2005/05/14

Panic in the Capital

An unidentified small plane intrudes on the country's most restricted airspace. The V.P. and First Ladyare moved to secure locations. Fighter jets are scrambled. Capital buildings are evacuated. But, where was the President? Was he safe? From what secure location was he monitoring the situation and leading the Nation? Oh, he was bike riding? And, you informed him after it was all over?

Bush was about a half-an-hour into his ride at the Patuxent Wildlife
Research Center in Maryland when the airplane came near the White House, sending the Secret Service scrambling to evacuate Vice President Dick Cheney and move First Lady Laura Bush to a secure location.

McClellan said the president’s Secret Service detail was informed about the plane at about 11:59 a.m., when the decision was made to raise the threat level at the White House to “yellow.”

Fighter planes were immediately scrambled to intercept the plane, and the threat level at the White House was raised all the way to “red” before the “all clear” was given at 12:14 p.m.

McClellan said Bush was informed about the incident around 12:50 p.m. at the end of his ride. He left the reserve around 12:57 p.m. and returned to the White House at around 1:30 p.m., well after the security scare had ended.

“The president was never in danger and the protocols in place after Sept. 11 were followed,” McClellan said. “The president has a tremendous amount of trust in his security detail and they were being kept apprised of the situation as it developed.” Full story>>

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