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Secret Service: procedures not followed

By Michael D. Shear
The Secret Service said Thursday that its procedures to ensure a tight bubble of security around the White House and the political leaders under the agency's care were not followed when an uninvited Virginia couple attended Tuesday night's state dinner.

Officials are not providing any details about how the couple breached what is often considered the most secure facility in the world.

"We're being intentionally vague on that," Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan said Thursday morning. "All we are saying is that procedures we have in place weren't followed."

Asked whether there is any early indication that new procedures should be put in place to secure the White House and protect the president, Donovan said the Secret Service believes the procedures are adequate --or would have been had they been followed.

But he said that the review underway right now of the incident could offer new suggestions. "If adjustments need to be made," they will be, Donovan said, fielding a flood of calls from media organizations on Thanksgiving Day.

Donovan said that the couple entered with other guests on the Southeast side of the White House, a typical location for parties and other celebrations. Guests to the White House Fourth of July picnic, for example, typically enter at the same location.

Aides to President Obama said the White House has requested a through review of what went wrong. But Donovan said that the Secret Service needed no such order, moving quickly to investigate as soon as it learned that the uninvited guests had gotten through.

"This is our top priority," he said. "The moment we found out about this, we began a comprehensive investigation."

Security at the White House is the stuff of legend, though some of the imaginations of Hollywood go beyond the reality. An episode of Fox's "24" last season showed a White House visitor placing her thumb on a fingerprint scanner, a type of screening that is not typically used.

Still, it usually takes quite a bit to get inside the iron gate that surrounds the house and grounds at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Reporters and people with appointments in the West Wing enter through the Northwest gate, along Pennsylvania Avenue. Journalists with permanent credentials, called "hard passes," must present those passes to enter the outer gate. They then are required to swipe the cards and enter a pin-code before passing through a magnetometer.

People without hard passes must have someone at the White House enter their names into a computer system called WAVES. When they approach the Northwest gate, they must present identification. But they are denied entry if their names do not pop up on the WAVES system.

Security is usually somewhat different for big parties, however. Guest IDs are often checked against a printed list of names. People who are cleared through that checkpoint are then passed through a magnetometer.

Donovan would not describe the system in place Tuesday night, sayingthe investigation is "ongoing. I don't want to get in to any of it."

The Secret Service was founded in 1865 to investigate counterfeiting. After the assassination of president William McKinley in 1901, the agency assumed responsibility for protecting presidents, according to its Web site. Its dual mission is: "to safeguard the nation's financial infrastructure and payment systems to preserve the integrity of the economy, and to protect national leaders, visiting heads of state and government, designated sites and National Special Security Events."

The organization is now part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In the Service's strategic plan for 2008 to 2013, one of the key "strategic objectives" is to safeguard the White House complex and other high-profile sites.

The document says it will assess and enhance physical security measures "on a continuous basis to prevent the use of conventional and unconventional weapons."

It notes that the organization's success will be measured in part based on the "Percentage of time incident-free protection is provided to persons inside the White House complex and Vice President's Residence at the Naval Observatory."

By By Michael D. Shear  |  November 26, 2009; 1:18 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Barack Obama , Washington Life , White House  
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Comments

kellymic21 or Readit:

Obama is not even "President" unless he is a natural-born citizen. Lighten up, people.

Posted by: JakeD | November 29, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: edtroyhampton | November 28, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"This breach showed just how careless we are with the security of our leaders and just how disrespectful we are of the President."

I agree with edtryhantpon, allowing a white couple in to shake hands with the President does show great disrespect to the President.

The Secret Service agents responsible for this disrespect should be fired.

White couples shaking hands with the President, what next, a white person as Attorney General or a white person as UN Ambasador ... where will it end.

Posted by: RealityChk | November 28, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Shameful.

It is just shameful that a white couple was allowed in to shake hands with the President.

Those Secret Service agents that are racist and bias towards white couples over people of color and gays should be fired immediately.

The very idea of a white couple being able to enjoy a party at the white house makes all proper persons shutter.

One hopes the Secret Service tracks these people down and makes sure they know where their place is in the future.

The Attorney General of the United States needs to make an example out of them. If you do not put them in their place now, then next whites will think a white couple can stand outside a polling station with a club and intimidate reporters in the same way that brothers are allowed use clubs today with the tacit approval of the Attorney General ! ! !

