I can’t take my eyes off the saga of White House fence-jumper Oscar Gonzalez for a minute, without the story running behind my back and breaking the furniture or piddling on the carpet. Today’s worsening of the story comes from the Washington Post, dispelling the impression you might have been given that Gonzalez was basically tackled in the front doorway. Nope – those statements from the Secret Service are, as the saying goes, no longer operative.
Now we learn the dude overpowered a Secret Service officer and ran amok through the main floor of the White House, kind of like Nightcrawler in the second “X-Men” movie, except he thankfully lacked the ability to teleport:
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 female 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 barrelling 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.
The House Oversight Committee is scheduled to hold meetings on the Secret Service’s misadventures tomorrow, including a spicy little tidbit published at the Washington Post over the weekend about how the White House security detail failed to notice bullet holes punched into the side of the building. (The Post gingerly avoids reminding readers that the incident happened during the Occupy Wall Street protests – one of the many crimes committed by a horde of totally unrelated rogues who just happened to infiltrate the noble and constructive Occupy movement.)
Evidently the full story of Oscar Gonzalez’ whirlwind tour of the executive mansion was leaked to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) of House Oversight by whistleblowers. I’m guessing one of Chaffetz’ questions at the hearing will be, “Why did I have to hear about this from whistleblowers?”