The Mark Center Makes Its Mark

By Matthew Harwood

Peter Stockton, a senior investigator at POGO, however, remains skeptical. Military explosives experts who spoke to him on the condition of anonymity have said the parking garage would not protect the building from a 15,000-pound bomb, (but that’s three times the size of the Oklahoma City bomb). Stockton says that, according to his military sources, even a blast-resistant wall erected between I-395 and the building wouldn’t solve the problem. Stockton also adds that the blast distances around the Mark Center make no sense when compared to the DoD’s decision in 2004 to spend $35 million to reroute a highway away from the Pentagon. Stockton is simply shocked that DoD would spend that kind of money to move one road away from the Pentagon because of car- and truck-bomb concerns and then build another facility next to one of the busiest highways in America, where tractor-trailers are a common sight.

But whether or not the Mark Center was built in the right location is irrelevant now for the PFPA. Security professionals know that they have to play whatever hand they are dealt. “You build the best building with the best security at the place you’re given,” says Girard.



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