SCARRED --- I remember telling a friend from Washington, D.C., about the openness and freedom at the Capitol when I arrived in late 1998. "You can walk right into the building without going through security?" he asked incredulously. Yes. No security checkpoints. No bag inspections. No guards at the entrances. In many ways, it was harder to get into a good restaurant or a popular nightclub than into the Capitol building. That innocence ended early in 2001, when a suicidal truck driver rammed his rig into the south entrance of the Capitol. As a result, discussion of a protective fence around the Capitol and security checkpoints at all entrances moved to the front burner - months before 9/11.
January 12, 2001