Friday, May 26, 2006

Sounds of Gunfire in the Capitol - Shades of Anthrax

I wonder what was being decided when the Capitol was locked down because "someone reported hearing 'a loud noise' in the garage of the Rayburn building" to the Capitol police. Or rephrased, I wonder what ELSE would have been in the news from today that got crowded out or got short shrift due to "someone reported hearing 'a loud noise' (and "the smell of smoke" has just gotten added to the story) in the garage of the Rayburn building." Which is, coincidentally, where the Capitol's shooting range is located.

At the time of the purported "noise," the Senate had just confirmed General Michael Hayden as CIA Director, 78-15.

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was holding "an open hearing to gain a variety of perspectives from public witnesses (Walter Isaacson, President and CEO, Aspen Institute; Jonathan Turley, Professor, George Washington Law School; Gabriel Schoenfeld, Senior Editor, Commentary magazine; John C. Eastman, Professor, Chapman University School of Law) on the Media’s Role and Responsibilities in Leaks of Classified Information. Originally scheduled for earlier in the week (May 23, 2006), the hearing was moved to today, Friday, the day before the long holiday weekend when most members of the House had gone home and the House was not in session.

MSNBC has been monitoring the hearing from a camera that they have in the room. Peter Hoekstra, Chairman of the committee, just regaled the room with his "where were you when you got the report of gunfire in the building" story. The ranking member, Jane Harman, interrupted him with her observation of the "irony of the timing" - referring to the extreme threat we face from terrorism and the need to lose all of our rights and liberties. Hoekstra's and Harman's hands (their aides') are the first I'd check for residue.

Anybody want to take a guess as to what the "noise" will finally be identified as?

Capitol Police, after reviewing videotapes from security cameras and searching throughout the building, think that the "noise might have been made by a workman banging the wall inside of an elevator shaft and been mistaken for gun shots."

Nothing more about the "smell of smoke."

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