The Secret Service, a protective element of government law enforcement assigned the responsibility of assuring the President, and his family, as well as past presidents and their families, remains safe and unharmed has failed miserably. Now it’s being learned there appears to be a systemic breakdown; a breakdown not merely of the procedural elements used daily to protect, but more a breakdown of the underlying culture needing to be solid and unyielding in its strength and integrity.
I’m not pinging on the Secret Service, an element of law enforcement with a long (and up until this point) possessed and exemplary track record of protection. I’m pinging on a now bloated and stumbling agency apparently getting in its own way as it tries to eat as much budget as it can lest it have less apportioned to it in the future.
Over the last few decades we’ve come to rely on technology more and more where we’d be better served by using our senses to detect, address attention to a problem and combat the issue with human actions. This will assure they get the job done as opposed to waiting for some “twidget” (techie dude[tte]) to invent a one-size-fits-all gadget to solve the problem.
As taken from the official website of the Secret Service we understand the goals of the organization:
VISION STATEMENT: The vision of the United States Secret Service is to uphold the tradition of excellence in its investigative and protective mission through a dedicated, highly-trained, diverse, partner-oriented workforce that employs progressive technology and promotes professionalism.
MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of the United States Secret Service is to safeguard the nation’s financial infrastructure and payment systems to preserve the integrity of the economy, and to protect national leaders, visiting heads of state and government, designated sites and National Special Security Events.
People with evil intent need no great stockpile of munitions to conduct their nefarious deeds. On September 11th, 2001, men armed with box cutters and the fanatical zeal of their theocracy brought down powerful symbols of the western financial and social exceptionalism. The first thing done to combat the problem was to launch technology to shoot down any possible imitator enroute to the area.
If individual officers did a better and more specific inspection of the people boarding those planes there might not have been an attack. If technology wasn’t relied upon as the “sure” deterrent it was expected to be, weapons might not have escaped detection and thousands of lives might not have been lost. If the Israeli program of specifically questioning and developing human intelligence from the person directly in front of the questioner; a person trained and charged with reading body language, physical cues and conversational indicators, we might better stop aggressors before they can accomplish their goals. The human element wins.
The government’s main drive is to control and contain anything involving human contact. Government depersonalizes its contact with the average citizen out of a weird sense of “Political Correctness”. If a scanner can denude you without touching you then you don’t need to frisk people. If metal detectors can detect weapons and sharp objects you don’t need to worry. Of course non- metallic, possibly ceramic/plastic technology can produce weapons as deadly as any razor.
White House integrity was violated because an employee with some kind of stature didn’t like the alarm’s volume and the stridency of its tone. He had the alarm turned down. The front door was unlocked. There was no agent inside of the door to stop an intruder. An ex-con felon, armed with a pistol and working as an armed security guard was allowed to enter the elevator with the president without being challenged until he made a spectacle of himself taking video of the event.
None of these screw-ups needed a technological widget to stop the action. It required a highly trained security specialist to do his job and stop the contact.
The “fence-jumpers” are the human equivalent of box-cutter carrying hijackers. The Secret Service agent not using his weapon to stop the latest assailant armed with a knife to get past him and enter the White House would seem to be unsuited for the post. If he can’t instantly analyze, make a judgment and direct fire to protect the president as he’s been trained to do; he needs to be disciplined for dereliction of his duty, reassigned and/or terminated.
I’m a retired cop. I don’t make this suggestion to sanction another law enforcement operative lightly. But, no person should be allowed into close proximity to the president or those close to him without being challenged forcefully and with the intent to neutralize the threat terminally if the need arises. Crowds need to be controlled/avoided. The president needs to be aware he is the representative of all the people and not just those he thinks can be useful for him and his party financially.
He too needs to be put in his place on this issue.
This political correctness will be the end of us if we’re not careful, because if we lose out highest leadership (such as it is) we become no more than a tribe threatened by the lowest common denominator.
Thanks for listening.