A new report on the Secret Service casts further doubt on the agency’s ability to effectively guard President Obama and his family. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which includes Republicans and Democrats, issued the report, which comes on the heels of yet another White House fence jumping incident.
On Thanksgiving Day, 22-year-old Joseph Caputo put on white pants, a white shirt, draped an American flag over his back, and then jumped the White House fence with a re-written copy of the U.S. constitution.
Caputo is just the latest fence jumper to vex White House security, and comes at time when the Secret Service’s reputation has reached new lows. The Secret Service is tasked with keeping the president, his family, and other important officials safe at all times. But the service has been plagued in recent years by abject security failures, blunders, and scandals.
A bi-partisan congressional investigation recently determined that the Secret Service is beyond doubt an “agency in crisis.”
The U.S. has a multi-billion dollar fencing industry, with nearly 100,000 businesses providing fence installation or maintenance. Despite this, the White House fence remains strangely permeable, with the elite force guarding it struggling to keep fence hoppers off the lawn.
In Fall 2014, an impostor posing as a congressman waltzed backstage at an awards dinner and spoke to Obama himself, and just five days later a woman sneaked backstage at another Obama event.
“The situation is getting worse not better,” warned Rep. Jason Chaffetz. “The president is in jeopardy, and he better personally get involved in fixing this.”
The backstage incidents were just a few of the security lapses mentioned in the new bipartisan report. In addition, dozens of high-profile embarrassments have brought morale at the Secret Service to an all-time low.
“The agency’s recent public failures are not a series of isolated events, but the product of an insular culture that has historically been resistant to change,” states the report.