Posted by: RealityChk | November 28, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

There mission, once inside the White House,... spike the water! http://tinkys1941.spaces.live.com/

Posted by: edtroyhampton | November 28, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

They Came To Spike The Water! http://tinkys1941.spaces.live.com/

Posted by: edtroyhampton | November 28, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

It's a sad day when something like this occurs and people still argue over whether Obama should be in the white house. Regardless of which party you stand for, or how upset you are over the diversity of the White House, he is still the President of the United States and you have to respect his position, if not the man. This breach showed just how careless we are with the security of our leaders and just how disrespectful we are of the President. The White House Social Secretary and her team, who were all so busy socializing instead of doing their job, should be asked to resign or fired along with those in charge of security at the event! Although I truly respect the President for taking his time and using his head when making important decisions...perhaps he should have taken more time before handing the job of Social Secretary over to a life-long friend with no previous experience. As far as the SS, perhaps someone should be running new background checks on them! That’s the bigger issue!! They should be very embarrassed!

Posted by: kellymic21 | November 28, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Not the first time the Obama White House has had gate crashers.

See:


http://notionscapital.wordpress.com/2009/02/05/masked-raiders-infiltrate-white-house/

Posted by: MikeLicht | November 28, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

People, People, People. You don't seem to understand. The party crashers were Muslims. We all know that Islam is the religion of peace and tolerance. Had the party crashers been Christian, they would be in the Gulag right now. The problem is that the President's staff exerts way too much control over security issues. So much so, that the Secret Service cannot do their job without offending someone. I think it is obvious that the Secret Service is incapable of investigating itself. For example, who remebers the famous show throwing incident involving Bush 43. Where was the Secret Service? It took a full 6 seconds before the Detail Leader quying with his blackberry, get his ass off the chair and stand in front of the President. I have no doubt that the shift and post standers were told to go hide in the janitors closet when Bush arrived at the site. According to the Secret Service their response was"text book". HaHa! Are you kidding me. Who remembers the Beaver Creek incident whereby the Secret Service threw two agents under the bus and covered-up an assault that took place on Cheney. Director Mark Sullivan needs to go and take his cronies with him. The Secret Service desperatly needs to bring in a new director from outside of the agency in order to return the agency to it's former glory.

Posted by: bobo8 | November 28, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Personally I believe put the blame on the SS not the tresspasers. They were getting paid tax payer money to do a job---period!Not only should the ones responsible be fired immediately how about what type of criminal offense did they commit? After all they endangered our president.

Posted by: languagetraveler | November 27, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Bribe! someone was given a little bit of dough to let these losers in.

I have more faith in our secret service, however, a little dough goes a long way.

Seriously who would have figured it out unless bimbo-low life loser girl hadn't posted the pics???

Posted by: whsmhrth1 | November 27, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Bribe! someone was given a little bit of dough to let these losers in.

I have more faith in our secret service, however, a little dough goes a long way.

Seriously who would have figured it out unless bimbo-low life loser girl hadn't posted the pics???

Posted by: whsmhrth1 | November 27, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

The White House is "not" the most secure facility in the world as this article suggests. It never has been and it never will be. The Salahis' have proven this to be true....

Posted by: charko825 | November 27, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Let's see: People showing up at presidential appearances with loaded handguns and assault rifles and people getting into a state dinner without an invitation. I have to agree with B202. During the W-days, you could get hauled off by the Secret Service for what your t-shirt said. (Nicole and Jeff Rank were arrested on July 4, 2004, at the WV state capital for their anti-Bush t-shirts at a Bush appearance. The US Government gave them $80,000 of our money as a settlement.)

The evidence is beginning to indicate that the Service is not really serious about protecting this President.

Posted by: 51fordf2 | November 27, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Well, we will have to
Guest Who's Not Coming To Dinner" from this point forward? If I was a foreign Leader I would decline all invites by President Obama until "He" can clean house of employees that's really not concerned about "His" safety or anyone else. That Agency proved that, when during the campaign they stopped checking people bags and just let all those people in. The Secret Services did not like JFK and I know they can't stand to have a black man be their boss. President Obama need to clean house of his details and hire fresh faces that "who take a bullet" for his safety. Place these people that slept on their security watch somewhere else. as it was said to the man that drown, "I sent you a boat but you did not get in it". WELL, this is the "third" incidents I've known of so far including the "Rifle" carrying man, DANG when will someone in that group wake up a smell the coffee, before it's too late!

