Was President Obama Directly in Danger While in Atlanta?

The Washington Post reports on the latest Secret Service security breach, which happened just a few days ago here in Atlanta.

A security contractor with a gun and three convictions for assault and battery was allowed on an elevator with President Obama during a Sept. 16 trip to Atlanta, violating Secret Service protocols, according to three people familiar with the incident…

The incident, which took place when Obama visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss the U.S. response to the Ebola crisis, rattled Secret Service agents assigned to the president’s protective detail.

The private contractor first aroused the agents’ concerns when he acted oddly and did not comply with their orders to stop using a cellphone camera to record the president in the elevator, according to the people familiar with the incident.

19 comments

  1. gcp says:

    An armed security contractor that is also a convicted felon? If so, he needs to be in jail unless this is one of those felons that had his gun rights restored by the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

    Not sure we can blame Secret Service for this one; looks like CDC and Walden Security did not do their jobs.

      • gcp says:

        Walden Security is not supposed to hire armed felons. Felon in possession is against Ga. and U.S. law. Even if unarmed, you don’t hire felons to work CDC. Big time error.

        As for CDC, depends on how the contract is structured. They may or may not have procedures to double-check on these contractors. And why they using Walden. CDC needs to be in-house or off duty pd.

        As for Secret Service they should have plotted the route beforehand (they usually do) so they did not need a security guard escort.

  2. Will Durant says:

    The greatest breakdown in security here is that anyone who was not part of the President’s entourage was accompanying him in an elevator. I don’t care if he was local security or even a local LEO, that kind of proximity to a sitting President by an armed person who is non-Secret Service is totally unacceptable.

    Of course so was having a doorkeeper at the White House who was incapable of stopping a deranged person from entering their assigned door and running around inside the Holy of Holies.

  3. Charlie says:

    This disturbs me on many more levels than the fact that a fence jumper made it into the front door of the White House.

    Probably not coincidentally, twitter now breaking news that the director of the Secret Service has “offered her resignation.”

    • Ed says:

      In fairness, about 12 Secret Service members materialized when I took two steps in the wrong direction at the WH, so the can catch the craziest of the crazy.

    • Will Durant says:

      I am also more disturbed with the incident at the CDC. However the attempted cover up that the fence jumper made it all the way to the far side of the East Room of the WH is reason enough to accept the resignation. They deliberately withheld information to hide the fact that the Secret Service guard was not at her post and the alarms were silenced. I won’t delve into the many ramifications of this had this been someone armed with more than a knife but as I said the attempted cover up is reason enough to fire Ms. Pierson.

    • Michael Silver says:

      He is NOT a Fence Jumper. He is an Undocumented President doing a job that nobody wanted.

      It is his human right as an Undocumented President to receive free medical care, free education, and free golf outings. As an Undocumented President, he should be eligible to receive the Earned Income Credit on no lawful earnings and Social Security and Medicare for his retirement. Its hard work being an Undocumented President.

      Calling him a fence jumper, illegal invader, etc. is racist!

      • Will Durant says:

        Wow, no one here is referring to the President as a fence jumper. Do you read about current events that don’t involve pistol packing? Or is this a less than sly way of getting in some sarcastic name calling of a sitting President?

        • Michael Silver says:

          Will, I’m drawing an analogy about Illegal Aliens who jump our nation’s borders and what the liberal spin is about them versus their treatment of the guy who jumped the White House fence.

          • Will Durant says:

            What, pray tell, is this perceived “liberal… treatment of the guy who jumped the White House fence”?

  4. Noway says:

    I’ve worked with Service guys when I was younger and I work with many retired ones now. They are dying inside about all the negative press/bad actions their former agency is getting. From Cartagena to the CDC, mistakes have been made in droves. The CDC mistake is the worst, in that several protocols were not followed/implemented. Don’t know why or where the breakdown occurred. I’m thinking we’ll know soon enough. Although someone had to take the fall, Ms. Pierson didn’t engage in antics in Colombia or allow the gun-toting rent-a-cop on the elevator, her agents did that. She’s the Tom Watson of the Secret Service.

    • Noway says:

      To answer Ed’s topic question, was Obama potentially in danger, hell yes. Remember Hinckley’s relatively close proximity to Reagan when he began firing. We’re lucky the CDC guy just wanted video.

    • gcp says:

      CDC incident involves more than a breach of Secret Service protocol/procedure. It was also a CDC/private contractor/system breakdown; but yes ultimately the Service is responsible for presidential security.

  5. Noway says:

    Expect author Ronald Kessler to get the scoop forthwith. His two books on the Service are reality TV reads and full of tips from tongue-wagging agents.

    • Will Durant says:

      Already seen him quoted in a couple of online articles though both were agenda driven websites. Half read one of his books on the FBI, it read as if the original manuscript had been written in crayon so I put it down and never went back.

      I put more credence in quotes from the Inspector General’s office which pointed to a study that found only 55.8 percent of Secret Service employees felt they “can report a suspected violation of any law, rule, regulation, or standards of conduct without fear of retaliation.”

      I put less credence in Sen. Ron Johnson’s statements that Obama’s inability to manage is at the root of Secret Service problems. Partisan politics doesn’t belong in this discussion.

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