Tags: Barack Obama | Emerging Threats | Homeland Security | ISIS/Islamic State | War on Terrorism | isis | qaida

White House Breaches Threaten US Security

Image: White House Breaches Threaten US Security
A member of the US Secret Service and his service dog patrol the sidewalk in front of the White House. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 02 Oct 2014 11:15 AM

The U.S. Secret Service gets an "F" for failing to protect the president, our commander in chief. While I'm at it, Congress gets an “F” as well, for holding a public hearing on this matter.

Why are we airing our own security breaches on international television when we know ISIS, al-Qaida, domestic terrorists and anyone else plotting the demise of the United States is watching?

I understand the transparency issues, and First Amendment rights, but at a time when there has never been a greater threat to the security of our homeland, and operatives and/or sympathizers of ISIS have been close enough to take photos of the White House, and then threaten to replace the American flag with theirs, do we really need to give our enemies the blueprint of how to successfully get into the White House and kill the president?

This makes no sense.

A hearing was absolutely necessary, but it should never have been public. This is just common sense.

A jail or prison has intruder alarms on fences that go off if anything larger than a duck touches them. Intelligent video surveillance capability is readily available that immediately alerts a control center if anything larger than a cat penetrates an area that is being monitored.

Doesn't the White House have this?

Our commander in chief deserves the very best security equipment that money can buy and that equipment must be at peak performance at all times as should be the men and women who risk their lives to protect the president.

What’s frightening to me is that one mentally deranged man made it over the fence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. with a pocketknife and to the door of the White House, which was unlocked. The door to the White House wasn't locked . . . are you kidding me? And someone silenced the alarm because it was too noisy?

I can’t get into my daughter’s middle school without getting identified and electronically buzzed in — not once, but twice. How was that door at the White House of all places left unlocked and who was responsible?

This time the intruder was just one man, but what if he hadn't been alone? What if there were five or 10 Islamic extremist maniacs with firearms and explosives? I dread the thought of the outcome.

Every member of that House of Representatives committee is aware of the threats we face from ISIS and other radical Islamic terror groups, not to mention others who hate the president. Mr. Obama averages 30 threats per day, and those are the ones we know about.

It’s the ones we don’t know about that really scare me.

And what lapse in judgment allowed an armed security contractor with a criminal record to be on an elevator in Atlanta with the president? How did this man, possessing a gun and using his cellphone to film his elevator ride with Obama, get within inches of the president?

Again, this makes no sense.

These breaches point to failures of leadership of epic proportions, both in the Secret Service and Congress.

Julia Pierson, the director of the Secret Service, had the opportunity of a lifetime. She assumed that position in the aftermath of what many thought were some of the most scandalous events in Secret Service history.

Instead of cleaning house, creating accountability, enhancing morale, and ensuring no more screw-ups, she's done worse than nothing. She let down the president and our country. She was right to resign.

In addition, any government executive with common sense knows that you don’t cut funding for basic security needs and public safety, and yet there are plenty in Congress who ignore that rule.

The continued cuts in both the plain clothes and uniformed Secret Service is another slap in the face to the office of the president . . . and to all Americans. It has also demoralized the men and women in the Secret Service and diminished their ability to do the jobs they were sworn to do.

It is of utmost importance for our government to protect the life of the president of the United States — the occupier of The White House, the commander in chief of our armed forces. That responsibility cannot be shirked — ever.

No matter what the cost for manpower, resources, training and equipment, that funding must be appropriated and used wisely.

We must right this wrong immediately or risk the consequences. These failures in security and in leadership have caused us major embarrassment both here in the United States and abroad. We must learn — and fast — from these mistakes.

They reflect issues that must be fixed, and fixed now. We don’t have time to waste, particularly since we broadcast to our enemies exactly where our flaws and failures have been. Our enemies have likely already revised their battle plans based on the information we gave them!

With Pearson's resignation comes an opportunity for the next director of the Secret Service to turn the agency into the one it is supposed to be. It will require an in-depth review, from top to bottom, of policies, procedures, training, resources and manpower.

Anyone not up to standards will have to be moved out and those that are aggressive, hungry, confident and willing to put the time and effort into the job have to be moved up. There are plenty of uniformed agents vying for plain clothed spots that should be considered.

The House and Senate must understand that there can be no limits when it comes to the security for the White House and president. Short staffing, outdated equipment and technology, and a lack of resources are absolutely unacceptable.

The new interim director, Joe Clancy, has to lead from within. The men and women in the United States Secret Service have one of the toughest jobs in the world and they should be treated like the professionals that they are.

They must be inspired and motivated to do a job that most would not have the courage to do. They have to be promoted when deserving and held accountable for their mistakes. When it comes to security for the White House and the president, there is no compromise.

Clancy has his work cut out for him. With his extensive experience as head of the Secret Service's presidential protection division until 2011, he knows the issues. The questions are these: Will he demand — and get — all the support he needs to make the U.S. Secret Service a top-notch agency once again?

Will he provide the leadership deserved by the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect the president and his family, along with other government leaders and visiting dignitaries? Will he work with others to ensure we stop telegraphing our security weaknesses to our enemies?

We must demand the best from those entrusted with the life of our president as well as our leaders who support, fund and hold accountable the U.S. Secret Service. We must give them everything they need to be successful. Nothing less will do for their success is America's success.

And succeed we must. Failure is not an option.


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Why are we airing our own security breaches on international television when we know ISIS, al-Qaida, domestic terrorists and anyone else plotting the demise of the United States is watching?
isis, qaida, terrorists, obama
1190
2014-15-02
Thursday, 02 Oct 2014 11:15 AM
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