Posted by: Chrisjj1948 | November 27, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Obviously a major screw up ocurred.

I think that couple should be prosecuted for something -- I'm sure there is some kind of law they must have broken, e.g. trespassing.

One more thing, I heard the guest list for this state dinner was over 300. Why so many people? Do we need to have our government hosting state dinners for such large gatherings? It seems to me that 150-175 should be the maximum.

And oh, did I mention I think that couple should be prosecuted and thrown in jail?

Posted by: twilson66 | November 27, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Homeland Security needs to be dismantled and the various agencies restored to their original individual tasks and purposes. This would better allow accurate budgeting and oversight for each agency.

The Department of Homeland Security is a travesty designed by the right-wing to give them too much political control over the security and policing apparatus of America.

Posted by: aahpat | November 27, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

First of all, Mr. Shear, you need to learn how to spell thorough - using through is incorrect. Second, I agree with the commenter that it's worthless having the Secret Service investigate itself - they will say anything to get out of admitting they made a serious mistake--one that could have been potentially harmful to many people attending the gala affair. I wonder when the Homeland Security agency is going to get its act together!

Posted by: blessingsalways | November 27, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

The Secret Service screwed up that is for sure.

There has been grumbling within the Secret Service since they were incorporated into Homeland Security that HS deprives them of resources they need to do protective services. Many on the road public events no longer get the level of magnetometer control they used to get. There are fewer security people detailed.

Just look at that incredible incident in Arizona where a man carrying an AR-15 was allowed, by local police, to stand around within site of the arena for a presidential event. This can only happen because there are fewer Secret Service and the Service is forced to depend more on politically compromised local police.

The Secret Service needs to be independent of ALL other agencies and politics. Homeland Security is a political agency that was created only to undermine unionization within the government. Its leadership has always been and still is, under Obama, political.

The corrupt politics going back to Reagan and carried forward in all administrations since is what is compromising the national security of this nation. This event is simply an indicator of how corrupt the situation has gotten.

Posted by: aahpat | November 27, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

This isn't funny. This was a State Dinner to honor the head of a foreign country. Both leaders have received numerous death threats, and yet our "esteemed" Secret Service lets this happen? One can only wonder why. The HEAD of the Secret Service should resign immediately or be fired. The buck should stop and start there. Then EVERY SS member at those gates should be fired immediately as well. We taxpayers don't pay them to be lazy nor to not take their duties seriously.

Then that stupid reality show should be cancelled by Bravo. Whomever dreamed up or assisted with this so-called publicity stunt should be fired.

These two attention-seekers should be charged with the same crime those folks who jump the White House fence are charged with. Period.

And while we're at it, let's disassemble Dept of Homeland Security. It was a terrible idea that certainly hasn't worked.

Posted by: capone1 | November 27, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Is this a glitch in the Secret Service or is this another example of the White House staff immaturity? I think it is the latter.

Posted by: JerryB2 | November 27, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

And I think people like you would seize on anything that you can to portray this administration in a negative way. How about the secret service did not do their job and someone should pay the consequences. I'm sure this is the same secret service that has been in place at the White House for a while, it's not like the President just hired security off the street. Of course many of you probably think he did.

Posted by: catmomtx | November 27, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Several people are going to lose their jobs over this.

But the Secret Service should not be the only agency having to pay- the Social Office dropped the ball here too, most glaringly by not putting anyone at the gate.

Posted by: EveningBreath | November 27, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Bcamp65 wrote, "I'm for affirmative action as much as the next guy but there comes a point where even you clowns on the left have to finally admit what a HUGE mistake this imbecile was."

Of course, how did I miss it? Rich white couple crashes White House party, affirmative action (aka black people) to blame.

Bcamp, if you were a piano, you'd have only 1 key. No matter the input, your output is always the same tawdry note.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | November 27, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Not to overstate the situation, since these people were after publicity, not blood, but the entire leadership of our government was left vulnerable due to a publicity stunt for a reality tv show. Many countries guard their leadership with guns drawn, and maybe a little less political correctness and a little more stern force would deter these "80 IQ" ignoramouses from doing this again.

Posted by: DontGetIt | November 27, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Is this a glitch in the Secret Service or is this another example of the White House staff immaturity? I think it is the latter.

Posted by: JerryB2 | November 27, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Is this a glitch in the Secret Service or is this another example of the White House staff immaturity? I think it is the latter.

