Thursday, October 02, 2014


Political Mayhem Thursday: The Secret Service

A few weeks ago, with some time on my hands (apparently), I watched the entirety of a really terrible movie called "Olympus Has Fallen."  The plot revolves around a coordinated attack on the White House by North Korea, involving a stolen Lockheed AC-130 gunship, some guys in garbage trucks, and suicide bombers.  Even with all of that (and some turncoats on the inside), they don't succeed in getting what they want.

It turns out, a very similar result was obtained last week by one guy with a knife.  The attacker, Omar Gonzalez, just ran across the lawn and through the unlocked front door.  The alarm system was turned off because it made too much noise.

Apparently, the main deterrent in such events is supposed to be the release of some vicious dogs, but that didn't happen.  Let's face it-- that never worked for C. Montgomery Burns on the The Simpsons, either.

Should the director of the Secret Service have been fired for this lapse (as she was, yesterday)?

He$% yes and the woman he overpowered to get in should be reassigned to desk duty.
What excellent opportunity for gender bashing sexism to let loose with great abandon and how unfortunate for all those who actually make it across any type of bias and earn their share fair and square. But speaking of fairness, this White House breach showcased what one gets from unqualified politically correct hires, promotions and policies that have more to do with projecting the "right" image than the job at hand, which in this case was the security of none other than the United States President. So I’ll have to quote Anon8:39 and say “hell, yes” from the Director right on down to the guard that was "overpowered" inside the entry to the White House.
Firing people is fine, especially people who failed to fire--the Service just hasn't been the same since Clint Eastwood left--but the issues here appear to go much deeper than a few career assassinations can resolve.

Reports suggest that the Secret Service has been secretly disserviced by reallocation of resources in the wake of 9/11. Homeland Security (which absorbed the Secret Service, for the most part, from Treasury in 2003) has focussed it's efforts on TSA and ICE. In other words, speeding up deportation and slowing down airportation has come at the cost of protecting the White House from fence jumpers (and Gerard Butler).

So targeted firings are fine, but when the smoke clears it important not to lose sight of the systemic issues. The Secret Service needs the resources to hire competent, qualified people. After all, armed men who share an elevator with the president should be straight shooters.
Firing the head of the Secret Service - wonderful... We always blame the person at the top of the food chain and the person at the bottom. But there is a problem in the middle, with the culture. Who was on duty, in charge of the women he overpowered? Who posts the assignments? They all were negligent. My gut is telling me there are many things untold and unknown to the former head of the Secret Service and those seeking the truth.
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