Thursday, September 08, 2005


"Freedom" Is Just Another Word For...

Over at Reason, please find my perspective on this Sunday's 9/11 "Freedom Walk" event.

UPDATE: Even worse than I thought. Your view of freedom may differ from the official vision on the National Mall this Sunday:
Organizers of the Pentagon's 9/11 memorial Freedom Walk on Sunday are taking extraordinary measures to control participation in the march and concert, with the route fenced off and lined with police and the event closed to anyone who does not register online by 4:30 p.m. [Friday]...

The U.S. Park Police will have its entire Washington force of several hundred on duty and along the route, on foot, horseback and motorcycles and monitoring from above by helicopter. Officers are prepared to arrest anyone who joins the march or concert without a credential and refuses to leave...

What's unusual for an event on the Mall is the combination of fences, required preregistration and the threat of arrest...

One restricted group will be the media, whose members will not be allowed to walk along the march route. Reporters and cameras are restricted to three enclosed areas along the route but are not permitted to walk alongside participants walking from the Pentagon, across the Memorial Bridge to the Mall.

According to Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Allison Barber, the tight security on the walk was necessary to prevent inconvenience at the concert part of the event: "We didn't want a bottleneck at the concert. We didn't want people to miss the concert while waiting to be screened. So we decided to do the screening at the Pentagon. That means the entire route has to be kept closed."

So, to get this straight: The Pentagon organizes a "Freedom Walk" with enforced registration, an overwhelming police presence, the arrest of uncredentialed late-deciders -- and the cordoning off of the media. A walk "celebrating" the concept of freedom is closed to avoid the risk that participants might miss part of the event's entertainment portion. Absolutely amazing.

Constitution -- fade to (Clint) black.

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