Sympathy For The Secret Service

I recently wrote and posted a partly satirical column in which I rambled on at length, too long probably, about the series of gross failures on the part of the U.S. Secret Service which came to light during the last couple of weeks.  It turns out I have a bit more to say on the subject.

The surprisingly harsh, bi-partisan public exposure of the presidential security breaches in the media, and before a howling and baying congressional inquest panel of bloodhounds (starring the always ruthlessly excellent Rep. Trey Gowdy) resulted in the immediate resignation of the Secret Service’s apparently incompetent first-ever female director.

I’m glad Julia Pierson resigned, and I rather begrudgingly respect her for doing so.  While I loathe the idea that she was promoted into her position mainly because she is not a man, at least she had the honor and decency, in the final analysis, to end the charade when it was so painfully obvious that the jig was up (unlike just about every other bureaucrat piece of criminal filth in the Obama administration).  If nothing else, she demonstrated some degree of genuine leadership by actually taking full responsibility for what were some really glaring operational breakdowns, and she fell on her sword.

Having said all that, I have to just cut to the bone about the actual matter of doing security and protective work at that high level and scope.  I write from direct and prolonged personal experience in presidential and cabinet-level protection work.  I’ve worked literally side-by-side with both uniformed and plainclothed Secret Service members over the years.

The Secret Service, really, have an almost impossible job, to begin with.  While the appalling lapses which were brought up in the media, before congress, and in my own article from a few days ago are unacceptable and inexcusable, I have to go on record saying that incidents like them are really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how badly and how often things can go wrong when mere mortal human beings are tasked with securing high-profile protectees, where so many often rapidly changing variables and fluid rules of engagement are brought into play.

Protective officers and agents are expected to endure periods of seemingly endless boredom without losing their focus, then to react with lightning precision, omniscience, and omnipresence to threats, both perceived and actual, in environments where the seething masses of the public, from all quarters, are to be afforded at least some amount of access to their government leaders.  It is simply a recipe for something always to go wrong, somehow, somewhere.  Such hazards come with the territory, as they say.  The objective becomes to mitigate the unnecessary exposure to the extent possible; manage the risk, and sweep the smaller stuff ‘under the rug’ so as not to get hung up on every single instance of some procedure not being followed to the letter, every single missed handbag or unsecured doorway discovered, as the itinerary shifts again and more names are added to the access list, and so on.

There simply is no such thing as 100% fail-safe security.  One can become obsessive-compulsive to the extreme, but it simply boils down to managing and coping with risk and with whatever calculated degree of uncertainty.  Especially when things are changing on the fly and dozens of stressed-out, ego-driven decision makers are chiming in and climbing over each other on the radio net with barked orders and counter-commands.  Trust me, protocol often goes out the window, just because.  You name the circumstance.

On top of all that, add to the aggravation endured by what I know for a fact are large numbers of Secret Service staff that for the last six years have had to decide on a daily basis whether they can stomach even suiting up to protect, or even pretend to care about protecting, the illegitimate, subversive imposter and his enemies-of-America minions who scammed their way to power in 2008.  I personally know and know of former Secret Service members who quit rather than guard these 5th-column scum.  The agency’s manpower shortages have created ridiculously atrocious working conditions for those that remain on the job.  I wouldn’t do it–not under this piece of garbage usurper–not for one minute, and not for a million dollars.  Well, maybe for a million dollars….ha.  I mean merely suit up, that is; I’m not saying I’d actually lift a finger to protect them in such a scenario–I’d just collect the payola until….you get the idea.

Does anyone remember the Secret Service dog who fell to his death from atop a 6-story parking garage in New Orleans back in January of 2013?  The dog had been helping to secure the area where Joe Biden was doing a fundraiser with democrat Senator Mary Landrieu.  At the time I said the poor dog just couldn’t take it anymore, and jumped.

Speaking of imposters, I’d be willing to bet that the public hasn’t learned of even a fraction of countless serious lapses in security around First Families over the decades.  We could go into a litany of past grave incidents under previous administrations.  However, the recent coagulation of revelations under this administration into a full-blown scandal of national crisis proportions is really the result of a snowball effect precipitated by last month’s intruder who had the gumption to crash and bash his way deep into the interior of the actual White House, and how the extent and exact details of that horrible breach were deliberately obscured, until the dam broke.

That incident triggered the full scrutiny of events throughout Obama’s two terms, going back to the permitting of the unvetted imposter couple, the Salahis, to attend a state dinner at the White House; the Columbia prostitution and drinking scandal; the unvetted, crazy, fake sign-language imposter guy at Nelson Mandela’s funeral; the numerous bullets fired into the upper residence area of the White House, and the complete bungling of that investigation; and finally the unvetted, armed, violent criminal allowed inside the elevator with Obama in Atlanta, combined with the multiple, recent fence-jumping intruders, showing that the entire Secret Service either itself needs a serious overhaul, or, its problems are merely symptomatic of the total lack of accountability in our government, and by extension, of a broader societal collapse.

So it’s a good sign that someone in this otherwise completely corrupt administration finally collapsed ‘on their sword’ instead of the usual perpetual CYA corruption and cronies covering for cronies.  That’s probably why I decided to write more on the topic.  I figure I owe it to the rank and file among the Secret Service who remain.  That is, the ones who are politically disloyal to this administration, and who have kept their fingers crossed whenever they don their duds, badge, and gear before each shift.

Hang in there, guys.  Just do what you have to do.  On second thought, better yet, do the right thing and resign.  At least until someone worth protecting comes along.  Don’t help these vermin.

 

Donald Joy

About the author, Donald Joy: Following his service in the United State Air Force, Donald Joy earned a bachelor of science in business administration from SUNY while serving in the army national guard. As a special deputy U.S. marshal, Don was on the protection detail for Attorney General John Ashcroft following the attacks of 9/11. He lives in the D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia with his wife and son. View all articles by Donald Joy

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