As news of yet another security breach at the White House, potentially putting the lives of the the President of the United States and the First Family in jeopardy is revealed, Kessler says that "an assassination could happen pretty easily."
Earlier this summer, Secret Service (SS) came under fire for being too lax when a broken window was found by a staff member, that later revealed the White House had been shot at several times by one Oscar Ortega -- (see also Michelle Obama furious over Ortega event).
The latest security lapse came when it was revealed that a knife-wielding Omar J. Gonzalez jumped the White House fence, in broad day light, bolted up the front lawn, into the front doors and into the East Room before he was even subdued.
How did this happen? When we visit the White House as media members we see armed, military-styled men carrying Rambo-like weaponry walking the perimeter, hiding behind trees, sitting in SUVs, giving the notion that all is, well, "secure". So, how could Secret Service not see a guy jump a fence and make a run for the White House?
Is anyone viewing/monitoring the White House cameras? ARE there White House cameras around the ENTIRE perimeter of the building? Does anyone think there should be? Have you ever heard of anyone rushing the gates of the residence of any other world leader, without consequences to the perpetrator, or those in charge of security detail?
The head of Secret Service, Julia Pierson, testified (nonchalantly, we'd like to point out) on Capitol Hill this week saying the usual things folks say when they are in hot water while sitting in front of the firing squad that is the MOC (members of Congress), saying, "We take full responsibility", we are "looking further into this." Her passive responsiveness leads a firestorm from those who think heads should roll within the hierarchy of the Secret Service; from the boots on the ground personnel, to the top person in charge. As it should be.
Remember when poor, defenseless, Desirée Rodgers was relieved of her duties as White House Social Secretary when it was revealed that somehow the very questionable Michaele and Tareq Salahi couple entered into the White House and attended a state dinner, took pictures with the Vice President, and sat very close to the First Couple, without even being on the guest list? People thought that episode was a major breach of security. Then, shortly after we heard reports that SS was drunk on the job while the president visited Cartagena, Columbia in 2012.
Is race a factor?
When callers into talk shows mention their theory on whether the questionable security measures would happen had the president not been African American, or what if the perpetrators been African American, people scoff at the notion.
Said Kessler, "Look, I wish we could just take the color of a person's skin and race out of this", he says.
Yet one has to ask why wasn't Gonzalez taken down by SS when he was oh, so close, to home? Capital Hill police certainly didn't have to think much about shooting and killing Miriam Carey, the women who drove through barriers around Capitol Hill.
And surely, one can point out that even regular cops shoot, and kill, unarmed Black men for seemingly driving, walking, and just being Black; yet the Secret Service, tasked with protecting the leader of the free world, and his family, failed to shoot a lunatic charging the White House?
Said Kessler, "He could have been armed with explosives. He could have been carrying weapons of mass destruction." Adding,"Obama's life is at risk."
We'd like to point out that both men who recently made attempts at the White House are Latino. Latinos are fearful of the current policy on immigration. Could this be a factor, then, Mr. Kessler?
Still even more amazing, perhaps, is that with the maelstom surrounding protecting the Commander-In-Chief, the CIC says he has "full confidence" in the United States Secret Service, as was discussed by White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, in his daily briefing here, and especially here.
"Let me also say that providing security at the White House is complicated business", said Earnest.
Indeed it is. Indeed it is. But keeping the president safe, should never be.
**Update** Secret Service Director Julia Pierson has resigned; resignation accepted by Homeland Security's Jeh Johnson. Joe Clancy possible replacement.
Comment from the White House praises Pierson's 25 year career with Secret Service, but accepted that it's time for her to go.
From Press Secretary Josh Earnest: "Director Pierson offered her resignation today because she believed that it was in the best interest of the agency to which she has dedicated her career", said Earnest during today's press briefing. "The Secretary agreed with that assessment. The President did, as well."
When asked why the president accepted her resignation after praising her, the answer was an obvious one.
"Over the last several days we've seen recent and accumulating reports raising questions about the performance of the agency, and the President concluded that new leadership of that agency was required."
Now, we just need Joe Clancy, the new replacement for Pierson, to right the ship, get the Secret Service personnel to behave in the manner in which they are sworn, which includes protecting the president - at all cost.
See also -
Clancy lauded as "solid professional" - Washington Post
Who is Joe Clancy? - IBT reports