‘Top secret’ convention site not so secret

Uh, about that “secret site” being used by the United States Secret Service as the nerve center for all operations at the Democratic National Convention … yeah, it’s in suburban Denver.

The Denver Post published a story on Sunday titled “Secret site keeps eyes on city: Officials from 62 agencies use cameras and satellites to ferret out trouble.” Highlighted in the article was what’s been called the MACC, a Secret Service acronym for the Multi-Agency Command Center or the Multi-Agency Communications Center, the central hub of all operations during the convention.

The report begins by explaining to the reader there is a “top secret” location for the MACC during the convention:

Police and federal agents are watching downtown Denver right now from a top-secret location.

Inside a large conference room, somewhere in Colorado, there are real-time satellite images of the city and maps on the wall, including close-ups of the Pepsi Center and Invesco Field at Mile High.

But there’s one problem. The location of the MACC is in Lakewood, a suburb of Denver, and was reported by The Colorado Independent almost a week ago in an expose on the intelligence nexus being shared by more than 50 law enforcement officials at the convention.

In fact, it was members of law enforcement who stated that the MACC would be located at the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood, the largest conglomeration of federal agencies outside Washington, D.C.

To be fair, local Denver station Fox 31 news also covered the MACC, describing it as something “out of a James Bond movie,” but also reported that law enforcement officials had asked the station not to disclose where the communications center was.

But on the other hand, 9NEWS in Denver also revealed that the MACC was at the Denver Federal Center a few days ago, before the Post article came out.

It would seem the concept of this “top secret” location has been subverted by the almighty power of Google, where a simple search on the subject now easily reveals its location.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.

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