Silly Security Overkill Is Hurting Public Officials

Are our precautions doing more harm than good?
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 30, 2009 7:37 AM CDT
n this Wednesday, April 29, 2009 picture, Secret Service agents polish vehicles in the presidential motorcade in St. Louis.   (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)
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(Newser) – Sure, our public officials need protection—but things are getting out of hand, writes David Ignatius in the Washington Post. Since 9/11, “we have gotten so cranked up about security in the United States that senior officials travel in cocoons, as if they are under constant threat.” And of what, exactly? “Al-Qaeda? Crazy people? Or is it something more ephemeral—a nameless, pervasive sense of danger?”

“The hyper-security has added as much to public fear (and annoyance) as to public safety.” Should we really be hassling little kids and old ladies at the airport? When the FBI director got a haircut at a neighborhood barber shop, accompanied by a security detail of four, “the blatant obviousness of his bodyguards only called attention to him.” It seems that “we have reached the point of diminishing returns with the fortress mentality. The truth is, we all must live with vulnerability. It's a part of modern life.”