To a lifetime Fed like me, the biggest shock of Hurricane Katrina was the colossal failure of the Corps of Engineers, FEMA, and the Defense Department. It proved that the Bush administration couldn’t govern. Surely the Dems, and President Obama, would do better. Not so fast, Bob, the Obama administration may not be any better.
But if the Obama administration isn’t up to the task, thank God for Michaele and Tareq Salahi. The Salahis got through the Secret Service security and crashed the White House reception and state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Salahis were just publicity hounds, not killers, and their escapade may well shock the government into fixing the apparent carelessness of the U.S. Secret Service before one of the many potential assassins get through the USSS’s haphazard security.
The recent book by ex-Secret Service man Ronald Kessler warns that the Service is regularly compromising the President’s safety by, for example, not bothering to put everybody who could come close to the President through a metal detector. Contributing to the problem is the Department of Homeland Security, which seems to be starving its USSS subsidiary of funding just like it starved FEMA before Katrina hit.
All this carelessness and failure to get the job done is a huge violation of the U.S. Government’s ethics code, which requires every government person to “ [give] to the performance of his duties his earnest effort and best thought.” The Secretary of Homeland Security and the President need to find and fire those responsible…or else it’ll be clear that they are the ones responsible.