Government officials who harassed a photographer in order to keep one of its buildings top secret have done the complete opposite.
Now the world will soon know that the nondescript building at 3701 N. Fairfax Drive in Arlington, Virginia houses the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – described by The Washington Post as “a low-profile wing of the Defense Department that conducts all manner of high-tech research that evolves into weapons systems and high-order strategery.”
And yes, the Post did say “stategery.”
When Keith McCammon took a photo of the building a while back, he had no idea about all this. It just looked like any other building in the area.
However, when uniformed security guards accosted him, demanding he delete the image and ordering him to give up his personal information, he realized it was no ordinary building.
Nevertheless, he was perturbed that he was treated as a criminal for doing something that is completely legal, so he started firing off letters to government officials, including the Arlington Police Department, who apparently were called to the scene.
This was their response:
“I hope that you would agree that the security of any such building is of great importance and every law enforcement officer is duty bound to investigate all suspicious activity,” wrote Arlington Acting Police Chief Daniel Murray. “I am certainly not implying that a person taking photographs is inherently ‘suspicious,’ but when the appearance is that the subject of a photograph is a government installation, officers have a duty to ensure the safety of the occupants of this structure.”
While the Arlington Police Department did not make a report on the incident, his information was passed along to “the internal security agency for this installation.”
Which means that somewhere in the vast security apparatus that we have constructed since 9/11–utterly ignoring the fact that the Soviet empire collapsed under the weight of its own paranoid security apparatus–there is now a report on Keith McCammon, photographer.
And the above photo? I pulled it off Google Maps in seconds.