Friday, February 22, 2008

Surely someone at Secret Service is about to be promoted

It's no secret that in George Bush's Washington, incompetence and/or malfeasance seem to be prerequisites for really great promotions. George Tenet described dubious intelligence as a "slam dunk," helping to pave the way for a tragically unnecessary war. For that mistake, he was given a shiny Medal of Freedom. John Negroponte, once involved in covering up Central American death squads and propping up a Honduran dictator, was pulled out of carbonite and awarded the post of Deputy Secretary of State. Condoleeza Rice didn't think a memo stating "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Within the United States" was important. She was given the entire state department to run.

So it comes as no surprise that the United States Secret Service ordered the Dallas police department to stop checking the crowd for weapons at a Barack Obama rally. It's getting harder and harder for the incompetents and the malicious to stand out in Washington. They've got to do something to shine, and letting another Oswald or Sirhan Sirhan slip into an Obama rally might just be stupid enough to work. Maybe.

What I want to know is, who at the Secret Service is bucking for promotion?

**UPDATE: I called the Secret Service. Secret Service Spokesman Ed Donovan acknowledged that screening of the crowd for weapons was halted about an hour before Barack Obama appeared. He said the Secret Service was following a "layered security plan," which involved practices other than weapons-screening. "It wasn't as if there was a decision to just stop checking people," Donovan added. "It was never part of our plan to screen every member of the audience for weapons." According to Mr. Donovan, the Secret Service tailors its protocols to each individual site, and this particular site didn't require a thorough examination of the crowd. He wouldn't detail the measures taken in Dallas that supposedly rendered individual searches unnecessary, saying that to do so would "help them defeat us."

Whoever came up with a layered plan that doesn't include running everyone in that stadium through a metal detector should start clearing a place on the mantle for his medal.


Tiffany said...

How come the Secret Service will talk to a cartoonist and not to UPI or the Star-Telegram (who say they couldn't get a comment)?

No wonder I read Candorville!

Tiffany said...

By the way, if this IS part of some "layered plan" of theirs, that's shocking. Maybe it's tough to check so many people, but come on, we're talking about the first black President. They've got to step up their game! Stop leaving so much to chance. Stephanie Miller said on her show this morning that she doesn't want to test how racist this country might still be, and I agree.

Ken said...

Does anyone know if the security for other candidates is similar? My impression is that they didn't use metal detectors for Bill Clinton when he came here. I'll ask my friends who actually got in before the room filled up.

Darrin Bell said...

I asked Donovan if they take the same precautions with Obama as they do with Clinton and McCain, and he said "yes."

My point is, when they've got a candidate like Obama, they should be more thorough.

Ken said...

I checked with a friend who worked the door at the Clinton event here. They didn't do any screening.
Granted, Obama is a special case. However, an ex-president would seem to merit a high level of protection. Also, Clinton is not beloved here in east Texas.
Personally, I would want the crowd checked if I were either guy. I'm amazed that both aren't getting better protection.

Paul said...

I attended an outdoor event where Pres Clinton spoke. No screening.

A couple days later I attended an Obama rally. Heavy screening. One hundred percent of attendees through a metal detector, then a wand, plus empty pockets and check all bags and purses.