I was working this morning on helping a local organization send a letter to a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Looking on the official web site of that particular member of Congress for a mailing address, I came across the following statement:
“Due to screening procedures, individuals sending written mail to my Washington, DC office should expect mail delivery to take about three weeks. Please keep this in mind when sending anything time senstive.”
It’s been nine years since envelopes containing non-weaponized anthrax spores were sent to the offices of a few members of Congress, and to offices of journalists, resulting in the deaths of a few people. There has been no repeat of the attack. Investigations of the attack suggest that it was not part of an international terrorist plot that would seek to repeat the incident.
Still, mail to our senators and representatives is being subjected to weeks of extra screening, as if an anthrax attack is likely at any time. What is the benefit of this system, that makes it important enough to justify the distancing of our legislative representatives in the federal government from us?