There are snipers on the White House roof.
Forget teams of fences, dogs, pressure-triggered alarms, or roving bands of secret agents. We have snipers.
Can you imagine the conversations those snipers have when some yahoo hops a barrier and makes a run at the front door? Because that happened again today. Twice.
Via the Daily Mail:
On Sunday night, an unnamed suspect stepped over a bike rack situated outside the White House fence. The bike racks were installed last year following a high-profile fence-jumping incident that involved an Army veteran armed with a knife. Early Monday morning, another person attempted to walk through a gate while a construction crew were leaving.
According to NBC, both men were taken into custody, and the Secret Service has given the all-clear at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The agency has been tight-lipped about the two breaches, which are now under investigation. The suspects have not been named.
The bike rack-jumping incident took place at around 11.30pm Sunday near the southwest corner of the presidential residence, reported MyFox DC. The male suspect was arrested and charged with unlawful entry. The breach led to a 30-minute lockdown at the White House.
Just before 7am Monday, another man allegedly tried to walk into a pedestrian entrance as construction workers were leaving the area. A Secret Service agent stopped the intruder in his tracks and arrested him after a brief confrontation. The White House was placed on another lockdown that lasted only a few minutes following the second incident.
At least neither of these guys made it through the front door. Back in September, knife-wielding Omar Gonzalez became the first person in modern memory to make it over the fence and into the building. Thank God nothing was happening in the East Room—Gonzalez made it all the way to the far side before agents finally caught up to him.
The recent breaches in White House security and their subsequent scandals have led to firings and resignations, but no one has yet answered the question that seems to be sailing over everyone’s head. How?
The new director of the Secret Service is at least trying to answer that question:
The new director of the Secret Service says his agency is working to “regain the trust” of the public after a series of security breaches.
“We have not received an unfair rap,” Director Joseph Clancy said in an interview aired on ABC’s This Week.”I think when you fail, and we have failed, we own it. Now, it’s up to us to correct it.”
Problems have included the 2012 prostitution scandal in Colombia. In September, a man who had jumped the White House fence managed to make his way inside the executive mansion.
Then, last month, a small unmanned drone crashed onto the White House grounds in the pre-dawn hours, an incident that drew “very specific questions” from Obama, according to Clancy.
“He wanted to know what happened,” Clancy told ABC News. “But he has faith in the work that we’re doing.”
Indeed, Clancy said no one should try to breach White House security anytime soon.
“I wouldn’t suggest it,” he said.
They’re also ramping up security, but it sounds like it’s going to be a process:
“We’ve got to do a better job of mentoring, coaching, teaching, and training our people,” he said. “[And] if we can build up our staffing, it will allow us to get more people out to training. With that, as we get more people trained, it’ll help our morale.”
As for the fence, Clancy said he is “very anxious” to make it taller, but that is “a long-term process.” So in the meantime, the Secret Service is planning to implement a series of interim enhancements, including “additional features” atop the fence, according to Clancy.
Those changes will be in place in the “near future,” he said, without offering any more details about the planned enhancements.
The need for a taller fence and better training is only growing, Clancy indicated. In recent years, the Secret Service has seen what he called “a large number” of people, many with some form of mental illness, coming to the White House or Capitol looking to air their grievances.
“That’s where our people have to be so well-trained,” he said. “You have to be able to distinguish those that have some mental illness and need help, and those who really have a desire to cause harm. So our people have to show great restraint, but also a great expertise in how to handle these.”
We put a man on the moon, but we’ve had to sacrifice a Secret Service director in the attempt to prevent men from jumping over a fence. Something’s not adding up—and we’re not the only ones who have noticed that. I guarantee it.
The Daily Mail has a great history of recent White House breaches here.DONATE
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