Wednesday, October 01, 2014

U.S. SECRET SERVICE - Not Protecting the President?

"Secret Service under scrutiny for White House security breach – Part 1" PBS NewsHour 9/29/2014


JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  The Secret Service is under scrutiny again for its handling of security of the first family.  The Washington Post reported late today that the recent fence-jumper made it farther into the White House than was previously disclosed, and even overpowered one Secret Service agent, this on top of a new report that showed a botched handling of a previous attack.

JOSH EARNEST, White House Press Secretary:  The president does retain confidence in the leadership of the Secret Service and in the men and women of the Secret Service.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  The White House found itself defending its defenders again today.  Press Secretary Josh Earnest addressed reports of an incident three years ago that could have put the first family in danger.

JOSH EARNEST:  What’s required in an environment like this is a security organization that is adept, that is nimble, and that can be constantly both reviewing and upgrading their posture as necessary.  That’s difficult work, but the president and first lady have confidence in the ability of the Secret Service to do it.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  The Washington Post reported Saturday that it took four days in November 2011 before the Secret Service realized a gunman had shot at and hit the White House seven times.  The president and first lady were away, but daughter Sasha and her grandmother were inside.

Reports of shots fired were not linked to the White House itself until a housekeeper spotted broken glass and a chunk of cement knocked loose by a bullet.  The shooter, Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, who’s from Idaho, fled the scene, but was later arrested and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

The new disclosures came only a few days after an Iraq war veteran jumped a fence, ran across the lawn and made it just inside the executive mansion.  Officials have since put up new barriers, keeping tourists and passers-by even farther away.

"Failures of White House security raises concern about Secret Service complacency – Part 2" PBS NewsHour 9/29/2014


SUMMARY:  How was Omar Gonzalez, the man who jumped the White House fence and ran into the mansion, able to breach every layer of security designed to keep intruders out?  Judy Woodruff speaks with Carol Leonnig of The Washington Post, who broke stories on the most recent threat, as well as how the Secret Service fumbled the investigation of a 2011 shooting at the White House.

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