The United States Secret Service: Security Failures and Concerns During Obama’s Presidency (with accompanying CD-ROM)


Melanie Fields (Editor)

Series: Government Procedures and Operations
BISAC: SCI017000

The United States Secret Service (USSS) is tasked with a zero-failure mission: to protect the President and other protectees at all costs. For most of its existence, USSS has strived to complete that mission while simultaneously garnering the respect and admiration of the American people. Secret Service agents and officers earned a reputation as stoic and impervious guardians of our government’s most important leaders. The American public’s respect for the agency diminished following the April 2012 prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, which attracted significant media attention and exposed systemic problems within the agency. Since then, several incidents have made it abundantly clear that USSS is in crisis. The agency’s weaknesses have been exposed by a series of security failures at the White House, during presidential visits, and at the residences of other officials, including Vice President Biden and former presidents of the United States. The Committee’s investigation found that problems that undermine USSS’s protective mission predate and postdate the misconduct in Cartagena. The Committee also found that at times agency leaders have provided incomplete and inaccurate information to Congress. This book examines four incidents in detail: a November 11, 2011, incident where an individual fired several shots at the White House from a semiautomatic rifle; the April 2012 misconduct in Cartagena, Colombia; a September 16, 2014, incident at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, where an armed contract security guard with a violent arrest history rode in an elevator with President Obama and later breached the President’s security formation; and a March 4, 2015, incident where two intoxicated senior USSS officials— including a top official on the President’s protective detail—interfered with a crime scene involving a bomb threat just outside the White House grounds. Furthermore, the book provides information on USSS funding and staffing because congressional attention has turned to the USSS and its operations due to several recent incidents. (Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. United States Secret Service: An Agency in Crisis
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Chapter 2. U.S. Secret Service Protection Mission Funding and Staffing: Fact Sheet
Shawn Reese, William L. Painter, Jared C. Nagel, and Daniel J. Richardson


Accompanying CD-ROM Table of Contents:

United States Secret Service: An Agency in Crisis (Appendices)
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

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