28 November 2009

Gate-crashers: no trivial matter

Two gate-crashers managed to infiltrate the recent state dinner hosted by President Obama for India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Most of the media seem to be treating this as a trivial and amusing event. Given the escalation of terrorist threats against the President, it was anything but that. Unauthorized persons were allowed free access, not only to the President, but to the Vice President and to the leader of an important foreign nation. If one or both of those persons had had murderous intent, the results could have been catastrophic.

Fortunately, the relevant authorities are taking the matter more seriously. As Mara Gay at The Atlantic Wire reports, "Heads rolled at the [Secret Service] this weekend, and the president has called for a full investigation into the incident." The agency suffers from overconfidence (perhaps because there has been no serious attempt on a President's life since Reagan) and "spinelessness" in enforcing security procedures when they inconvenience powerful individuals.

I hope that the Secret Service will study this incident and learn from it. Because you can be sure the terrorists are doing so.


Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Interesting viewpoint ...I havent even thought that, only because I read that they were well known folk's in the DC Area, but I reckon you have a good point when I think about it. I mean ...this character (Army Major and Doctor) in Fort Hood was also well known amongst everyone and respected ...but look what the Hell he done. Good point .....

28 November, 2009 17:15  
Blogger Karen said...

I shudder to think what could have happened.

28 November, 2009 18:57  
Blogger Holte Ender said...

Shows how the Secret Service stereotype potential threats, a man dressed for a black tie dinner and his partner in an expensive looking evening gown, come on in. Couldn't possibly be a threat.

It was even played down later as being: 'Just two people obsessed with fame.'

29 November, 2009 04:49  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

To be fair, the average teabagger or jihadist would look fairly unconvincing in a tuxedo -- but of course the Secret Service shouldn't be counting on that. And yes, a woman could be a terrorist too.

29 November, 2009 05:00  
Blogger mendip said...

It'll be interesting to see what happens, perhaps the fallout will be substantial - but I'd be somewhat surprised. Despite an obvious case of criminal tresspass, no charges have yet been brought against the social graspers, (they are well known around here...). And I would argue that incompetence and dereliction of duty is rarely punished in this town...

29 November, 2009 05:54  
Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

Yours is the only blog I've read that doesn't think this is funny, that it could have much more serious consequence, and the Secret Service wasn't on the ball.
Of course you must realize that my repetoire is small.

This isn't like the folks who used to streak across the stage or onto a football field - which I always thought was hilarious. This wasn't even a tiny bit funny. It will indeed be interesting to see how it plays out.

29 November, 2009 11:51  
Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

Just saw on TPM that the couple wants six figures for a press interview.

29 November, 2009 11:54  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

They're probably thinking that if they'd actually been terrorists and had blown somebody away, they could have gotten seven.

29 November, 2009 12:11  

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