It has been less than four months since our nation witnessed something that no other Americans had ever witness before: Citizens of this great nation breaching the US Capitol in an attempt to prevent the certification of the results of an election.
The only force to have ever accomplished the feat of entering the Capitol was the mighty British army all the way back in 1814.
Now, ahead of President Joe Biden’s first speech in front of a joint session of Congress, security forces in the nation’s capital are again on high alert.
The crowd inside the Capitol will be a fraction of the hundreds of members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, top government officials and guests who typically attend, to allow for more social distancing in a COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 572,000 Americans.
But security will be higher than usual, even for what is officially designated a “National Special Security Event,” with the Secret Service in charge of security.
“The Secret Service and all law enforcement and public safety partners have worked hard collectively in preparation to secure this significant event,” said a Secret Service representative, adding that “every security contingency is accounted for.”
District of Columbia authorities have asked the Pentagon to authorize the district’s National Guard contingent to help local police handle any anti-Biden protests coinciding with Wednesday’s address.
“The D.C. National Guard is prepared to support D.C. law enforcement, pending approval” by acting Army Secretary John Whitley, the D.C. National Guard said in a statement.
It was not immediately known if Whitley would approve the request. The National Guard deployment already has cost more than $520 million, according to the U.S. National Guard Bureau.
The FBI has repeatedly warned the nation about the possibility of further attacks by the radical right, specifically on the Capitol.