Secret Service Puts 3 Agents on Leave for State Dinner Lapse

December 4, 2009

(ChattahBox)—-The hearing called by the House Homeland Security Committee to investigate the White House gate-crashing incident, heard testimony from Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan on Thursday. And he acknowledged that human error by three uniformed agents was responsible for the security lapse, which resulted in two aspiring reality TV stars entering the White House uninvited. Sullivan told the panel that the three agents were placed on administrative leave and the investigation into the protocol breach is continuing.

“In our judgment, a mistake was made. In our line of work, we cannot afford even one mistake,” Sullivan told the congressional panel. “I fully acknowledge that the proper procedures were not followed,” he said. ” … This flaw has not changed our agency’s standard, which is to be right 100 percent of the time.”

The chairman of the panel, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) asked Sullivan for details on the mistakes made:

“Pure and simple, this was human error” in which normal security protocols were not followed. The breach was not caused by poor screening technology, said Sullivan. “What we find is if the protocols are followed, we would not run into this situation,” Sullivan added.

Thompson made clear that the purpose of the hearing was to ensure that our president was well protected:

“This hearing is not about crashing a party at the White House. Nor is it about wannabe celebrities,” said Thompson. “We’re not concerned about agency embarrassment. We’re all fortunate that this diplomatic celebration did not become a night of horror. … We must dissect every fact … and after we do these things, we need to give thanks that no lives were lost,” he said.

The ranking Republican on the panel, Rep. King from New York, asked Sullivan if a White House staff member stationed at security checkpoints would have prevented the gate-crashers from gaining admittance. Sullivan responded that, “It would have helped.”

The White House has now changed its policy and will station staff members from the social secretary’s office at Secret Service checkpoints for future events.

As expected, the gate-crashing couple Michaele and Tareq Salahi did not appear at the hearing and Rep. Thompson is preparing subpoenas for the couple and is considering contempt charges.

King accused the White House of “stonewalling” for not allowing the social secretary, Desiree Rogers to appear before the committee.

Earlier in the day, President Obama expressed his confidence in the Secret Service and the protection they provide for his family and staff. “I could not have more confidence in the Secret Service,” said Obama.



5 Responses to “Secret Service Puts 3 Agents on Leave for State Dinner Lapse”

  1. Massachusetts Homeowners Making Money For Being Green | Massachusetts Real Estate on December 4th, 2009 8:15 am

    […] Secret Service Puts 3 Agents on Leave for State Dinner Lapse … […]

  2. Twenty Fresh: Why Madonna is the Lucky Woman of the Moment | Madonna Celebrity Monitor on December 4th, 2009 10:48 pm

    […] Secret Service Puts 3 Agents on Leave for State Dinner Lapse … […]

  3. Showcase Your Skills To Get The Right Job | Job On Net | Business Ethics Wisdom on December 5th, 2009 12:29 am

    […] Secret Service Puts 3 Agents on Leave for State Dinner Lapse … […]

  4. how to sell and list real estate for real estate agents | Iowa Real Estate on December 5th, 2009 4:01 am

    […] Secret Service Puts 3 Agents on Leave for State Dinner Lapse … […]

  5. Anderson Cooper 360: Blog Archive – Climate challenge demands … | Management Business Wisdom on December 7th, 2009 5:02 pm

    […] Secret Service Puts 3 Agents on Leave for State Dinner Lapse … […]

Got something to say? **Please Note** - Comments may be edited for clarity or obscenity, and all comments are published at the discretion of - Comments are the opinions of the individuals leaving them, and not of or its partners. - Please do not spam or submit comments that use copyright materials, hearsay or are based on reports where the supposed fact or quote is not a matter of public knowledge are also not permitted.