In the Line of Ire: Secret Service chief quits

A guy climbing the fence and running wild in the White House and some aggressive reporting by The Washington Post have led to the following:

Julia Pierson, the director of the Secret Service, resigned Wednesdayfollowing a series of security lapses by her agency, including a recent incident in which a man with a gun was allowed on an elevator with President Obama.secret service

Obama “concluded new leadership of the agency was needed based on recent and accumulating accounts” of performance problems within her agency, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a news briefing.

Pierson’s departure from her post came just 24 hours after a congressional oversight hearing about a growing number of security breaches. She appeared evasive, gave conflicting accounts of a recent incident involving a man who jumped over the White House and got deep inside the building, and said she learned some things about her agency by reading accounts in the Washington Post.

That growing list of security failures, many first reported in the Washington Post, had put the president and his daughters in potential danger. Some of the details of the lapses, including the service’s fumbled response to a 2011 shooting at the White House, were unknown to Congress and the president before they were reported ….

It usually takes a little longer than this for someone in Washington to fall this hard. But fall she did.

And yeah, I partly posted this just to use the headline…

I’d also like to say that while I don’t subscribe to the school that holds that the ultimate measure of a journalist is the number of public officials’ scalps on his or her belt, the Post has done some fine work ferreting these stories out, and making a compelling case for quick action.

That said, a resignation solves nothing. The work of addressing these problems needs to begin now.

6 thoughts on “In the Line of Ire: Secret Service chief quits

  1. Bryan Caskey

    Would Bartlet have let her resign, or would he have said, “No, I have to fire you” like with Toby?

    Granted, Toby’s issue was direct disobedience, whereas Pierson’s issue was failing to do her job.

    Still, firing sends a message that “This will not be tolerated” whereas resignation is more like “Go enjoy your retirement.”

    But I guess no top official really gets fired anymore. It’s all very polite resignations.

      1. Bryan Caskey

        There’s no doubt that Toby’s was worse. The question is whether failing to do your job merits firing, or if it has to be a conscious act, like with Toby.

  2. Rose

    The elevator incident was a mind-boggling lapse in basic security measures and incredibly disturbing.
    Equally disturbing is that security at the Center for Disease Control is provided by a private security firm that doesn’t even conduct background checks on its employees, resulting in the hiring of convicted felons who are not legally able to carry firearms, but do anyway. No one in the media, that I’ve seen, seems concerned about that.

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