Tags: Barack Obama | Homeland Security | Ronald Kessler | Secret Service | Obama | author | dysfunction

Ronald Kessler: Secret Service Dysfunction a Threat to Obama

By    |   Friday, 13 Mar 2015 08:09 PM

The Secret Service under President Barack Obama has become so poorly run, "It really is a miracle that he hasn't been assassinated," says investigative writer Ronald Kessler, author of 2014's "The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents."

But Obama himself is prone to minimizing physical threats — to himself and to Americans in general — and needs to "wake up" before the increasingly dysfunctional agency sworn to protect him gets him killed, Kessler told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV on Friday.

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Kessler discussed two allegedly drunken senior Secret Service agents driving over an active crime scene investigation and then crashing into a White House security barrier on March 4.

He called it the latest in a string of troubling incidents, beginning with a couple in 2009 crashing a White House dinner, and he questioned why Obama continues to vouch for the agency — as he did again this week.

"The party crashers went prancing into the White House, and Obama said he had confidence in the Secret Service and did not replace the director," said Kessler. "Then we had the prostitution scandal … and he said the same thing, that he had confidence in the Secret Service.

"Then we had the intrusion at the White House in September, and he said the same thing — that he had full confidence in the Secret Service," said Kessler.

Then-Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned after the Sept. 19 intruder, Omar Gonzalez, breached several layers of security and ran deep into the White House before being apprehended.

Obama said this week that Pierson's replacement, Joseph Clancy, retains his confidence. But Kessler said the promise of change in Secret Service culture that accompanied Clancy's promotion "was a lot of B.S."

Kessler called the drinking-and-driving episode on Clancy's watch "outrageous — especially the fact that the supervisor overruled the uniformed officers to prevent them from making an arrest of these two agents and giving them a sobriety test."

Kessler said that Secret Service agents are "brave and dedicated — they'll take a bullet for the president.

"But it's the management, and the management culture, that has led to all these problems," he said

Compared to top FBI and CIA officials he's interviewed, some Secret Service managers he's encountered are "just pathetic," said Kessler.

He said Obama should have taken the recommendation of a panel that he appointed to hire an outsider — unlike Clancy — to run the agency after the intruder fiasco. Kessler said responsibility for fixing a broken Secret Service ultimately falls to whoever is the current occupant when trouble arises.

"He tends to minimize risk," Kessler said of the Obama. "You saw him say that ISIL or ISIS was a 'JV team.'"

In this instance, said Kessler, Obama continuing to vouch for the Secret Service is "not a political statement … He really is in denial about the danger to both himself and his family."

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The Secret Service under President Barack Obama has become so poorly run, "It really is a miracle that he hasn't been assassinated," says investigative writer Ronald Kessler, author of 2014's "The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents."
Ronald Kessler, Secret Service, Obama, author, dysfunction, problems, authority, in charge
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2015-09-13
Friday, 13 Mar 2015 08:09 PM
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