By Crystal Zhao
On September 19th, an armed intruder was able to sprint across the lawn and enter the White House before finally being tackled by an off-duty Secret Service agent. Omar Gonzales, an Iraq War veteran, was able to breach the gate, pass the trained dogs, pass the startled big-shot Secret Service agents, enter one of the supposedly most secure places on Earth with a gun and a blade in his back pocket, and most importantly set off doubts about where and what the Secret Service has been doing (and not doing) lately.
Here is a frighteningly long list of the most recent incompetence seen in Secret Service:
- They have NOT been aware of shootings at the White House. A shooting in 2011 left bullet indents in windows that were not discovered until a fastidious housekeeper spotted them.
- They have been keeping secrets from the nation and the president about security breaches.
- They have NOT been checking who gets in an elevator with President Obama. While entering a CDC meeting on Ebola, Obama shared an elevator ride with a man with a criminal record and a gun in his pocket. After the anonymous man started acting unprofessional and tried to take selfies with the President, the Secret Service took him in for questioning and discovered his background. The president was not immediately notified, and instead found out two weeks later. They did not inform the President of this, and he found out much later with the rest of the country when the information was reported by a news media provider.
- The Secret Service has been leaving the alarm system around the White House OFF because they supposedly were worried about the noise.
- The Secret Service leadership has NOT been able to competently answer any questions about these worrying problems.
The head of the Secret Service, Julia Pierson, recently resigned after being grilled on Capitol Hill. In some ways, it was a fair move. She left and took the blame with her so they could start anew. To be fair, Congress was pretty rough on her. These were some of the remarks shot at her on October 30th: “I wish to god you protected the White House like you’re protecting your reputation here today!” and, in sarcastic reference to ADT, “Ever heard of these guys?”
Needless to say, Washington is in uproar, Congress finally has a common enemy, and the Secret Service is scrambling. Will any big improvements occur or will we stick to the way things are until another disaster rolls around? We can always hope for the first option, but based on how the Secret Service is doing currently, they are going to need to grovel, prove themselves, and get an able leader before any real change is set in action.
Picture Source: azcentral.com