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:
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?
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.