Posted by: JerryB2 | November 27, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

What investigation? Isn't it their job to provide security at all presidential events? What about guests who sneak uninvited people in to state dinners? Don't they realize the potential harm of what they are doing? Those invitations need to clearly tell guests proper behaviour and what security breach means.

Posted by: vpucsekberman | November 27, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I have a feeling that a campaign contribution would be a good idea right about now.

Posted by: eldergent | November 27, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Prosecute the couple and their mangy little camera crew too.

Anyone who knew, in advance, that these people planned to violate the nation security of the United States, and did not alert the government, should be prosecuted and imprisoned as an example.

Posted by: aahpat | November 27, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Severe prosecution is the first step in preventing another glory seeking grand-stander from violating the national security of the United States of America.

Prison time will give these two a taste of what security so that they can better learn to respect it.

Posted by: aahpat | November 27, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Leaving it to the Secret Service to investigate itself is akin to asking the Secret Service to find out after all these years who was really behind the Kennedy assassination -- they're just a bit too close to the case.

Perhaps a congressional investigation is in order -- not just concerning "Gatecrasher-Gate," but about THIS:


SECRET MULTI-AGENCY FED PROGRAM TORTURES, IMPAIRS, PERSECUTES THOUSANDS OF U.S. CITIZENS WITH NATIONWIDE SILENT MICROWAVE / LASER WEAPONS SYSTEMS, LOCAL VIGILANTISM: VETERAN JOURNALIST

• Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan
• FEMA Director Craig Fugate
• NSA Director Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander
• Former JSOC Commander Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal
• DIA Director Maj. Gen. Michael Maples
• DOJ Asst. Atty. Gen./National Security David Kris
• CIA Deputy Director Stephen Kappes
• FBI Director Robert Mueller

TEAM OBAMA, CONGRESS MUST ASK: What do they know -- and when did they know it?

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-tortures-me-silent-microwave-weapons-ousted-s-prez OR NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | November 27, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

These fools tarnished a closely-watched State function and made a mockery of the White House. Bored richnicks from The Plains. I guess it is too cold to play polo.

Posted by: curtis789 | November 27, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I am waiting for the announcement of their arrest. Do faux socialites get a free pass?

Posted by: ponderer | November 27, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Face facts people, the Bush mafia rules. "conservative entertainers" beat the drums of anarchy to the metally challenged and the rich republican who profits from his "political connections" punts in the bucks to pay for those ranting lunitics as the "liberal lower class" are rendered obsolete as they're jobs are outsourced to easily controled third worlders who have the standard of living of our homeless. Now you see the total affects of Reaganomics followed by voodoo economics and toss in a dose of Bush/Cheaney ENRONomics and here we are. The more Obama is for the people the closer he is to having a Bush pull the trigger by any of a thousand methods most not even requiring a discoverable weapon. The room was target rich and remember the murder of Vince Foster sure put the Clintons into reverse now didn't it? Glen Beck is a prime example of a bought and paid for agent of the controlling power brokers and politics has nothing to do with any of it. From Nixon's revenge against the Kennedys to Bush/Cheaney's revenge against Hussein how can you not believe this is the setup for removing Obama?

Posted by: anOPINIONATEDsob | November 27, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Gotta love this quote, "We're being intentionally vague on that" Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan said. You mean "intentionally vague" on how we screwed up? What a disgrace.

Posted by: al_langevin | November 27, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Take a lesson from Papa Doc: TON TON MACOUT.
A hand picked force of really evil ruthless men with machetes.

Posted by: TOMHERE | November 27, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

God forbid that anything happens to him. The "Pray for Obama" crowd will pay a terrible price.

Posted by: TOMHERE | November 27, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Echoing the sentiment that they were lucky that these two clowns were primarily concerned with their own wonderfulness and had no intentions of harming anybody.

However, I imagine the Indians aren't thrilled about this either. They have some recent experience with terrorism too, and I bet there's a couple of tense phone calls going on behind the scenes.

Given how both heads of state are probably on several assassination lists, this isn't good. I imagine that, because neither one of these buffoons looked like an extremist, they got in without a second look. You think a terrorist group is going to send a guy in a green headband and blue jeans to infiltrate a formal event?

Somebody needs to lose their job over this. Epic fail.

Posted by: hac51 | November 27, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

This is extremely serious. It is even more alarming that Ed Donovan downplays the risk than that the Secret Service, and probably While House staff, allowed it to happen.

