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Security in Washington DC - Taken To Extremes?

First, a bit of background info:

I was in Washington, DC in March 2005 for the National Bike Summit. One morning, I was riding a bike on the grounds of the US Capitol, just north of the Senate buildings. I had an appointment at AASHTO headquarters a few blocks from there near Union Station, so I decided to stop for a few moments to "tidy up" from my ride and get my stuff together before I entered the building for the meeting.

As soon as my bicycle stopped and I stepped off, I was immediately surrounded by half a dozen or so of what seemed to be new and unorthodox security personnel hired to keep our Nation's Capital safe and secure. This assumption was verified shortly afterward as they proceeded to thoroughly search my bicycle, bags - and even one of my pockets! While they weren't wearing any badges or other external ID, their efficiency and thoroughness leads me to believe that they have some sort of official authority or GS rating.

Now you may wonder why I'm writing about this, or why I find the whole event so darn amusing, given the circumstances. For that, you'll just have to see the video.

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Updated 04 May 2005

Scripting: Richard C. Moeur
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