Congress to Examine Secret Service Blooper Reel

by lizard

Tonight Rachel Maddow strung together three breaches of White House security that bring up some interesting points. Click the link below to watch, as it will be discussed in this post.

It really does boggle the mind that a guy previously flagged for having a mini arsenal and map with the White House circled, and who was later stopped and questioned in proximity to the White House carrying a hatchet, was able to jump the fence and penetrate the White House to nearly the Green Room. Maddow makes a point of showing where a staircase to the second floor private quarters of the President was bypassed by this poor bastard wrecked by war.

The second incident happened in 2011, when another lone wolf fired off some shots at the White House from Constitution Avenue. According to Maddow’s reporting, despite Secret Service personnel on the ground reporting shots fired, the incident was played down. When White House staff, probably the cleaning crew, found debris, the shots were finally “discovered” and connected to the guy who crashed his car and left the gun after firing at the White House.

And third, the least threatening breach of security: crashgate.

Now, a Congress that couldn’t be bothered over a new war in Syria, is coming back to take a forced trip down the Secret Service’s memory lane of fuck-ups:

The hearing is set to focus on a series of security embarrassments over the last several years, including a breach that occurred when a couple crashed a state dinner in 2009, a 2011 incident when bullets struck the White House, scandals involving drinking and prostitution on overseas trips in 2012 and 2013, and 16 separate cases of people scaling the White House fence in the last five years. Ms. Pierson became director in 2013.

According to a law enforcement official briefed on the current investigation, uniformed Secret Service officers at the White House failed to follow several of the agency’s protocols. Although the protocols call for an officer to be standing outside the North Portico door, there was no officer there as Mr. Gonzalez made his way up the steps. The officer who was stationed inside the door failed to lock it after an alarm was sounded that someone had jumped over the fence, the official said.

For those who assumed America was the bestest most exceptional most President-secure nation in the world, it’s time to recalibrate your expectations.

The hearing should be entertaining. Until reading the NYT article, I had totally forgotten about the hookers.

  1. steve kelly

    Maddow delivers the meme. What’s the meme? Who’s not buying it? Why aren’t you zombie “liberals” afraid, yet?

    Sombody forgot that zombies fear nothing, feel nothing, cannot react appropriately to the new meme, same as the old meme. More shots, beer and heroin please.

    Hey, I know, maybe we can export it to the Chinese.

    • lizard19

      so, what are you saying? is the meme delivered by Maddow hyping the threat to scare liberals into further complacency? or could there be other interpretations of Secret Service inaction, like a calculated inaction? maybe the message is for the president, steve. I don’t pretend to know, but I think it’s worth thinking about.

      • Security is a science at this point, built in concentric rings around a potential target, redundancies built in so that if one thing fails, another does not. Each ring off security around the target is more difficult to penetrate than the one before. These Secret Service folks are very good at it, so that someone getting close enough to harm the president is probably no accident. (11/22/63, 3/30/81, 9/11/01 witnessed simultaneous multiple failures of security.)

        As a student of this game, I suggest that the only way anyone can penetrate the layers of security around a target is to have not just one, but several failures of security happen at once. The odds of each failure, coupled with another, are multiplied together to give us the odds of simultaneous failures, usually astronomical. So a guard not stationed might be a 1/100 occurrence, but a guard not stationed at the very time an intruder penetrates the outer layers of security (1/100?) gives us a 1/10,000 chance of that even being purely random. Possible, of course, but unlikely.

        Someone sending an “Angel is Next”-type message, in my view: “Behave yourself. We can take you out at any time we please.”

  2. steve kelly

    I am suggesting that Maddow’s narrative, and Maddow the televangelist, have been fully vetted for some purpose that liberals (her audience fragment), or someone (could be Obama) with enough juice to influence that social slice might be in the way of something important to TPTB.

    I know nothing for sure, but have been attempting to be present during this period of altered reality and uncertainty. The variations on distraction in our endless game of Two-Card Monte is about story telling as much as it is about mechanics. If you start with the simple card trick, the 5.0 version in Washington, D.C. might make more sense.

  3. steve kelly

    The first federal paper money — “greenbacks” — was pressed and circulated in 1861 to finance the Civil War.

    “The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. The banking powers are more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. They denounce as public enemies all who question their methods or throw light upon their crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe. [As a most undesirable consequence of the war…] Corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow. The money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed.” – Abraham Lincoln

    If history has taught us anything, I would never underestimate the bankers.

  4. Carla Augustad

    I see a private contractor behaving badly. Why is the Secret Service hiring private contractors? My motto when I ran for the legislature in 2006 was “keep public goods and services public”.

    Now I do my paperwork so that the private contractors that are paid through the State of Montana (Benefis and others) get paid to refer me back and forth between them. It is a stupid, expensive game , and does not meet my needs.

    When did we privatize Medicaid, and exactly how much of our state government did we plan to contract out anyway?

    • Read the last sentence of Animal Farm.

    • Steve W

      Carla, privatization has been a hall mark of both national Democrats and Republicans since Bill Clinton, when the Dems jumped on board and stayed on board through the two bush terms and the bush-esque terms of Barack Obama.

      That also filtered down into state parties which got us to where we are today. Pretty screwed.

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