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UPDATE: Oct. 1, 2014: (IMO as previously planned) Director Pierson has resigned.
Bottom Line First ™: Secret Service Director Julia Pierson, the raison d’être for this hearing, was barbecued to a crisp today. It was her own fault because she came across as evasive, a bonehead, and untruthful.
The Director did not give direct answers to questions, and used crafty stall tactics and sideshow parlor tricks to stall for time, simply to formulate non-responses to questions. (That’s really dishonest IMO.)
This Director came across as a bean counter/desk jockey and someone who has no business managing one of the most high profile law enforcement elite protection agencies in the United States.
Watch the hearing and post your own opinion in the comments section.
As Congressional affairs go this Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing is Super Bowl riveting. But entertainment aside, I am disgusted with how the USSS has been acting over the past few years, so I really enjoyed Congress Members from both sides of the aisle calling the Director to task.
And this is one of the best dressing downs I have ever observed. For me it was the most interesting hearing since Lt. Col. Ollie North, a hero and patriot, got thrown under the bus and forced to testify on Iran Contra.
Anyway, the dressing down by Committee Members of the Director is going down in my CSPAN Book of Legendary Hearings. All Congress Members were heroes on this day. I think they were actually genuinely pissed off.
I only expect political junkies to watch the entire hearing. For the rest of you, fast forward to the section you want to watch or heard about. (I will later provide minute markers by each Member’s time for his or her Q & A.)
NOTE: THE WITNESSES TESTIFIED UNDER OATH! (That’s frightening for anyone appearing because you don’t want to get nailed for lying to Congress, a felony with serious prison time if convicted.)
The main line of questioning was supposed to be about the White House breach by Omar Gonzalez on September 19, 2014, but Congress delved into a “pattern of misbehavior and corrupt culture within the Service. (A characterization to which Director Pierson objected. Whatever. I agree with the Committee. The USSS is NOT that big. For so many scandals to occur indicates a real problem with the Agency, especially since the public and Congress probably knows 1/100th of what all has gone on there.)
Anyway, as you will see, questioning went into varied areas, including a 2011 incident where a man fired seven shots from an AK47 at the White House. (That story broke in the Washington Post in the last few days.)
Interestingly, Director Pierson throughout the hearing displays gross incompetence. She showed that she does NOT know what’s going on in her agency, despite being on the job for 18 months.
She displayed a total lack of street smarts, something a LEO needs, especially in such an important post. IMO she appears more a paper pusher, administrator type, clearly not suited to manage men and women with guns, and the power to use them.
I’ll post more info later.
LOL moment, one Member holds up an ADT alarm services sign (the kind you see plastered on the front of homes) and asked the Director a question. ADT executives must have run up and down the halls like chortling chickens, getting the free advertising.)
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