Eliminate Those Inadequate
According to the New York Times article, “Armed Intruder at White House Got to East Room”, by Michael D. Shear and Michael S. Schmidt, the incompetence of the Secret Service has recently caused many breaches of security at the White House. If Omar Gonzalez had scaled the White House fence and made it into the First Family’s living quarters on the ABC hit TV show Scandal, we would have balked and called the plot line too far-fetched. But last week, a similar event happened in real life. You may be surprised to hear this, but it is just one of many security blunders that have taken place over the past several years.
One might assume that the White House is one of the safest places in the United States, if not the entire world. However, according to the article by Shear and Schmidt, there have been a series of security embarrassments over the past several years. First, there was a breach that occurred when a couple crashed a state dinner in 2009. Then, in 2011 bullets struck the White House. In 2012 and 2013, there were scandals involving drinking and prostitution on trips overseas. To top it all off, there has been 16 separate cases of people scaling the White House fence in the last five years.
White House security personnel should be held to the same, if not higher standard than any citizen. If I was fired from Starbucks for failing to lock up, shouldn’t Secret Service employees deserve the same punishment for being incompetent? White House security should be top-notch.
Breaches of White House security, specifically those of the Secret Service, are unacceptable. Whether it is an insufficient process or inadequate people, Congress needs to step in to punish those responsible for such security violations. There have been several chances given after mistakes have been made, all risking the life of the President, his family, and the White House. If fewer chances or other forms of punishment were given, maybe these breaches would not occur as often. In regards to the latest incident, I share the sentiments of Representative Elijah Cummings who expressed, “I hate to even imagine what could have happened if Gonzalez had been carrying a gun instead of a knife when he burst inside the White House.” The possibility is extremely unsettling.