There are two stories out of Dallas, Texas about a campaign rally on Wednesday, February 20, 2008.  Barack Obama was scheduled to appear at Reunion Arena in front of approximately 17,000 people.

According to the Forth Worth Star Telegram, the screening of people attending the event was cut off about one hour prior to the event.  Local police, speaking on condition of anonymity expressed concern that so many people were admitted without even a cursory screening.  The Dallas Deputy Police Chief said that the order to not screen attendees was intended to speed up the seating process.  Source.

The next day, the Secret Service responded by denying that any order to suspend screening was issued adding that there was no need for magnetometers at the venue.  So in other words, we didn’t issue the order and even if we did there was no security risk because there was no need for metal detectors there anyway.  To finish off the statement, the Secret Service spokesman stated that they worked together with local law enforcement to “come up with a robust and comprehensive layered security plan that didn’t rely solely on any specific countermeasure to secure the area.”  Source.  

So, as the story unfolds, several local police officers noticed that security measures were relaxed approximately one  hour prior to an event where Barack Obama was to be speaking and the Deputy Police Chief went on record claiming that it was intended to seat people more quickly and while it might seem bad, the crowd seemed friendly.  Nice work there Chief.  The next day, the Secret Service denies that the order was given and the lack of screening of people was not an issue either.

In this case, I tend to believe the local Dallas Police as they may still be hurting from when another very popular person was killed in Dallas about 45 years ago.

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