High Alert

Journalists covering Wednesday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Defense Department’s Fiscal 2014 budget request reported being on lockdown as Capitol Hill police investigated multiple suspicious packages. The hearing went off without a hitch, however, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey continued their testimony for more than three hours. CQ Roll Call reported that a loudspeaker alerted people of suspicious packages on the first and third floors of Hart Senate office building—Hagel and Dempsey were testifying on the second floor. At the same time, an email to Senate staffers notified them of a suspicious envelope sent to the third floor of the Russell Senate office building, according to Roll Call. SASC Chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) issued a statement announcing that his Michigan office shut down after a staffer found another suspicious envelope. This activity came one day after an off-site mail facility intercepted a letter addressed to Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), also a SASC member, that may have contained ricin. It came two days after three people were killed and some 170 people injured on April 15 by two bombs that detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.