Before Obama was elected president, there was a running joke in the black community.
Whenever someone was asked about the potential of ascending to the White House, the response was something along the lines of “No thanks. I enjoy living.”
There was a presumption that any black person who made it to POTUS status would surely be assassinated. So we breathed a collective sigh of relief when Obama’s 2009 inauguration went without incident, and he has even enjoyed a re-election to the top spot free of bullet wounds or shrapnel.
But the biggest threat to Obama as he comes to his final years in the White House is the Secret Service, the very people who are supposed to protect his life with their own. There have been at least seven publicly known instances of the Secret Service agents failing to do their jobs and putting President Obama and his family in danger.
The incompetence of the Secret Service during Obama’s administration is outrageous, terrifying and completely unacceptable.
The most recent incident involved an armed convicted felon being allowed to ride on an elevator with the president in Atlanta at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The man, a security contractor, refused to stop taking video with his phone when the Secret Service ordered him to do so. To make matters worse, the Secret Service didn’t even know the man was armed until he surrendered his gun to his employer, who fired him on the spot.
The Secret Service failed to do proper background checks beforehand, failed to perform a basic pat down of people at the facility and apparently they were unaware that there were armed contractors on the premises. It’s a fail on every level, and Obama is fortunate that the incident did not escalate into something far worse.
You get a pat down and at least a metal wand pass over when you go to certain nightclubs. Bodyguards for celebrities routinely clear out elevators so that the celebrities can ride in the elevators alone and unbothered. Why are pop stars getting better security than the President of the United States?
This disturbing incident occurred just three days before a knife wielding man scaled a fence, got inside the White House via an unlocked and unguarded door and was near Obama’s private quarters before he was finally apprehended.
The front door to the White House was unlocked.
Again, this is a basic security measure that any person with common sense takes on a regular basis. In 2011, it took the Secret Service FOUR DAYS to figure out that someone had shot at the White House. A maid discovered the broken glass and alerted authorities. The cleaning staff is doing a better job at protecting the president than the Secret Service.
The list of Secret Service fumbles means one of two things. One, there are terribly incompetent people employed by the Secret Service or two, these security snafus are not “mistakes,” but calculated breaches orchestrated by some unknown entity. These Secret Service missteps are giving a lot of fuel to conspiracy theorists. While Secret Service director Julia Pierson’s resignation is a start it won’t go far in easing anxiety.
Assuming that these various incidents have not involved the same Secret Service agents, there would seem to be a major problem in the ranks, in the training and in the leadership at the Secret Service. Heads need to roll, including hers.
In 2008, Obama became the first (and so far only) presidential candidate to be given a Secret Service detail due the high volume of credible threats lobbed at him. So not only should the Secret Service be doing their job as required, they should be going above and beyond the normal measures in order to properly address the threats to the Obama family and hence national security. Instead, the Secret Service has consistently failed Obama, and that is unacceptable. Nothing short of a Secret Service overhaul will rectify this situation.