Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Domestic Terrorism Comes to Alaska

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Alaska has a congressional delegation comprised of three individuals - two United States Senators and one Congressman.  Today suspicious mail packages were received at the Alaska offices of each of those three people.

A worker in the Fairbanks office of Senator Mark Begich (a Democrat) was following a standard safety protocol while opening a package addressed to him.  The worker placed the small package inside of a plastic bag and attempted to open it there.  As that was happening, some white powder came out of the box.  The worker was taken to a local hospital by ambulance for a medical evaluation, and the building was evacuated.  The package had an Arizona return address.

Senator Begich's Fairbanks office is in the local Federal Building, and federal security agents stationed in the building were called in to investigate.  Senator Lisa Murkowski (a Republican) also has an office in that same building, and a similar package was received there.   There has been no word yet as to whether that package was linked to the one sent to Senator Begich.

Alaska's lone congressman, Don Young (a Republican), also received a package in his Anchorage office that corresponded to those received by the senators.  The parcel was discovered to contain a white substance.

At this point there is no word on the actual level of danger posed by these mail packages, but that does not lessen the fact that a threat is still a threat - and terrorism is still terrorism, regardless of its origin.   At least one person was rushed to a hospital by ambulance, two large office buildings had to be evacuated interrupting the work of dozens, if not hundreds, of individuals, and many law enforcement officials had to be called away from their on-going activities to respond to these emergencies.

These packages were malicious (and possibly dangerous), and they created unnecessary loss of productivity and an unexpected expense for our government.  The members of Congress represent all of us whether we agree with them politically or not, and an attack on any one of them is, in fact, an attack on the rest of us as well.  I am certain that law enforcement is taking today's events extremely seriously and will bring the perpetrator(s) to justice.  That is the way that I would like my tax dollars spent!

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