There's an excellent opinion piece in the SF Chron today about how fear of terrorism has changed Washington DC. Open government and accessibility used to be considered important democractic values in the US, but now everything is locked away. Do we even recognize what's been lost?
Today, much of this beguiling traditional democratic American openness has been rudely swept away, possibly never to return. And the nation once known as "the land of the free and the home of the brave" seems both less free and less brave.
But one thing is certain: Washington today is a heavily armed, hunkered- down capital. The city on the Potomac appears to be a city under siege. Congress has allocated more than $600 million for increased security for the capital.
Update 2004-07-19: Tom Bridge, who lives in the DC area, has posted a rebuttal to the SF Chron piece.