Thursday, October 2, 2014

Secret Service Takes One in the Name of Diversity

Secret Service Director Pierson. One wonders whether she can
open the president's limo door........or not.
Enquiring minds?
The United States Secret Service, one of the most storied United States federal law enforcement agencies has been in the news of late due to several rather spectacular failures that have drawn attention to a steady breakdown in management, morale and performance at the agency. The clearly deteriorating condition of the United States Secret Service has forced the resignation of the director, Julia Pierson, whom the president hired to fix the most pressing problem at the agency - the lack of diversity. She pretty much had to fall on her sword in the wake of growing problems and incidents involving Secret Service.

  • Omar Gonzales, a 42 year-old Iraqi War veteran jumped the White House fence, overpowered an agent and made it to the East Room armed with a knife
  • Secret Service agents preparing for the president's visit to Columbia apparently hired prostitutes and threw themselves a party the night before the president's arrival.
  • Ronald Kessler, author of In the President's Secret Service, claimed one female Secret Service agent on the president’s detail is "so out of shape that she literally cannot open the heavy doors to exit the president’s limousine."
  • At a White House state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, presidential staff insistence, that people who looked like they belonged at the party not be "harassed", contributed to Secret Service uniformed officers’ reluctance to turn away anyone who showed up at the event and allowed two uninvited guests to crash the party.
  • Agents complain that they are not allowed time for regular firearms requalification or physical training. Agents frequently work 18 hour shifts or more for days at a time. They are told to handle the missing firearms and physical training simply by filling in their own scores to make the paperwork look right.
  • Protective teams have been reduced or told to stand back because staff are concerned that if doesn't look good to have too many Secret Service agents among guests at White House and even on-the-road events. Staff have even insisted that Secret Service agents maintain their distance from protectees on the grounds that the protectees don't like it.
  • Agents complain that the agency doesn't back them. If powerful staff members don't like a secret service agent's security restrictions or if they refuse to violate Secret Service policy on command, an agent can be fired or reassigned. It's apparently happened quite a lot.
None of these things appear to be important to the agency's management, however. Diversity has been the "big problem" faced by the agency since the beginning of the Obama administration. In 2009, the Secret Service said in its annual report - FY2009, our recruitment staff attended 370 job fairs aimed to attract applicants with varied education and experiences, as well as diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Liberal news site, the Huffington Post piled on in 2012 with an article calling for "efforts to close the gender gap" at Secret Service. Huffpo echoed the administration's concern that only about a tenth of field agents and uniformed officers were women. Even though the shortage of women probably had more to do with the travel demands of the job than any pro-male bias, the liberal press, in the wake of the Columbia prostitution scandal, called for recruiting more diverse candidates as Secret Service agents in an effort to prevent the agency from being seen as "unfriendly to women".

Democrat Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, "I can't help but think that there would be some progress if there was more diversity and if there were more women that were there."  Doesn't look like that strategy has helped much - at least so far as protecting POTUS is concerned.

Since president Obama moved into the White House, the Secret Services recruiting mandate has been abundantly clear. The agency has aggressively recruited women and other minority group, initially targeting female-oriented career fairs and sending brochures to college women's groups and organizations.

In the meantime, the agency has encouraged "diversity" by making things easier for agents who meet diversity quotas.  Instead of removing the overweight female agent who couldn't even open the president's car door or at least making her pass the physical fitness test that all agents are supposed to take every three months, Secret Service management, instead, told drivers to "try to park so it would be easier for the vehicle door to swing open for her." To make things even more surreal, the flabby agent is a SUPERVISOR.


Many former Secret Service agents complain that the agency has developed a fixation with diversity. Even though Secret Service has some excellent female and black agents, management assigns some agents who are not well-qualified to guard the president to meet targeted racial, ethnic and gender quotas for the sake of making Secret Service look diverse.  One veteran agent says, “They want the optics to look good, regardless of their actual job skills.
The recently resigned Secret Service director, Julia Pierson was tapped by the president for the job in March of 2013, not to beef up the agency's capability to do its job, but to change the culture of the Secret Service in the wake of the Colombian prostitution scandal. Pierson, herself, is not exactly the poster girl for the fitness and skill levels one would expect of a Secret Service agent, even if he or she was part of management.
Favoritism, incompetent management, disregard for safety of protectees and a general shifting of the agency's mission away from protection toward political posturing has created problems with low morale and high turnover. The Secret Service has deteriorated to the point that their weapons are outdated, competent personnel are in short supply and the agency so politicized that it can no longer do its job as advertised.

And speaking of advertising:

In 2013, there were two movies about attacks on the White House in which Secret Service agents featured prominently. This was NO accident. Hollywood has always been anxious to help out Democrat presidents and causes. In December of 2012, I was asked to write reviews of both movies, neither of which was even out yet. The "reviews" were to be designed to appeal to "twenty-something young men with an interest in video games and action movies".  The contractor? The US taxpayer through the White House. As near as I could tell, the Secret Service was funding it. The effort to stack the movie reviews for these two films was, according to the information we got from the client designed to encourage young male video-gamers and action movie fans to apply for jobs with the Secret Service. I'm not sure how many of these phoney reviews were written, but the content mill publisher I worked for on occasion had stacks of these jobs available before both White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen.

One wonders how many other core Democrat voting groups have been recruited to the Secret Service, not because of their law enforcement, weapons and security skills, but because they look right, are the correct gender or can be counted on to be politically reliable.

How's that working out for you guys at Secret Service. I'll wait for an answer till you get a new director. Good luck finding a Marxist lesbian, black, female, twenty-something gamer for your new boss. And after all, why worry about your primary job of protecting the president. If you do fail at that job, there's always Joe Biden waiting in the wings.

© 2014 by Tom King

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