WASHINGTON (FinalCall.com) - For two solid weeks, even after disgraced agency chief Julia Pierson was forced to resign, the U.S. Secret Service—tasked by Congress after the 1901 assassination of William McKinley to protect the U.S. president, vice president and their families—dominated newspaper headlines, broadcast news coverage, and social media. The agency virtually melted down into what appeared to be a pool of incompetence, or worse.
The breaches of security around President Barack Obama—the most threatened commander-in-chief in U.S. history—and at the White House seemed inexplicable. “It will never happen again,” a grim Ms. Pierson told a House oversight committee which confronted her with reports that Army veteran Omar Gonzalez allegedly scaled the 7-foot-high, wrought iron fence on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the executive mansion, and penetrated deeper into the unlocked building than the agency first reported on Sept. 19 when the intrusion occurred.
Mr. Gonzalez apparently cleared the fence, ran across the 150-yard lawn through an unlocked front door, overpowered one officer, ran past an unguarded stairway leading to the First Family’s residence, and was finally subdued by an off-duty officer in the massive East Room, according to The Washington Post.
One day after her Capitol Hill testimony Ms. Pierson resigned, replaced on an interim basis by Joseph Clancy, who headed Mr. Obama’s first protective detail after he took office in 2009. But the flood of revelations of serious—even life threatening security breaches—continued to cascade into public view. [Read More]