Posted by: kent831 | November 27, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

It was a holiday. A tent party. Unexpected guests deserve hospitality.

The agency staff at the gate who were confused/inattentive/dazed/befuddled about the couple's status cannot now be used to implicate them. They can't be charged with some obscure lying to the secret service law when the agency flunky was wearing a tux and obviously not asking questions or participating in security.

Posted by: edmetric | November 27, 2009 2:56 AM | Report abuse

Do you think Michael D. Shear meant to use the word thorough instead of through in paragraph 7?

Posted by: notindc1 | November 27, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Is this a right-wing plot to undermine Obama? I wouldn't doubt one. Plus, any possibility a rogue secret service agent would let a harmless couple through to further the end of 1) isolating the President from contacts, and 2) try to make him look bad in terms of security (like he has any say whatsoever in what the secret service is doing?). Definitely the possibilitely of a SS disgruntled person/mole trying to make Obama look bad....

Posted by: Bill81 | November 27, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who jumps a fence at the White House gets tossed in jail. These two committed the equivalent act; these two deserve the same. They are simply poseurs trying to act better than the crazies; which they are. To jail, now!

Posted by: Bill81 | November 27, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who jumps a fence at the White House gets tossed in jail. They committed the equivalent act. These two deserve the same. They are simply poseurs trying to act better than the crazies;; which they are. To jail, now!

Posted by: Bill81 | November 27, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

First, they had to have lied to get in, someone they knew was on the list but wasn't going to be attending (hmmm, I can think of at least 2 republicans) - otherwise there would be no where for them to be seated. Wow, heads should definitely roll for this screw-up.

to askgees:

Are you really that stupid? They arrest people everyday for trying to get on the White House grounds (as in grass), much less in the house - it's called trespassing, duh.

Posted by: skimom27 | November 26, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Turn over the negatives? What is this, 1989?

Posted by: Marimom | November 26, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

What do you expect when apparently the only question Obozzo ask of those on his team is how many years in a row have they failed to file their federal taxes.

Yeah - I feel much safer after this "change".

I'm for affirmative action as much as the next guy but there comes a point where even you clowns on the left have to finally admit what a HUGE mistake this imbecile was.

Posted by: Bcamp55 | November 26, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Not only a serious review of the Secret Service, but also a review of Social Office Practices and some communication between the two. Ultimately this was a major breach of security and the fault lies with the SS, but the social office must share some blame. The good thing out of all of this was there was no one injured, but this should serve as some kind of wake-up call. Can you imagine all the meetings going on at the WH over this?

Posted by: gourleymusician | November 26, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the two attention seeking reality television celebrity wannabees ought to pay a price for sneaking into the White House. They were not invited period! That ought to be reason enough to require them to take down their FACEBOOK photos and give the Secret Service the negatives. Then because lying to federal agents is a felony...these guys ought to face a fine and be required to do community service with high risk kids or volunteer services for house bound seniors. How long did it take these two idiots to plan this little escapade and to what end? Personal ethics seem a thing of the past in this country these days. Folks you do not do things just because you CAN do them! A little respect for this country and its President please. The skinny blonde and the polo player....i.e. dumb and dumber! And these columns calling them socialites...how did they arrive at that state of being? Who and what defines one as a socialite? New Money, old family name, being on the Bravo TV Housewives? ...the Housewives are a JOKE of the reality kind. I find nothing interesting about these two...stop giving them headlines and column inches!

Posted by: anghiari | November 26, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

The entire Secret Service need new hand picked agents,by the President.
It looks of left-over republican agents.
Those who do not deserve the title of "The United States Secret Service".
And do not have our President at Heart.
I call them traitors.

Posted by: Readit | November 26, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

When Dubya was in office no one could be present at a speech or a rally he was at if the audience member had a button a shirt of a sign that contradicted any utterance or belief of the Republican party. In those days any audience member offering an opinion that differed with Dubya were removed to "free speech zones"; an interesting concept in a nation with freedom of speech written into the Bill of Rights. Now the Secret Service allow people to come to presidential speeches and rallies with semiautomatic weapons, and now they allow this breach of security. The Republican party vigorously promote the idea that this president is not legitimate and will destroy our country. Does the Secret Service agree with this extremist and dangerous rhetoric? If any Secret Service employees do agree with this they need to resign. The Secret Service is failing in obvious and frequent ways to protect our democratically elected, legitimate president. They need to do their jobs or get out. Firing those responsible would be the very least response for their lack of accountability and their failure to do their job.

