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Let's Be Unreasonable Here: Security for Obama makes Potter spells look weak

President Barack Obama should get the Guinness World Record for “the most tons of stuff to protect him.”

There’s a line between the conventional, old-school security, and the new, sci-fi, practically Hulk-powered security for the president of the United States offered today that’s the perfect fodder for a column theme.

The president is kind of an important person, so a lot of the protection offered to him is justified. But that doesn’t make it any less amusing to think about.

Security for Obama peaked during his inauguration ceremony; although not immediately evident, the numbers are stunning.

To illustrate, let us do something that most normal people don’t usually imagine: put ourselves in the shoes of an assassin.

It would have been hard for an assassin to approach Obama in the first place, with more than 5,000 security cameras secretly scrutinizing each and every attendee’s actions during the inauguration. The cameras would have caught any suspicious activity as well as tons of furtive nose-pickings committed by civilians unaware of the cameras’ prying eyes.

If the assassin had tried to take action against Obama, he would have come face to face with 42,500 police officers, soldiers, FBI agents and National Guard members interspersed throughout the crowd attending the event, along with about 150 intelligence teams.

Think Men in Black.

So, remember those close-ups of emotional, crying civilians at the inauguration? Chances are, some of them were probably security agents ready to shake off those tears and tackle any would-be Obama threats.

In the rare event that the 42,500 security agents were overwhelmed or too slow to react, the assassin would have been confronted with snipers positioned throughout rooftops near the U.S. Capitol. All of the snipers were trained to hit targets the size of tennis balls from more than 1,000 yards away.

Which roughly translates to no escape. And also to a lot of tennis balls murdered in cold blood during sniper training sessions.

Anti-airstrike security was also arranged. If the assassin were to enter the scene in a plane, he would have to fight his way past fighter jets patrolling the area.

And just in case the fighter jets failed, special surface-to-air missiles were installed to quickly stop potential intruders.

Strangest of all, Secret Service agents went as far as to install 5 tons’ worth of transparent armor around the podium where Obama delivered his speech, designed to stop bullets and repel chemical-gas attacks.

So even if everything went absolutely, horribly wrong and the assassin managed to run up all the way to Obama, the killer would end up crashing into an invisible wall before reaching the president — the principles of invincible Harry Potter “Protego” spells put into action. I bet you didn’t see that while watching the inauguration on TV.

On a grimmer note, the federal government had also prepared for a situation in which Obama did end up dying, having chosen Secretary of Defense Robert Gates as the so-called “designated survivor.”

As the designated survivor, Gates was escorted to an undisclosed, private security institution somewhere in the U.S. instead of attending the inauguration.

Just in case a nuclear bomb were to be dropped on Washington, D.C. during the inauguration, and the president and all of the Cabinet were to die, Gates would be able to assume control of the United States as the stand-in president.

Thank goodness that didn’t happen.

As much as we hate politicians, the destruction of D.C. and the federal government would be sort of a downer. And think of all those conspiracy theories that would come up with a Republican reinstituted in office.

Kevin Hwang is a student at Athens High School enrolled in Ohio University classes and a columnist for The Post. Know more about Obama’s security? Email him at

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