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Eye Opener: Violence at federal facilities

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

Updated 6:40 a.m. ET
Happy Friday! Last night's shooting at the main entrance of the Pentagon is the fourth attack or security scare at a federal facility this year.

A gunman opened fire and shot two police officers at the main entrance to the nation's largest federal building on Thursday night. John Patrick Bedell, 36, calmly pulled a gun from his coat pocket and shot without saying a word before he was seriously wounded in a flurry of return fire, according to the civilian Pentagon Force Protection Agency. He died of his injuries early this morning.

Here's information on the other isolated, unrelated attacks on federal buildings this year:

January 3: The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that nine envelopes nine envelopes containing powder and a threatening letter were sent to congressional offices throughout Alabama. No lawmakers handled the letters or came anywhere near them. Investigators later concluded the letters contained a fructose sugar substance.

January 4: A gunman opened fire in the lobby of the Lloyd D. George U.S. Federal Courthouse and Office Building, killing a security officer before he was fatally shot by federal officers. The building also housed local offices for Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and John Ensign (R-Nev.)

February 18: A low-flying small plane crashed into an office building that housed Internal Revenue Service employees in Austin. The crash killed the pilot and one IRS employee and was the latest in a series of attacks on IRS facilities and workers.

A House panel will hold a hearing later this month to assess federal security measures -- a conversation that will in part follow up on last summer's Government Accountability Office report that revealed serious gaps in federal building security.

If you're a federal worker, do you feel safe at your place of work? If you work or live near a federal facility, do you think it's well protected? Do you think there are security gaps at your office? E-mail your thoughts to federaleye@washingtonpost.com and please include your full name and employer. We'll be in touch with further questions.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

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Cabinet and Staff News: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urges reforms in Latin American nations. NASA Chief Charles Bolden denies he has a Plan B. A leadership shift is underway at FDA.

AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT:
Official blows whistle on food-safety agency: Dean Wyatt described several instances in which he witnessed and reported the mistreatment of pigs at an Oklahoma slaughterhouse.

CENSUS BUREAU:
'Census mailer' bill passes with GOP support: The bill bans mailings deliberately designed to look like material from the U.S. Census Bureau. It unanimously cleared a House committee with Republican support -- even though a recent GOP fundraising appeal inspired the legislation.

Patriot Act doesn't override confidentiality in Census, Justice Department says: The clarification by government lawyers came at the request of minority lawmakers, who were seeking to allay the fears of constituents about the first national head count since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

DEFENSE DEPARTMENT:
Senator warns against $1B deal with Blackwater: The comments by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin suggests thinning patience in Congress for the Pentagon's heavy reliance on contractors on the battlefield.

DOD aims to minimize use of Social Security numbers: The Pentagon is preparing to launch a militarywide effort to reduce use of them to lower the chances of identity theft for military and civilian employees and contractors.

Army language training bridges communication gaps: Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, has ordered that members of every Army platoon being sent to Afghanistan be trained in languages before landing in-country.

EDUCATION DEPARTMENT:
Race to the Top finalists and the 'ick' factor: The whole notion of this administration making its education initiative a kind of race where states compete for funds is counter to the desired goal of providing equal resources to children in all public schools.

EPA:
Rockefeller pushes to rein in EPA: The West Virginia Democrat introduced legislation Thursday to impose a two-year moratorium on the agency's ability to regulate greenhouse gases from power plants and other stationary emitters.

FDA:
FDA warns of salmonella risk from common flavor enhancer: Salmonella was detected in one lot of hydrolyzed vegetable protein made by Basic Food Flavors Inc. as well as inside the company's Nevada manufacturing facility.

FHA:
Study sees FHA taking more risk: The federal government's mortgage-insurance agency is understating how much risk it has taken on, says a group of economists.

GOVERNMENT WORK/LIFE/OPERATIONS:
OPM aims to release revised retirement statements by mid-April: Currently, it can take OPM anywhere from five to 40 business days to complete an annuity calculation request, because officials must determine retirement payments manually.

Lawmaker seeks info on increase in federal pay: Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) has asked nine federal agencies to provide data on the number of federal employees they employ who earn more than $100,000.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT:
Obama advisers set to recommend military tribunals for alleged 9/11 plotters: It's a step that would reverse Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s plan to try him in civilian court in New York City.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | March 5, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Next: More professionals applying for temporary Census jobs

Comments

I know I would feel a lot safer if the fed gov and DC would honor my multiple concealed handgun permits.

Posted by: k_romulus | March 5, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Same here. I don't like being a target and would at least like to be able to keep my pistol in my locked car while it's parked at work.

Posted by: TrustMe3 | March 5, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Why would anyone who is not a terrorist have multiple concealed handguns?

Posted by: member5 | March 5, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I have long felt that if a person thinks that government sucks the right thing for the person to do is work for the government and try to make it work better. The right thing to do is not to shoot it up.

Posted by: ideallydc | March 5, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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