The Secret Service’s Open-Door Policy
By James Huang
The Secret Service looks like it has an open-door policy at the White House after two security scares in as many days.
The first is by far the most interesting, and the most embarrassing for the Secret Service. It involves an Army veteran who vaulted over the fence and prompted an evacuation of the White House. A second man was charged the next day after he pulled up to a non-public entrance in his car and refused to leave.
In the first case, federal prosecutors said Omar Gonzalez, 42, jumped the White House fence and raced into the front door before he was apprehended. He was carrying a small pocket knife and, apparently a message for the president about global warming. Later, authorities said they found two hatchets, a machete and 800 rounds of ammunition in his car.
Gonzalez’s relatives say he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from his tours of duty in Iraq. That fits nicely with the “lone nut” category of White House crashers that’s often brought up by the authorities to explain such incidents. The Secret Service has already launched an investigation into itself as the result of breach, a process that’s produced the Secret Service’s self-described squeaky-clean image.
Here’s a fascinating tidbit from the Gonzalez arraignment: he was stopped outside the White House in August while carrying a hatchet in his waistband. He was just let go. That’s despite the fact he was arrested in July in Virginia after leading police on a chase. Guess what was found in his car then? Among other things, a sawed-off shotgun and a map of Washington with the White House circled.
How is it Gonzalez got anywhere near the White House at all after those two incidents? That’s a story we’d love to hear.
Read the rest here: http://whowhatwhy.com/2014/09/22/the-secret-services-open-door-policy/#sthash.AR9y3PI5.dpuf