Posted by: rkirlin1 | November 26, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

LOL that's funny. Obama does the same thing but I guess you're just to stup1d to realize it. Obama took it one step farter. He was so afraid of being asked a question his teleprompter couldn't answer he setup a pre registered audience for an internet Q&A. How pathetic is that. LOL

Posted by: askgees | November 26, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

When Dubya was in office no one could be present at a speech or a rally he was at if the audience member had a button a shirt of a sign that contradicted any utterance or belief of the Republican party. In those days any audience member offering an opinion that differed with Dubya were removed to "free speech zones"; an interesting concept in a nation with freedom of speech written into the Bill of Rights. Now the Secret Service allow people to come to presidential speeches and rallies with semiautomatic weapons, and now they allow this breach of security. The Republican party vigorously promote the idea that this president is not legitimate and will destroy our country. Does the Secret Service agree with this extremist and dangerous rhetoric? If any Secret Service employees do agree with this they need to resign. The Secret Service is failing in obvious and frequent ways to protect our democratically elected, legitimate president. They need to do their jobs or get out. Firing those responsible would be the very least response for their lack of accountability and their failure to do their job.

Posted by: rkirlin1 | November 26, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

These two attention seeking losers should get fined or tossed in jail. And the Secret Service better get it together, there are way too many crazy paranoid Glenn Beck watchers out there who are armed to the teeth.

Posted by: marSF | November 26, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse


JFK had stupid agents also and we lost him because of that!!!!

FIRE THESE IDIOTS AND TAKE THEM TO MILITARY COURT.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | November 26, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse


_______________________________________----
Sorry LIB EXTREMIST but crashing a party is not illegal. Neither is failing to do you're job.


Posted by: askgees | November 26, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

When Dubya was in office no one could be present at a speech or a rally he was at if the audience member had a button a shirt of a sign that contradicted any utterance or belief of the Republican party. In those days any audience member offering an opinion that differed with Dubya were removed to "free speech zones"; an interesting concept in a nation with freedom of speech written into the Bill of Rights. Now the Secret Service allow people to come to presidential speeches and rallies with semiautomatic weapons, and now they allow this breach of security. The Republican party vigorously promote the idea that this president is not legitimate and will destroy our country. Does the Secret Service agree with this extremist and dangerous rhetoric? If any Secret Service employees do agree with this they need to resign. The Secret Service is failing in obvious and frequent ways to protect our democratically elected, legitimate president. They need to do their jobs or get out. Firing those responsible would be the very least response for their lack of accountability and their failure to do their job.

Posted by: rkirlin1 | November 26, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

This is what happens when you lower standards to accomodate less than qualifiable people. It's rampant throughout the government.

Posted by: williepete1 | November 26, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Obama would be safer with Bob Sap and Mike Tyson standing at the door.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | November 26, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

JFK had stupid agents also and we lost him because of that!!!!

FIRE THESE IDIOTS AND TAKE THEM TO MILITARY COURT.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | November 26, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

bleached blonde, looked cheap immediately in the walk-in.

Posted by: ElRosas | November 26, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

bleached blonde, looked cheap immediately in the walk-in.

Posted by: ElRosas | November 26, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Just another example of we must insure that this never happens again. Bridges collapse, levies give way, Fort Hood, and on and on and on. Always reactive never pro active... it's the American way.

Posted by: Billy1932 | November 26, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

These two attention seeking losers should get fined or tossed in jail. And the Secret Service better get it together, there are way too many crazy paranoid Glenn Beck watchers out there who are armed to the teeth.

Posted by: marSF | November 26, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I can't understand why anyone would call for the crashers to be prosecuted. I figure they performed a public service. And the charge would be - what? They asked for admission to the event, and were granted admission, so they weren't even trespassing.

Posted by: zenwick | November 26, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Cal, tell your boy Stenger to wake up!!!

Posted by: MoCoPride | November 26, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Note to USA: White house State dinners open to the public? Really? Do you have any idea just what you are saying we are talking security here i don't care who's in the White house as much as i disliked Dubaya i don't want he and his wife's life put in danger by some knucklehead off the street. The secret service dropped the ball big time on this one and whomever is in charge should be demoted and maybe dismissed this was stupidity at it's highest level and those two goofball's who crashed the state dinner should be prosecuted that will put an end to any one else trying those shennanigans ever again.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 26, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

As I recall when real amerikans turn up at Obama events with assult weapons they're not considered a threat.

