We Are Not Paying for Secret Service's Screw-Up

The answer here is not more security measures: Petula Dvorak
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2014 1:44 PM CDT
We Are Not Paying for Secret Service's Screw-Up
A member of the Secret Service Uniformed Division looks out from the North Portico of the White House, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The crack "security gurus" of the Secret Service suffered another epic fail on Friday, and today the Washington Post was among media outlets reporting that the agency is considering extra security measures to prevent a recurrence. No, writes Petula Dvorak at the Post. Before we go "shutting down more public space, before frisking the law-abiding folks who only want a selfie in front of 1600 Pennsylvania, which, by the way, they own," why doesn't the Secret Service try something that most of us manage on a daily basis? "Lock. The. Doors." The knee-jerk answer to such a breach is always "fences, X-ray machines, magnometers, perimeters, and dizzying traffic patterns."

Instead, we need to look at doing "a better job of hiring and training Secret Service agents," Dvorak writes (see also: Cartagena and Amsterdam). "Agents are human. Some of them mess up. Let’s work on the professionalism of those without self-control." And finally, the real problem: The White House fence-jumper was a veteran with three tours in Iraq on his resume and PTSD. "The Secret Service would rather punish the public and cover the butts of the officials in charge of keeping the White House secure than see this veteran’s distress and help do something about it," she writes. Click for Dvorak's full column. (More Secret Service stories.)

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