Whatever else is going on at the Secret Service, they’ve got the Obama Administration scandal playbook down pat, which is really depressing.
1. Lie about what happened – They not only misled the public about how far Omar Gonzalez penetrated the White House, they apparently were less than forthcoming with Congress. According to CBS News, “a congressional official told the Associated Press that Senate Judiciary Committee staffers who were briefed a week after the incident by the Administration were never told how far Gonzalez made it into the building.” At today’s hearings, House Oversight chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) referred to the initial statement from the Secret Service as an “early false report.”
That’s putting it mildly. We went from an unarmed man who jumped the White House fence and got stopped at the front door to a man with a knife in his pocket penetrating the White House all the way to the Green Room, on a path that took him right past the stairs leading up to the First Family’s residence. (By a stroke of luck, they had left the White House just a few minutes before the intrusion.)
2. Dribble out the truth – Even after that “early false report” started to fall apart, the Secret Service kept as much of the truth under lock and key as possible. We only know that Gonzalez was able to overpower one of the Secret Service agents in his path because a whistleblower told Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) about it. And only after the hearings were well under way did we learn the amazing detail, not provided willingly by Secret Service director Julia Pierson voluntarily through testimony, that Gonzalez was stopped by an off-duty Secret Service agent from the Obama daughters’ security detail. If not for the lucky coincidence of that agent running into Gonzalez, there’s no telling how long he would have run amok.
3. Congratulate themselves on a job well done – After the incident was first reporter, the Secret Service issued a statement congratulating itself for using “tremendous restraint” in taking Gonzalez down without injuring him. Rep. Chaffetz hammered Pierson about that during today’s hearings. “Tremendous restraint is not what we’re looking for,” Chaffetz pointed out. “It sends a very mixed message. The message should be overwhelming force.”
Chaffetz added there’s no way to tell what an intruder is carrying under his clothing, so all potential White House intruders “need to know that they are perhaps going to be killed – that’s the message we should be sending every single time.”
4. Meaningless declarations about taking responsibility – Pierson changed the magic words, “I take full responsibility – what happened is unacceptable and it will never happen again.” That means nothing unless followed by, “… and that is why I am resigning my position, effective immediately.” But nobody in Washington ever does that during the Age of Obama, do they? Maybe next we’ll hear the Incompetence Defense: Pierson will say there’s no way she could keep tabs on everyone working beneath her, so she shouldn’t be fired. I’ll award bonus style points if she uses Attorney General Eric Holder’s excuse about not reading his mail.
5. Blame failures on insufficient funding – oh, yes, Pierson went there. She said the Secret Service is “close to 550 employees below our optimal level.” Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton naturally jumped in and blamed this on… the sequestration spending reductions from the Budget Control Act of 2011. No matter how much money we allow our lavishly funded, deficit-fueled mega-government to spend… no matter how many swanky parties the GSA throws, how many “Star Trek” training videos the IRS creates, no matter how high on the hog the Ruling Class lives, or how many of its attendants swarm through the palatial headquarters of billion-dollar agencies full of waste, redundancy, and graft, nobody ever has enough money to handle the core functions of their jobs.
The only things left from this farce would be blaming Gonzalez’ actions on a YouTube video, blaming the degradation of Secret Service performance on George Bush, or sending out some flacks to declare the whole thing an “old story” that only Fox News cares about.