Friday, March 20, 2015

The U.S. Secret Service Wants $8,000,000 To Build Fake White House To Practice On


White House (front)

The U.S. Secret Service is under fire for security failures in protecting President Barack Obama and his family. A series of high profile scandals, missteps and negligence, has created an enormous amount of press and public scrutiny (Two Secret Service Agents Crash Vehicle On White House Premises In The Latest Scandal To Hit The Agency Under The Obama Administration).

The U.S. Secret Service, via a plea to Congress by new director, Director Joseph Clancy, seeks $8,000,000 in taxpayer money for a fake White House to be constructed, which would enable them to practice for real life attacks and crisis. It is a costly proposition in what will not solve the problem.
A few basic security changes are in order. A few months ago, a crazed, knife carrying intruder hopped the fence, ran across the White House lawn and entered the historic home. The security breach was unprecedented [Latest Secret Service Breach Sees An Intruder Make It All The Way Into The White House (Video)].    

White House (front)

A keypad entry on the doors with a simple 4-5 digit code would prevent future intrusions (if done correctly). The White House has French doors at select entry/exit points. The glass material should be bulletproof. Security checks should be done on all window locks. It doesn't matter if a window is bullet proof if an old of faulty lock can easily be compromised.

Secret Service agents shifts should not be too long. It's a job that requires focus, concentration and long hours on one's feet. Spending too many hours standing and on high alert is taxing on the mind and body. Preventable mistakes happen under those circumstances.

A common security problem of national residences of heads of state in the Western, developed world is the buildings are hundreds of years old. With the passage of time, urbanization meant surrounding developments were built fairly close to national residences. As such, many national residences are fairly close to public streets and security threats.

Downing Street before (bottom) and after (top) security gates

Take for instance, 10 Downing Street in London, England. Land is so valuable in London that a plethora of buildings have been built very close to the Prime Minister's residence. So much so, that after a security threat, Downing Street was closed to the public via a massive gate, which was a logical solution to a potentially terrible problem.    

I am of the belief, it is dangerous the road in front of the White House is opened to the public (Pennsylvania Avenue). Last year a mentally ill woman crashed her car into the White House gate [Woman And Child Crash Into The White House's East Gate]. Anyone who could get that close could deploy a chemical weapon, fire a missile from a bulletproof car or be a human bomb, before being shot and killed. A security perimeter should render parts of Pennsylvania Avenue closed to the public, requiring authorized access.

All heads of state's national residences should be retrofitted with bomb proofing materials internally and externally. A radar system should be in place to detect and intercept any possible missile launches. Scientific equipment should also be used to detect biohazardous materials on the streets opposing the national buildings, as well as items on potential visitors. You never know with some people. Nothing should be left to chance.


Secret Service wants to build $8M fake White House for training

March 17, 2015 | 3:36pm - WASHINGTON — The new head of the embattled Secret Service is seriously asking Congress to spend millions to build a fake White House so agents can do a better job of protecting the real one. “The mock White House — we feel that’s important,” Director Joseph Clancy told a House Appropriations panel Tuesday.

But after the latest embarrassment of agents ramming a White House barricade after a night of drinking, lawmakers were skeptical of Clancy’s leadership and of his request.  “You want to build an $8 million White House replica for training?” asked a stunned Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas).

“Yes,” Clancy replied. “I have concerns about that — I want to be supportive — but I have concerns about $8 million for a replica White House,” Cuellar came back. Clancy contended the Secret Service training facility in Beltsville, Maryland, about 20 miles from the real White House, isn’t adequate...