Toddler's White House Squeeze Play Delays Obama's Iraq Speech

Image: Toddler's White House Squeeze Play Delays Obama's Iraq Speech In this September, 2013 file photo, The White House is seen at dusk true fence. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Friday, 08 Aug 2014 08:08 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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A toddler who squeezed through a fence on the North Lawn of the White House on Thursday night forced a Secret Service scramble and ended up delaying President Barack Obama's national speech on Iraq.

The boy managed to wiggle his way through the fence about 8:10 p.m., a deceptively different path from most fence jumpers who try to get onto the White House grounds, according to USA Today.

"We were going to wait until he learned to talk to question him," Secret Service agent Edwin Donovan said jokingly in a statement, according to the Washington Post. "But in lieu of that he got a timeout and was sent on way with parents."

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Before it was known who was setting off alarms, Secret Service agents raced around the White House grounds trying to confirm the breach, according to the Post.

"The brief kerfuffle as agents scrambled to intercept the pint-sized intruder confirms what most people know: toddlers are sneaky, and fast," wrote the Washington Post's Katie Zezima. "The little guy didn't get in any trouble – at least, not with the feds. And he was unavailable for comment – to anyone – for at least a few more months."

CNN reported that the breach, though, resulted in an automatic lockdown of the White House, forcing a delay in President Obama national address.

In the address, the president announced the authorization of limited airstrikes against Islamic militants in Iraq to prevent them to taking over Erbil, the nation's Kurdish capital, according to the New York Times. It is the United States first military action in Iraq since leaving in 2011.

Obama said the U.S. military had already dropped humanitarian food and water to thousands trapped on a northwestern Iraq mountain range surrounded by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

"Earlier this week, one Iraqi cried that there is no one coming to help," Obama said in his address, per the New York Times, cautioning that he had no plans to introduce U.S. ground troops. "Well, today America is coming to help. … As commander in chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into another war in Iraq."

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