[ISN] There’s a Security Gap at the Capitol. And It’s as Troublesome as the One at Navy Yard.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/congress/there-s-a-security-gap-at-the-capitol-and-it-s-as-troublesome-as-the-one-at-navy-yard-20140605 By Matt Vasilogambros National Journal June 5, 2014 On Sept. 23, as on most days, Aaron Alexis arrived at work at the Washington Navy Yard. He drove up to the front gates, displaying his parking pass and credentials. Sitting next to him was a backpack containing a shotgun and shells. The bag was never searched. He walked into Building 197, having never gone through a metal detector, and started his rampage, killing 12 people. It was a frightening gap in security—a gap not unlike the one that exists at the U.S. Capitol now. Most people, visitors and staffers alike, enter congressional office buildings through side doors, where they are met by Capitol Police and metal detectors. They empty their pockets and their bags are searched. But some House staffers who drive into work don’t experience this level of security. To experience this gap, I drove along this week with two senior staffers from a congressional office, who asked not to be named for this story. We approached the House side of Capitol Hill on New Jersey Avenue Southeast. A Capitol Police officer met us at the barricades. He checked the driver’s parking sticker and ID and told us to pop the trunk, which contained golf clubs, a box, and two travel bags. He looked in the trunk for less than a second, closed it, and let us in, having never checked the bags or box or asked what was in them. I didn’t show him any credentials, nor did he have a metal-detector wand in his hand. We then drove into the Rayburn House Office Building parking garage and found a spot a couple of levels down. We parked and walked right into the building, one staffer carrying a bag. There was no metal detector or major Capitol Police presence. We were now in one of the office buildings where lawmakers and their staff work every day, having gone through practically zero security. As we walked over to the Longworth House Office Building, one staffer told me that this day’s arrival was normal. […]




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