White House Arrests 2 Intruders in Under 24 Hours

Fence Jumper Makes it Into White House

A story from WSAV tells of a man who “jumped over the fence of the White House on Friday and made it through the front door before officers managed to apprehend him, just minutes after President Barack Obama had departed, the Secret Service said.

The rare breach was likely to renew intense scrutiny of the Secret Service, an agency whose storied history has been marred in recent years by multiple allegations of misconduct by officers. It was unclear whether a fence-jumper has ever made it into the White House before. Unfortunately for the Secret Service, this was not the only such incident which would occur this weekend.

White House

Man Attempts to Enter White House Gates

As ABC explains, on Saturday, another man “showed up at one of the White House gates on foot, then showed up in his a car at another gate and pulled into the vehicle screening area. He refused to leave and was arrested for unlawful entry.” This made the second attempt to enter the White House in 24 hours. On the anniversary of 9/11, another man jumped the same area of fence, but was stopped when officers drew their weapons and released dogs.

Secret Service Promises Full Review

The Secret Service is now under a great deal of scrutiny, and is promising a full review of both incidents. The circumstances of Friday’s breach were much more alarming, as they triggered a “rare evacuation of much of the White House.” Iraq War Veteran Omar J Gonzalez of Copperas Grove, Texas scaled the fence, ran across the White House lawn, and rushed through the front door carrying a knife in his pocket. The President and both of his daughters had reportedly just left the residence within minutes of the intrusion, as they headed for Camp David. Michelle Obama had gone on ahead.

Breaches Considered Unacceptable

According to the report from ABC, “Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on national security, called the incident “totally unacceptable” and said it was just one of a string of security failings on the Secret Service’s watch. ‘Unfortunately, they are failing to do their job. These are good men and women, but the Secret Service leadership has a lot of questions to answer,’ he added incredulously, ‘Was the door open?’”

What Do You Think?

What do you think of the seeming incompetence of the Secret Service? As ABC points out, “In 2012, 13 Secret Service agents and officers were implicated in a prostitution scandal during preparations for Obama’s trip to Cartagena, Colombia. The next year, two officers were removed from the president’s detail after another alleged incident of sexually-related misconduct. In March, an agent was found drunk by staff at a Dutch hotel the day before Obama was set to arrive in the Netherlands.” The reputation of the Secret Service has suffered greatly in the last few years. What should be done about this problem?