Tags: White House | intruder | Secret Service | knife | fence

Secret Service: Lock Front Door of White House

Image: Secret Service: Lock Front Door of White House
(El Kebir Lamrani/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2014 11:42 AM

In the aftermath of a terrifying incident when a knife-carrying mentally disturbed veteran leaped the White House fence and made it inside an unlocked front door before being tackled by security, the Secret Service has a great new idea — lock the door!

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said, "After Friday night’s incident, when the door is not in use, it will be secured," the New York Post reported.

When Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, a three-tour veteran Iraq sniper suffering from PTSD, scaled the north portico fence and made it inside what is supposed to be one of the most heavily secured buildings on earth, he set off a firestorm of criticism of the Secret Service, charged with protecting the president and his family.

GOP Rep. Peter King of New York called the incident "absolutely inexcusable" and called for an investigation into how Gonzalez managed to get within killing distance of the first family, CBS News reported.

"He could have had a body bomb. He could have a vest on. How anyone, especially in these days of ISIS, and we're concerned about terrorist attacks, someone could actually get into the White House without being stopped is inexcusable."

House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., told "Face the Nation," "I think what you have seen is that they're not doing their audits, their checks, test runs to make sure that people are up to the right standard.

"It's just a matter of the Secret Service upping their game to make sure that they can maintain that every detail matters."

Even as Julia Pierson, Secret Service director, promised a full investigation into the incident and a general beef-up of security, Ed Donovan, Secret Service spokesman, admitted to the Post, "It’s clear the door should have been locked when the incident began."

Ronald Kessler, author of "In The President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect," told The Washington Post, "The fact that the Secret Service does not even provide a lock for the front door of the White House demonstrates its arrogance."

President Barack Obama and his daughters had left the White House by helicopter, headed for Camp David, just 10 minutes before Gonzalez attacked, the Post reported. When briefed on the incident, "He did indicate, as you would expect — his family lives in the White House. And so he is obviously concerned by the incident," Earnest said, the New York Post reported.

When Gonzalez's car was examined, he was found to be carrying more knives, a hatchet and 800 rounds of ammunition, and the New York Post noted he was packing a 3½-inch Spyderco folding knife when he was stopped inside the White House.

Gonzalez was arrested after a high-speed chase by Virginia police in July while carrying a sawed-off shotgun and a D.C. map with the White House circled, and in August, he was caught with a hatchet on the White House South Lawn, the New York Post reports.


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In the aftermath of a terrifying incident when a knife-carrying mentally disturbed veteran leaped the White House fence and made it inside an unlocked front door before being tackled by security, the Secret Service has a great new idea — lock the door!
White House, intruder, Secret Service, knife, fence
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2014-42-23
Tuesday, 23 Sep 2014 11:42 AM
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