Monday, May 08, 2006

A fun Saturday Morning

Gbush-commencement2006As some of you may be aware, I turned in my radio, sidearm & commission card to switch professions and become a computer geek some 12 years ago. I have always remained close to my old PD buddies, offering to provide assistance and support as needed. On Saturday, I had the privilege of working the 'eyes' of the Command Post (CP) involved with the protection of President Bush during his visit to Oklahoma State University (16 years ago I worked along side Secret Service agents at a metal detector when Bush Sr was here for Commencement 1990). My assignment was to work all surveillance cameras in and around the stadium where the commencement was being held. This included observing the graduates, stage, attendees inside, protestors (er, observers ... more politically correct term) outside, club house and suites, as well as the LZ (landing zone) for Marine One and the support choppers. In all my previous assignments, I had always been a field officer, never allowed into the inner sanctuary of the CP. After Saturday, I am rather thankful for that. Having to be the eyes for the command staff of two police departments (OSU & Stillwater), the Ok State Bureau of Investigation, Ok Highway Patrol and the Secret Service can get a little busy! Since I had to be at the PD at 3:00am and didn’t get released until almost noon, I wouldn't want to do this everyday, it will be something I remember for several years.

No, I didn't get to meet Dubya, nor did I get to meet his daddy, but that doesn't really matter.

Everything went smoothly, including the numerous protestors who where holding up signs ranging from:
  • Who would Jesus bomb? (hmm, Sodom & Gomorah come to mind)
  • No one died when Clinton lied (well, nothing but the death of honor, trust, dignity, need I go on?)
  • No more blood for oil (that must be the reason for the high price at the pumps, we are squeezing the Exxon, Mobile, etc executives to death)
  • and others too numerous to mention.
For the record, Bush didn't come here to create a political debate hotspot, but to honor the graduates who have been working their butts off to graduate. However, the protestors would rather attempt to turn this day into one of protest. I hate to say this, but Bush has heard, seen, read it all. I doubt one more sign in the buckle of the bible belt is going to make him do an about-face and change everything that has been decided up to this point!

But realize this ... if Bush comes to your area and you want to protest, have at it. Just remember these things (in no particular order):
  1. Stay in your designated area! You aren't being shunned to the north 40, but will (most likely) be in an area without direct line of sight of the president. This is for the safety of the President. While this may be a 'free country', it ain't totally free!
  2. If you leave the designated area and continue to act as a protestor, obey the law enforcement officers when instructed to return to area. (I don't care what they say, the handcuffs aren't new and they won't stretch a little to become more comfortable in a few minutes)
  3. Don't try to pass yourself off as a Secret Service agent to a uniformed officer, especially if you have been drinking a few minutes/hours before (see above reference about handcuffs)
  4. Common sense, while a diminishing commodity in many today, is your best friend!
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