Kaboom! That’s what Washington D.C could have heard the evening of March 10th just before midnight, and the Democrat’s fondest wishes might have come true. The President could have been removed from office. In the space of milliseconds, in a hurricane of pressure and plasma, Donald Trump and his family could have been blasted to atoms. CNN reports:
A man carrying a backpack was arrested Friday night after breaching security at the White House complex and was discovered by a Secret Service officer by the south entrance to the executive residence, officials said.
The incident happened just before midnight while President Donald Trump was at the White House.
The suspect, identified in court records as Jonathan T. Tran, 26, of California, told the agency’s officers that he was there to see the President.
‘No, I am a friend of the President. I have an appointment,’ Tran said when approached by an officer, according to a report released Saturday by the Washington Metropolitan Police Department.
“A friend of the President?” Mr. Trump certainly needs all the friends he can get, but how did Tran get all the way to the South entrance to the executive residence? Was this a terrorist plot, part of a professional and elaborate ruse? Not so much:
Asked how he got there, Tran told officers: ‘I jumped the fence.’
The police report, obtained by CNN, offers a detailed description of the incident. White House security footage showed Tran jumping the face at the northwest courtyard of the Treasury Building, which is adjacent to the White House, the report said. He was not detected, however, until approached by a uniformed Secret Service officer.
Well, at least someone got to him. The last time someone rushed the White House, he actually got inside. In that article I wrote:
This too is amazing. I’ve always assumed that if I leapt the White House fence and sprinted toward the building (Dear Secret Service: I’ve never thought about doing that, nor do I plan to do that. Ever), I’d be shot in a millisecond. With the domestic and foreign terror threat we face, how could they know Gonzales wasn’t carrying explosives? How could they tell if he had guns or other weapons under his clothing? How could they know he didn’t have explosives implanted in his body? He could have been carrying poisons. Anyone charging the White House should be stopped—shot–as far from the building as possible, yet these Keystone Kops couldn’t be bothered? In fairness, I’m sure they have rules of engagement. Let’s hope those ROEs are not actually as ineffective and insane as this non-response was.
In effect, I was hoping the Secret Service’s Rules of Engagement were actually rational and effective, than anyone charging the White House, particularly anyone wearing a backpack would instantly gain weight via the accurate application of multiple bullets. I was hoping the officers on duty that night were merely incompetent. Apparently the same guys were on duty March 2.
The President was alerted to the incident late Friday night, an administration official said. The suspect was arrested by the Secret Service ‘without further incident,’ the Secret Service said in its statement.
Trump said Saturday that the suspect was disturbed, calling the situation ‘sad”’ and saying he appreciates the work of the Secret Service.
‘The service did a fantastic job,’ the President said to reporters during a lunch meeting with Cabinet officials at the Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Virginia. ‘It was a troubled person. It was very sad.’
A Secret Service source said the backpack Tran carried was x-rayed before bomb technicians removed it from the White House grounds for further evaluation.
The backpack was found to be free of any hazardous materials, the Secret Service said in its statement.
Isn’t that nice? “The backpack was found to be free of any hazardous materials.” It was found to be free of hazardous materials after Tran was close enough to the residence of the White House to have demolished half the building with the initial blast. Mr. Trump is right, however, this is indeed a sad situation.
The Secret Service, in the finest “closing the barn door after the horses have escaped” manner interviewed Tran, various relatives, did NCIC checks, etc. and discovered that Tran has no prior record, no apparently terrorist history, and is “troubled.” Yes. I’m sure.
Now for the understatement of the decade department:
Jonathan Wackrow, a former Secret Service agent, said Saturday on ‘CNN Newsroom’ that the breach has the potential to be “catastrophic.’
“This is really troubling,’ said Wackrow, a CNN law enforcement analyst. ‘If someone came over the northwest fence of the Treasury complex, what that indicates is they didn’t go over just one fence, they went over multiple fences. This has the potential to be a catastrophic breach of the White House complex. This is really disturbing, just the amount of real estate that this intruder was able to gain or bypass on the complex.
You don’t say.
So the Secret Service has to really take a very hard look very quickly as to why weren’t other defense measures alerted,’ Wackrow said.
You don’t say.
Asked Saturday if the Secret Service handled the situation correctly, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, the ‘Secret Service did a phenomenal job and they continue to provide phenomenal protection to the President and the first family, and the President was very appreciative of their efforts.’
Spicer added that Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly ‘was kept aware of the situation the entire time.
Oh dear. “The Secret Service did a phenomenal job preventing someone who had no intention of harming anyone from harming anyone. Of course, if that backpack has been full of C4, welllllll…”
There’s a wonderful line in RED, the Bruce Willis spy vehicle, where John Malkovich says: “I remember the Secret Service being tougher.”
So do I John, so do I.
I’m hoping Mr. Trump’s comments, and those of Sean Spicer, were merely for public consumption. I’m hoping behind the scenes, Mr. Trump is doing one of the things he does best: saying “you’re fired” to the head of the Secret Service, and to everyone else in the chain of command involved in this incredibly serious breach of security.
It’s very simple. The Secret Service let someone–and it doesn’t matter who–climb over several fences, cross the White House lawn, and make it to the entrance of the residence section of the White House. News reports don’t tell us precisely how close, but if that backpack had been loaded with any contemporary military explosive, getting to the entrance could have put it close enough to destroy half the building and anyone within it. No one detected Tran. No one saw Tran. No one was in a position to stop Tran if he truly intended to kill the President until it was far too late. This is phenomenal?
A bomber need not actually kill the President. Being able to waltz up to the building and send half of it sky high would be an enormous terrorist victory, and would send American prestige plummeting even more deeply that Barack Obama sunk it.
“Oh, but security will surely be tightened after this incident!” Riiiiiight. Just like it was tightened after the last time someone jumped the fence and actually made it into the building carrying a knife? Like that?
If terrorists haven’t been taking notes about how easy it would be to kill the President with nothing more complex than a single man jumping the fence and trotting up to the wall of the residence section, they’re certainly aware of it now. If the Secret Service does its usual job of improving security, perhaps they’ll provide a regularly scheduled terrorist shuttle from the fence to the building.
Every day we find more and more of the mess Barack Obama left for Mr. Trump to clean up. It was Former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle that once said we have to federalize to professionalize. That sort of brilliance gave us the TSA, and now it seems, the Secret Service is following that path to greatness.
Donald Trump had better focus on draining this particular swamp, and fast, or a passing alligator just might take a chunk out of him, and the media and Democrats will rejoice.
To visit my previous articles on this issue, go here: