10 May 2007

Queen Elizabeth, Snipers

"The GSFC Security staff and particularly Chuck Lombard did a marvelous job in planning and coordinating the efforts of at least six different security organizations and in supporting the Secret Service in keeping our guests safe. It is hard to overstate how complex an operation this was and how well it was executed." -Goddard's Center Director

No wonder the Queen's visit seemed packed with a variety of uniformed and plain-clothed but clearly undercover types. Glad I didn't look suspicious. According to a friend who's talked with people in the know, the snipers divide the field of view between them and then scan for anything suspicious. He said they look at people's hands, not, as we might expect, their eyes. Let's face it, if you're going to do something dangerous, it's gonna be with your hands. You almost expect to hear whoopwhoop sirens interspersed with loudspeaker announcements to "STEP AWAY FROM THE QUEEN... KEEP YOUR HANDS WHERE WE CAN SEE THEM..."

Yeesh. What a way to live.

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