Fired Secret Service head was more delusional than you think

The former head of the Secret Service, Julia Pierson, has overseen an agency whose performance can be generously categorized as “wildly incompetent”.

Two enormous security breaches, from allowing President Obama to ride an elevator with an armed ex-felon to a deranged man penetrating the White House, have raised serious questions about the efficacy of the Secret Service to handle threats against the President.

Pierson was Chief of Staff to the prior head of the Secret Service, “who oversaw the prostitution scandal in Colombia and the 2011 fiasco in which the agency covered up the fact that shots were fired at the White House”. So we’re not exactly dealing with an outsider who either didn’t know the agency or who was unaware of prior incompetence.

In the spring, Pierson was irate at what she considered the excessive security measures her team had planned for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which Obama hosted this summer, demanding that it dismantle extra layers of fencing and reopen closed streets, according to two agency supervisors. Supervisors who had mapped out the security plan said they were taken aback when Pierson, who worked during high school at Walt Disney World as a costumed character and park attendant, said: “We need to be more like Disney World. We need to be more friendly, inviting.”…

This is the Secret Service. Not a bunch of mall cops. Embarrassingly, Pierson wanted this culture to prevail at the Secret Service who has one job and one job only: protect the life of the President of the United States, no matter the cost.

[T]his week, Pierson personally ordered that a downtown Washington street be left open near a hotel where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was staying. Secret Service teams have insisted on the closure for years because Netanyahu is considered one of the most sought-after international targets. But the director agreed to changes because of D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s concern that the street’s closure during an earlier visit caused severe gridlock, said a spokesman for Gray (D).

As AllahPundit at HotAir notes:

Imagine if jihadis had sprung a trap on Bibi Netanyahu in downtown D.C. made possible by the fact that Pierson had told underlings she wanted the agency to be more “inviting.” WaPo doesn’t say so, but I wonder if that’s also why the alarm boxes inside the White House, which reportedly annoyed the ushers there, were muted. Come to think of it, I wonder if that’s why agents opted not to fire at Gonzalez while he was barreling towards and ultimately through the White House.

This isn’t a Sum of All Fears situation either. These are tiny pinholes–a street opening, muted alarms–which would be brought up in an emergency Congressional hearing in the wake of, God forbid, a dead foreign leader or president.

The Secret Service is one of the government agencies that should always, always be above politics.

They have a single job.

They must not waver from that job.

If we’re going to be stupid and make them a political agency, then taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for them. Let PACs and campaign fundraising operations pay for private contractors to protect their candidates in office.


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