Been to D.C. 'since 9-11'?

No longer may a citizen walk up the historic, world-famous steps of our nation’s Capitol building, or the steps of the United States Senate, or the steps of the United States House of Representatives, or the steps of the United States Supreme Court.

Not since 9-11.

Security is so tight in Washington it is scary. Police are everywhere and security screening, sometimes multiple screenings, is commonplace. The number of visible law enforcement agencies is mind-boggling – D.C. Police, Capitol Police, Supreme Court Police, U.S. Marshals, Secret Service, Secret Service Police, Park Rangers and Pentagon Police, just to name the ones we saw on a recent visit.

No longer may a citizen enter the Capitol without a guide from the visitors’ center or a congressional office – “not since 9-11,” according to a guard blocking the entrance way.

We went to catch the subway, a small underground trolley that connects the Senate office buildings with the Capitol, only to find that only those accompanied by congressional staff are permitted to ride the subway “since 9-11.”

Taxis are prohibited from stopping on Pennsylvania Avenue and the other streets that surround the Justice Department “for security reasons.” Really? And the FBI has closed its building to tours “since 9-11.” The FBI? Closed?

Osama bin Laden is laughing in his watery grave.

J. David Roper

Martinez

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