|There's a proper fence for a Head of State, but not perfect
The House Oversight committee will hold a hearing tomorrow to examine the White House intrusion incident of last week:
On Tuesday, September 30 at 10:00 a.m., the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will convene a hearing to examine the latest concerns regarding the U.S. Secret Service’s security protocols in light of the September 19, 2014, incident in which an armed intruder entered the North Portico of the White House. The Committee has invited Secret Service Director Julia Pierson to testify at the hearing. Chairman Issa released the following statement:
“The recent intrusion of an individual into the White House is the latest in a string of high profile incidents for the Secret Service. These significant security breaches reveal our weaknesses as well as our response capabilities to our nation’s enemies. I look forward to hearing from Secret Service Director Pierson, in light of scandals ranging from the Salahis to Cartagena, about what steps the agency is taking under her leadership to improve security and put an end to dangerous embarrassments.”
But you don't need to wait until tomorrow to get some quite interesting inside information about the incident, because Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) leaked the juicy details to the Washington Post today:
The man who jumped the White House fence this month and sprinted through the front door made it much farther into the building than previously known, overpowering one [female] Secret Service officer and running through much of the main floor, according to three people familiar with the incident.
An alarm box near the front entrance of the White House designed to alert guards to an intruder had been muted at what officers believed was a request of the usher’s office, said a Secret Service official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The officer posted inside the front door appeared to be delayed in learning that the intruder, Omar Gonzalez, was about to burst through. Officers are trained that, upon learning of an intruder on the grounds, often through the alarm boxes posted around the property, they must immediately lock the front door.
After barreling past the guard immediately inside the door, Gonzalez, who was carrying a knife, dashed past the stairway leading a half-flight up to the first family’s living quarters. He then ran into the 80-foot-long East Room, an ornate space often used for receptions or presidential addresses.
Gonzalez was tackled by a counter-assault agent at the far southern end of the East Room. The intruder reached the doorway to the Green Room, a parlor overlooking the South Lawn with artwork and antique furniture, according to three people familiar with the incident.
Well, well, well. All of that, plus the Secret Service's surprisingly lackadaisical response to a 2011 shooting incident, ought to make for a must-see hearing.