WTF Secret Service?

We all heard about the White House fence jumper who made it just inside the front doors, that turned out to be a veteran on anti-depressants, possibly with PTSD, a gimpy foot, and rambling about the atmosphere collapsing.  In the days that followed, we learned that he had all kinds of ammo & weaponry in his car, and that he had been stopped multiple times before, including one time in VA with a shotgun & a map of the White House. We even learned that the Secret Service had been notified about him.

But as shocking as all of that was, we learned yesterday that Omar Gonzalez got much farther than previously admitted.  He got all the way to the southern wall in the East Room.  Here’s a map courtesy of the Washington Post:

Jumper's Route From the Washington Post

So… This dude with a gimpy foot managed to hop the fence, run across the yard, get in the front door, overpower a guard, turn the corner, and get to the southern end of the East Room.  Really Secret Service? really-amy-poehlerReally?

Then we learn that the White House Usher staff had the alarm box inside the front door muted, supposedly because the alarm kept sounding off randomly.  So rather than get the alarm fixed, we just turned down the volume.  Really Secret Service? Really?

Chaffetz said he plans to ask Pierson how an alarm meant to alert officers to intruders could be silenced or turned down. The congressman said two people inside the agency told him that boxes were silenced because the White House usher staff, whose office is near the front door, complained that they were noisy. A Secret Service official told The Post that the usher’s office was concerned the boxes were frequently malfunctioning and unnecessarily sounding off.

“If true, the fact that crash boxes were muted to avoid being ‘disruptive’ is not due to a lack of resources or an insufficient number of checkpoints or barriers,” Chaffetz said.

He called the incident a “failure of leadership” by the Secret Service.

“The agency needs a solution that goes deeper than more fences and more people,” Chaffetz said. “It must examine what message is being sent to the men and women who protect the president when their leader sacrifices security to appease superficial concerns of White House ushers.” (WaPo)

This is flaming ridiculous.  I don’t care who is in the White House. Columbian hookers  aside, this kind of lapse in security is unforgivable.  If Gonzalez had been wearing a suicide vest, we’d be talking about a terror attack INSIDE the White House.

But you know what? Maybe we should go easy on the Secret Service. They all probably have contact highs from hanging with President Choom Gang.

Where is the Justice?

2013-911

I have written often of the tale of my own personal experience on that fateful day, September 11, 2001.  Today on twitter, President GW Bush’s aide Ari Fleischer shared his remembrances of that day. Circa Storified it all, to make it easier to read through.  Do it.  Read through it, and remember why we must never forget.

And while you are remember the almost 3,000 Americans who died in 2001, pause to remember the 4 Americans who died in an attack on our embassy in Lybia just last year, on September 11, 2012.  Remember Ambassador Chris Stevens, Diplomat Sean Smith, and the two former Navy Seals who ignored orders to stand down and charged in to rescue the folks at the embassy, Tyrone Woods & Glen Doherty.  Take a minute to ask yourself, why don’t we have answers yet? Why is a videographer STILL in jail, when it has been proven that his video did NOT contribute to this?  Why has the administration stonewalled Congress’s attempts to get to the bottom of this?  And just who gave the order to muzzle the survivors?

Never forget that we are still America.  One Nation, Under God.  Indivisible.  And that we are a nation that strives for Justice for All.

Free Security to Iran Air is For Our Own Safety

There has been ALOT of outrage circling the web over the Iranian President’s aircraft being allowed to park at Andrew’s Air Force Base and given free security from our military personnel.  Unfortunately, most of the people upset about this do not seem to realize the OPSEC (Operational Security), Homeland Security, or even Foreign Policy reasons for doing this.

Think about it. The President of Iran, Mahmoud Imadinnerjacket, lands in the US to attend the UN meeting.  Several scenarios are possible.

Iranian Air at AAFB#1 – The US does NOT offer him secure parking for his jet.  Someone nefarious sneaks on the plane and plants a bomb. Shortly after take-off, the jet explodes. The US is blamed for the assassination, no matter who is ultimately responsible because the jet was not secure. Foreign Policy Fail.

#2 – With no one keeping eyes on the Iranian jet, someone nefarious sneaks off the plane and disappears into the crowd.  Days/weeks/months/years later, someplace in America goes ka-boom. Security Fail.

#3 – We allow Imadinnerjacket to park at the military base, but we will charge him for it. He declines, leaves his jet at an exposed airport. See #1 & 2. Fail.

#4 – We tell Imadinnerjacket that we will charge him for providing security to his jet. He declines, and brings his own security team. Iranian security on American soil? Can we trust them? Can we trust that they won’t let someone nefarious sneak out to become a sleeper cell and wreak havoc and destruction on the US?  No.  Security Fail.

I could go on, and on. The truth is, if people would stop and think rationally about the situation, they’d realize that providing free parking and security to the Iranian jet is more about keeping the US safe than him.

If you think I’m a crazy conspiracy theorist here, my theory is backed up by a 2006 article at ABC:

Sources tell ABC News that Ahmadinejad’s “Iran Air” jet is considered a “high-value target” and an “enemy jet.” As such it has been stationed at the secure Air Force Base where a security perimeter has been set up to keep an eye on the plane.

The fact that this is purely for security reasons is also reiterated in a current Washington Post story:

“Normally their aircraft will drop off the heads of state at the given location and they’ll position here and wait until the summit ends,” she said. “It’s for security in general. It’s easier to provide security on an Air Force installation for any foreign aircraft than it is at a commercial airport.”

So there you have it folks. It’s all about OPSEC, for US, not him.