25 February 2008

Entrenched incompetence ...

So it seems that the jawdropping story of the Secret Service, who didn't bother to make sure that Barack Obama was safe during a rally at which 17,000 people attended last Wednesday, is still a mere yawner to our sharp-as-tacks and hot-on-the-job Journalists of the New Millennium. They can barely be moved to mention it.

Fortunately, Brad Jacobson over at MediaBloodhound is paying attention and getting the details down for posterity, just in case. He's put together a rather comprehensive special report:

"It's important to remember that the Secret Service is not some agency operating separately from the administration that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are still running.

"In fact, on March 1, 2003, this administration officially made the U.S. Secret Service part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. (You might have heard of that crack federal department, the same one that seven years after 9/11 still can't ensure our airline cargo is checked.) Before that change, since its inception in 1865, the Secret Service had been part of the United States Department of Treasury, operating as a distinct organization within that department beginning in 1883. So what's your guess? That Secret Service improved or worsened under this administration after it was subsumed by the Department of Homeland Security? I would take odds on the latter, but I'm not a betting man.

"So here's the bottom line: without detailing all of this administration's constitutional law-breaking (torture, secret prisons, wiretapping, etc.), its long record of criminal negligence alone - from the security breakdown on 9/11 to the invasion of Iraq ('You go with the army you have, not the army you want') to Katrina ('Heckuva job, Brownie!') to the recently revealed diseased beef supply - is reason enough to be deeply troubled by Secret Service claims that its protection is sufficient when only some participants at presidential candidate events are being checked for weapons.

"Clearly something is not quite right here. Hopefully enough light will shine on this matter before a preventable tragedy occurs as a consequence of our media, our leaders and our citizens paying too little attention."

Read the rest here.

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