Being protected by the Secret Service doesn't always mean you're safe.
An armed felon was allowed to share an elevator with the President during his September 16, 2014, visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. The felon had been hired by the CDCs private security firm. He was outed when he refused Secret Service requests to stop videoing the President with his phone. Agents were surprised when, after the guard was fired on the spot, he turned over his service weapon. They hadn't known he was armed. The Secret Service had done no background check on him, nor run him through a magnetometer a sophisticated type of metal detector. The top brass at the Secret Service told agents on the ground not to write up the incident, in an apparent attempt at a cover up.
While doing advance security work for a presidential visit to Cartagena, Colombia, The Secret Service, went clubbing, got drunk and decided to see if they could make it with the local talent. In the morning, one of the agents decided not to pay his 800 hooker bill. Police were called. This 2012 embarrassment saw Secret Service agents sent home. Nine lost their jobs.
On September 19, 2014, 42-year-old Omar J. Gonzalez, jumped the White House fence, ran across the yard, swung open the unlocked north portico doors and made it all the way to the East Room, where the President held an event earlier in the day. To get that far, the Iraq War vet with PTSD outran several agents and knocked one female agent out of the way. The White House locks its door now.
Remember the goofy sign language interpreter at the memorial for the late South African leader? The interpreter, whose gesticulating was quickly outed as a fraud, actually had criminal charges including murder, kidnapping and rape. That man was allowed to stand within four feet of President Obama at the event. In fact, according to a book about the Secret Service, not one of the thousands of people who came to the service held at a packed soccer stadium was put through a magnetometer, had their bags checked or subjected to a pat down, even though several world leaders were in attendance.
It was quite a splash for the new stars of the reality TV series The Real Housewives of D.C. Tareq and Michaele Salahi, along with a gossip columnist, talked their way past several security checks and into the Obamas first state dinner in 2009.
In November of 2011, a report came in from a Secret Service agent on the White House grounds that shots were fired. The claim was run up the flagpole, no one saluted, a stand down order was given and the issue was forgotten.Until four days later, when a housekeeper discovered broken glass, and the Secret Service figured out a high powered rifle was used to take a shot at the First Family. President and Mrs. Obama were gone, but Marian Robinson the First Lady's mother and one of the Obama girls were in the family residence. The case didn't go down very well with Congress.
Thursday, May 07, 2015
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