The Secret Service is made up of dedicated professionals who risk life and limb every single day to protect our president and his family. They deserve our respect and gratitude.
But, by any objective standard, there have been too many close calls as of late. Last month, for example, a knife-touting lunatic ran roughshod around the White House (we didn’t find out until much later what really happened), while at the same time the number of instances the Secret Secret has failed to adequately and effectively deal with a threat is appalling. As Katie noted this morning, at the funeral of Nelson Mandela, a “sign language” professional accused of murder and rape stood no more than a few feet from President Obama.
As a result, Director Julia Pierson faced tough questions on the hot seat about these numerous breaches in security yesterday, and now a prominent Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings (R-MD), is already floating the idea that she must go (via The Hill):
Cummings said he came away from the meeting "extremely disappointed."
"I've come to the conclusion that my confidence and my trust in this director, Ms. Pierson, has eroded. And I do not feel comfortable with her in that position," he said on MSNBC. That is a swing from just a day earlier when he told reporters the "jury's still out" on her tenure.
His comments were even more blunt during a radio interview with Roland Martin on Wednesday. "I think this lady has to go," Cummings reportedly said, referring to Pierson.
“Agents tell me it’s a miracle an assassination has not already occurred,” Ronald Kessler writes in the latest issue of POLITICO Magazine. Much like any broken federal agency, he argues, the Secret Service suffers from “a culture that punishes those who point out deficiencies and rewards with promotions those who cover up problems.” Sound familiar?
In the final analysis, there can be no leniency or lowered standards or do-overs when it comes to the safety and security of our commander-in-chief and his family. This is something all of us can and should agree on.
UPDATE: Rep. Cummings isn't the only one who wants Pierson to resign.