Camp David aside

Journalists pass through an elaborate security protocol at Camp David.

by
    Members of the media are escorted to the venue by Marines [AFP]
    Members of the media are escorted to the venue by Marines [AFP]

    The security at Camp David is nothing to trifle with - but in the end, the allure of the presidential reserve overwhelms every security protocol.

    Camp David sits in the middle of Catoctin Mountain Park - a camping and hiking area near the Appalachian Trail in Maryland. It's tree-filled, has lots of running springs, and is a bit chilly in the early spring. It's also guarded by untold numbers of Marines.

    The Marines, who escorted reporters from a parking lot to the press conference site, were very clear. No photos once we get on the road. No photos of the security measures that protect the camp. No photos outside the press conference building. Turn off your geo-locators on your cell phones and laptops.

    For those of us who've covered presidential operations, we comply. No security breaches on our heads! Other journalists, unaware the Marines are serious, get a stern reminder.

    We arrive at the press file and press conference location, which are inside a large hangar next to the airstrip.

    On the airstrip were a V-22 Osprey helicopter and at least two of the white-top helicopters known as Marine One when they're used in the presidential fleet. The sun was shining down on them – and surrounded by the trees, they looked like a promotional ad for the US government.

    Instead of marching inside and setting up their computers, most of the journalists stopped to take photos of the aircraft. The Marines didn't stop them.

    I asked one of the Marines, "Wait, I didn't think we were supposed to take pictures?" He shrugged and smiled. The other journalists kept on snapping photos.

    There's a little part of me that wishes I'd broken the rule too.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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