrive to help with traffic, crowd control and other duties.

More will be ready to respond behind the scenes. The FBI, for example, will have investigators, evidence technicians, hostage rescue teams, heavily armed SWAT personnel, hazardous materials experts and bomb technicians in place.

“Our whole focus is a smooth operation if something does happen,” Mason said. “We will be able to bring quite a robust force.”

The military will have a heightened security role. This inauguration is the first since creation of the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region, set up after the Sept. 11 attacks to protect the Washington area. It includes all branches of the military.

Based at Fort McNair, Va., the command has access to all manner of military assets, from fighter jets to military police to mobile medical units. As many as 4,000 troops will be available to provide assistance with the inauguration, said Army Col. Nelson McCouch.

“Our role is, ’What do you need?’ We will find the appropriate force to meet that requirement,” McCouch said.

Officials also are prepared for demonstrators, who have turned up in numerous past inaugurations. At Bush’s first in 2000, there were egg-throwers. So far no mass demonstration is planned for next month, though some protesters are organizing a campaign to turn their backs on the president as his motorcade passes by.

Overall, security planners said they have learned a great deal about how to prepare for the inauguration through their experience in dealing with other major events since the Sept. 11 attacks. Mason said there have been numerous “tabletop” exercises to consider various possibilities attended by officials from all the key agencies, something that did not always happen in the past."

Gee, do you think that it's possible that they actually did learn from screwing up the Iraq invasion?


Blogger Pam said...

I, for one, want to see some eggs hit the limo.

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Izzy said...

Film (Professional)

5:50 AM  

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