Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The G-8 Follies: Is We Safer Yet?

Surprise, surprise. Government agents infiltrated protest groups at last month's Group of 8 Summit in Sea Island, Georgia:

In a formal post-G-8 security briefing Monday at a meeting of Georgia police chiefs in Savannah, state Homeland Security Director Bill Hitchens said as many as 40 undercover officers infiltrated the protest groups and posed as demonstrators.

Unfortunately, the 40 undercover officers selected for this vital mission were all named Clouseau:

"There were a few people at the rallies and marches that looked like law enforcement," [protest organizer Robert Randall] said. "The handcuffs tucked into their back pockets was a pretty good indication of who they were."

Then there was that little lack of authority problem:

Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering said at the meeting that security plans hit a snag June 10 when about 70 protesters marched on the 4-mile F.J. Torras Causeway linking St. Simons and Sea islands to the mainland. The summit lasted from June 8-10.

Federal officials told police to keep pedestrians off the causeway and posted signs saying none were allowed. The problem, Doering said, was he had no authority to prohibit walkers unless they blocked traffic.

"A lot of people including the Secret Service and State Patrol assumed ... that the causeway was closed to pedestrians," Doering said. "Even though signs were actually posted, well, legally it wasn't."

All told, we had an estimated 20,000 security officers surrounding Sea Island, protecting the G-8 participants from 350 protestors. Our national security depends upon our ability to shield Dear Leader from these dreaded t-shirts [note: anti-Bush wear may not be workplace-safe].