Posted by: whocares666 | November 26, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

This is horrible! I can't believe that the Secret Service failed so horribly. Heads MUST ROLL in the Secret Service, in the Whitehouse staff. And these two jerks should spend as much time as the law will allow in jail. They should be arrested immediately, not let out on bail (since they are obviously using this to gain their fifteen minutes of fame) and then sit in a Federal prison for the next ten to fifteen years. Does anyone remember Dallas? My GOD!!!!

Posted by: AZdave | November 26, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

White House Dinners are paid for by the taxpayers and as such should be open to all US citizens anytime they wish to dine there or join a party.

Posted by: UnitedStatesofAmerica | November 26, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Clearly some procedures need to be reviewed by those charged with following them.

I do note with irony however that this would have NEVER happened under President Bubble. You weren't allowed at any "public Town Hall" event or "patriotic rally" unless you had given a sworn statement of blind, fanatic loyalty to the man and his craziness.

Posted by: B2O2 | November 26, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

The deterrent effect comes from increasing the probability of stopping an assassination attempt. If you try to carry a weapon through the magnetometers, then you'll be stopped 99% of the time. Assassins need better odds than 1 in 100.

And the couple looked the part. They were dressed well. They mixed well. Biden seemed to like the statuesque blond woman, and who wouldn't?

Posted by: blasmaic | November 26, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

The deterrent effect comes from increasing the probability that an assassination attempt won't succeed. But it was certainly a combination of weather and the stylishness of the couple that permitted them to enter. They didn't have any weapons. They mixed well. They weren't disruptive. Biden seemed to like the statuesque blond woman.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 26, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

The Secret Service is not always what it's cracked up to be. I found myself behind their security screen at the Tennessee Ball when Clinton and Gore were first elected. Seems they had forgotten to secure the elevator leading up from the parking garage. You can imagine their surprise when I walked up to one of their agents and asked him to explain how I'd managed to breach their security without even trying. I was active duty Marine Corps at the time, but it could have been anyone. I've not been impressed by their professionalism since.

Posted by: Byrd3 | November 26, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

If Bravo has any bit of integrity, they will cancel the reality show contract immediately. No one should be able to cash in on such an authentic violation of law. Can you say "dinner crashers" and "balloon boy" in the same breath? I sure can.

Posted by: SepulvedaC | November 26, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

At the very least these people are trespassers and probably violated federal law as well. They should be arrested, charged with the appropriate crimes and vigorously prosecuted. This was not simply mischief, but an act that posed a serious threat to the security of President Obama and also designed to embarass the Obama administration. Every Secret Service agent and officer at the gate that these criminals were able to sleaze their way past should be summarily fired. Very simply if the names of the "trepassers" were not on the official guest list, they should not have made it past the initial checkpoint. Having encroached upon the White House Grounds without authority or permission to be there is a criminal act, not a publicity stunt. There is nothing funny about this. This kind of act encourages contempt, disrespect and hostility toward the President. Guns at rallies and people "sneaking onto the White House grounds" demands a strong response to discourage others from doing similar things with bad intentions. Lock'em up !

Posted by: ellislawoffice | November 26, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm astounded by the magnitude of this breach. The spin that nobody was at risk because the couple passed through a detector is ridiculous. What about all the knives and forks available to them once they were inside? What about the fact that it's easy to kill someone with your bare hands if you know how? The ONLY thing that protected the President and his guests from the intruders is the lucky break that they had no intentions to harm anyone.

This was a major, major, MAJOR screw-up!! We can only hope that it leads to changes that prevents something truly horrible from happening in the future.

Posted by: skrut003 | November 26, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Are these the same secret Service that protect's him, when he is away from home (White House & the US)? Even I would have known better than to let soneone, anyone in without them being on the guest list,
I and the world find this very hard to believe, either they the secret service need's more training, or whomever is in charge should be fired , this is The President of The United States of America, for God's sake !!!!

Posted by: onesugar1 | November 26, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

FYI, The Secret Service was founded in 1865 by President Lincoln. See http://www.secretservice.gov/history.shtml for more Secret Service history.

Posted by: Jotulloch | November 26, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Someone must be fired at the Secret Service.

Posted by: FutureJumps | November 26, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the White House and 24, what is the real deal with those legendary underground passages and gates into the White House?

Posted by: WashingtonDame | November 26, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

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