Bug or feature?

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I know from having read about the Secret Service agents who worked with Clinton that a lot of these guys are wingnuts. So I’m really beginning to wonder if some of them haven’t decided to be incompetent on purpose:

A security contractor with a gun and three prior convictions for assault and battery was allowed on an elevator with President Obama during a Sept. 16 trip to Atlanta, violating Secret Service protocols, according to three people familiar with the incident.

Obama was not told about the lapse in his security, these people said. The Secret Service director, Julia Pierson, asked a top agency manager to look into the matter but did not refer it to an investigative unit that was created to review violations of protocol and standards, according to two people familiar with the handling of the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The incident, which took place when Obama visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss the U.S. response to the Ebola crisis, rattled Secret Service agents assigned to the president’s protective detail.

The private contractor first aroused the agents’ concerns when he acted oddly and did not comply with their orders to stop using a cellphone camera to record the president in the elevator, according to the people familiar with the incident.

When the elevator opened, Obama left with most of his Secret Service detail. Some agents stayed behind to question the man and then used a national database check that turned up his criminal history.

There were some heated moments Tuesday when Secret Service Director Julia Pierson testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about two security breaches at the White House, one in 2011 and one less than two weeks ago. (Sarah Parnass/The Washington Post)
When a supervisor from the firm providing security at the CDC approached and discovered the agents’ concerns, the contractor was fired on the spot. Then the contractor agreed to turn over his gun — surprising agents, who had not realized that he was armed during his encounter with Obama.

Extensive screening is supposed to keep people with weapons or criminal histories out of arm’s reach of the president. But it appears that this man, possessing a gun, came within inches of the president after undergoing no such screening.

H/t to Nicole Naum.

2 thoughts on “Bug or feature?

  1. An audio tape exists of Nixon asking Haldeman to assign a couple of “friendly” secret service agents guard Ted Kennedy. Haldeman tells Nixon that he knows a few who would do anything for Nixon up to and including “kill for him.” Nixon tells Haldeman to “get right on that.” The Secret Service (SS) was had serious problems since it was taken from the Treasury Department and given to the Homeland Security Department under Bush, and since the incumbents in Congress began cutting its budget. Before the era of austerity and the war against the 99% was ramped up in 2001.

  2. Ever hear of Occam’s Razor? Or more colloquially, the duck test: it looks like, quacks like, and walks like, a duck — it’s a duck.

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