Felix Salmon

Unsafe security

By Felix Salmon
April 13, 2010

Matt Yglesias reacts to the tone-deaf military reaction to the horrific crushing-to-death of a 68-year-old woman by a five-ton military truck on Monday:

The fact that people conducting a security operation on American soil can’t even react to accidentally killing an old lady by saying “we’re sorry we killed that woman” rather than lets “make sure the pedestrian didn’t run into the truck as it was moving” doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence.

He’s completely right, of course. (And it’s worth noting that she wasn’t, actually, a pedestrian: she was on her bike.)

It’s worth recalling the experience of Sean Medlock, who was also hit (but, thankfully, not killed) by a government vehicle while he was crossing the street in Washington. The main repercussion of that incident was that Medlock got served with a $20 jaywalking ticket — while he was lying on a gurney — for walking diagonally across an intersection four blocks away from where he was hit.

After that incident, the Daily Caller put together a handy brief history of US security vehicle accidents. The main lesson of that list seems to be that it’s not only innocent bystanders who risk their lives when they inadvertently end up near a motorcade; it’s also the motorcade staffers themselves. It’s long past time, I think, that someone takes a very hard look at the safety procedures surrounding these things. Or, rather, the lack thereof.

One comment so far | RSS Comments RSS

Now you can try to imagine what the average Iraqi or Afghan feels they have to deal with…

Posted by Pasher | Report as abusive

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/