White House Fence-jumper gets further into the building that first thought.

White House Fence-jumper gets further into the building that first thought.

Photo by Pete Souza

After barreling past the guard immediately inside the door, Gonzalez, who was carrying a knife, dashed past the stairway leading a half-flight up to the first family’s living quarters. He then ran into the 80-foot-long East Room, an ornate space often used for receptions or presidential addresses. [Washington Post]

AFTER THE initial story broke of some guy jumping the fence and breaching the White House, didn’t you just know there was more to the story? The Secret Service isn’t what it used to be and tomorrow’s House hearing should be intense and rightly so, with Secret Service Director Julia Pierson having a lot of explaining to do.

Where were the attack dogs? From the Washington Post:

In this incident, a plainclothes surveillance team was on duty that night outside the fence, meant to spot jumpers and give early warning before they made it over. But that team did not notice Gonzalez. There was an officer in a guard booth on the North Lawn. When that officer could not reach Gonzales, there was supposed to be an attack dog, a specialized SWAT team and a guard at the front door — all at the ready.

The dog was not released, a decision now under review. Some people familiar with the incident say the handler probably felt he could not release the dog, because so many officers were in pursuit of Gonzalez and the dog may have attacked them instead.

We now know the man was a veteran with PTSD, which is as sad as it gets. That in no way excuses the Secret Service’s dereliction of duty.

What I’ve wondered from the start is why wasn’t the guy taken out by snipers half-way on his way to the front door?

The answers from anonymous sources begin with that it wasn’t “a military-style assault.” Then there is the additional consideration of what could be hit behind the intruder. To the first, are you telling me that a sniper or someone part of the Secret Service can’t wound a man? As for who’s behind the intruder, again, I’ve known civilians who can shoot accurately enough to do this job. The Secret Service can’t hit this target or bring him down with warning shots?

The answer to this alarming story is not to push back U.S. citizens.

This man should never have gotten to the White House, with all lethal force used to prevent it.