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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Back Where We Started?


The reasoning behind the post-9/11 decision to move thousands of federal national security employees out of offices in close-in Washington suburbs was that their buildings were too vulnerable to terrorist truck bombs.

Now comes a new fear -- examined in today's New York Times business section -- that the move of 6,400 employees from Arlington, Va., to Alexandria's new Mark Center may leave them just as vulnerable.

For several years, the main complaint from locals championed by Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., was that the Army had underestimated the amount of new traffic that would swarm I-395 with the occupation of the new defense complex far from subway stops.

More recently, however, such interested parties as the mayor of Alexandria and the nonprofit Project on Government Oversight have warned that the new facility presents its own building security weaknesses because a bomb "could easily be detonated in close proximity" to it.

A nonprofit research group called CNA, which includes the Center for Naval Analyses and is a tenant at the Mark Center, has filed a suit against the local realty company asserting that its facilities "are now considered a magnet for terrorist or criminal activity."

Charles S. Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books, and organizational media strategies.

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