Gaping holes in US Secret Service security
A Congressional report found fault with the US Secret Service Thursday, stating that the organization faces a “crisis” warranting outside help.
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform report reveals several previously unreported security breaches. Among them:
- A shooting incident in the White House in 2011;
- A 2012 Secret Service prostitution scandal in Cartenega, Colombia, which resulted in eight agents being fired;
- An April 2013 incident in which four people began rummaging through the backyard of US Vice President Joe Biden;
- A January 2015 incident in which gunshots were also fired outside his Delaware home;
- A 2014 incident in which a Czech resident broke into the home of former president George H.W. Bush and lingered there, unnoticed, for an hour;
- A 2014 incident wherein a man posed as Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ) to attend the Congressional Black Caucus dinner, and spoke with US President Barack Obama;
- An incident days later at the same location where a woman sneaked backstage to see the President;
- An incident one week after that wherein the Secret Service failed to perform a background check on an employee at the Los Angeles hotel where Obama and a senior advisor were staying – and an agent was caught watching TV on the job;
- And a March 2015 incident in which two drunken Secret Service employees interfered with a crime scene outside the White House.
The report was also released in light of two men breaking into the White House within 24 hours in September 2014.
The report concludes that part of the problem is a “staffing crisis,” which has seen the total Secret Service staff shrink by 10.1% between 2011 and 2015.
House lawmakers blame budgetary cuts, an inefficient hiring process, low morale, and poor management for the crisis.
“Leaders are not held accountable,” a whistleblower from within the agency added.