h/t to Steven D at Booman Tribune
Last night, Steven posted that Obama’s Secret Service detail decided, for whatever reason, that they could go ahead and loosen security to shorten lines faster:
DALLAS — Security details at Barack Obama’s rally Wednesday stopped screening people for weapons at the front gates more than an hour before the Democratic presidential candidate took the stage at Reunion Arena.
The order to put down the metal detectors and stop checking purses and laptop bags came as a surprise to several Dallas police officers who said they believed it was a lapse in security.
In Dallas. In bleeping Dallas!
Nevermind that the threats on Obama’s life are the reason he even has Secret Service, but in Dallas of all places too? Why tempt fate?
Dallas Deputy Police Chief T.W. Lawrence, head of the Police Department’s homeland security and special operations divisions, said the order — apparently made by the U.S. Secret Service — was meant to speed up the long lines outside and fill the arena’s vacant seats before Obama came on.
“Sure,” said Lawrence, when asked if he was concerned by the great number of people who had gotten into the building without being checked. But, he added, the turnout of more than 17,000 people seemed to be a “friendly crowd.”
The Secret Service did not return a call from the Star-Telegram seeking comment. (emphasis mine)
No rhyme or reason to this. As disorganized as YearlyKos ’07 was, even we lameass bloggers had to leave our laptop bags outside the door (in a huge pile, no less) and all of our other bags were checked. Hell, I went to the bar in the middle of the debate and they didn’t even want to let me back in. Sterno had to vouch for me and I even had my badge on. There were snipers on the roof and all kinds of heavily armed guys in black cars around the entire building. I was even forced to delete 5 photos of plants I took because Secret Service was blurry in the background.
Several Dallas police officers said it worried them that the arena was packed with people who got in without even a cursory inspection.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because, they said, the order was made by federal officials who were in charge of security at the event.
“How can you not be concerned in this day and age,” said one policeman.
That’s a very good question, Mr. One Policeman. There have been 5 shooting sprees blasted all over the airwaves in the last 2 weeks. True, none of them were political, but this freakin’ Dallas we’re talking about. Do they not remember what happened in Dallas almost 45 years ago? Come on!
And it’s in the media now. That means, that if Secret Service doesn’t tighten up security now, some crazy can get into the rally. Someone’s head should roll for this lapse.