How Good Is Presidential Security?

For many years following the Kennedy assassination, it was an article of faith that the Secret Service provided unparalleled security for U.S. presidents. That perception might have changed if President Reagan had bled to death after he was shot by John Hinckley. Then, too, a left-wing nut got a shot off at President Ford (or nearly did) but was stopped by a bystander in the crowd. So maybe we have all been more complacent than we should have been.

President Trump is almost certainly in more danger of assassination than any other president of modern times, so presidential security is again a concern. And recent events do not instill confidence.

First there was the guy who jumped over the White House fence and wandered around the grounds for 17 minutes before finally being apprehended. It has now been disclosed that the intruder came close to entering the White House while President Trump was there:

The chairman of the House Oversight Committee says an intruder on the White House grounds was able to “look through” a White House window and “rattle the door handle” before being apprehended last week.

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz tells CNN he was told by the Homeland Security Secretary that the person went undetected on the grounds for 17 minutes while President Donald Trump was inside.

Chaffetz calls the incident a “complete and utter total failure.”
***
The agency stressed the intruder never made it inside White House.

Good Lord, I should hope not!

Then there is the case of the stolen Secret Service laptop.

Authorities are frantically searching for a Secret Service-issued laptop — containing floor plans for Trump Tower, information about the Hillary Clinton email investigation and other national security information — that was stolen from an agent’s car in Brooklyn, police sources told the Daily News Friday.

The computer was lifted Thursday morning and officials are trying to determine if Agent Marie Argentieri was targeted or if the robbery was random.

Why would a Secret Service laptop have information on the Hillary Clinton email scandal?

“Secret Service-issued laptops contain multiple layers of security, including full disk encryption and are not permitted to contain classified information,” Holtzclaw said.

That’s reassuring–I guess–but the robbery sounds like a professional job.

The Secret Service has been beset with scandals in recent years involving prostitutes and the like, but I have always assumed that the agency’s core mission has not been compromised. That assumption now seems unwarranted. Politico adds this:

[A law enforcement] official said the theft of the laptop feeds the perception that that there’s a “culture of complacency among the agents as to the gravitas of the mission.”

Given the climate of hate that the Democratic Party and its allies have generated against President Trump, a culture of complacency could prove deadly.

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