Rep. Trey Gowdy Grills Secret Service Director Julia Pierson (Video)

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Tuesday morning to answer questions about recent White House security breaches.

Pierson’s appearance before the committee were her first public statements about how an Army veteran armed with a knife,  was able to jump the fence  on Sept. 19 and bust into the White House where he made it all the way to the East Room before he was stopped.

Initially, we were told that Omar Gonzalez had been stopped right inside the front door.

Pierson, who took over as director of the Secret Service 18 months ago, was also questioned closely about a 2011 incident in which the agency failed to recognize that the White House had been struck by several rounds of gunfire until damage was found days later by staffers.

More from the hearing:

Early in the hearing, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif, said that the country has “placed great trust” in the Secret Service and referred to the $1.5 billion that funds the agency.

But he said a “history of misbehavior” has tarnished the agency’s reputation. The Gonzalez incident represented a breach of five layers of security, he said, and he went on to list a catalog of other missteps, beginning with the 2009 crashing of a White House state dinner by an uninvited couple, agents consorting with prostitutes in Cartagena, Columbia, and a drinking incident in the Netherlands earlier this year.

“We have to ask whether the culture of the Secret Service has been impacting the operation,” he said. “How much would it cost to lock the front door of the White House?”

Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., offered an inventory of weapons Gonzalez was carrying in his car during his first encounter with police months before the Sept. 19 incident.

“Then he shows up at the White House with a hatchet in his belt. No red flags and you let him go,” Lynch said.

“When do the red flags go up for the Secret Service? This is disgraceful,” he said, adding that the distance Gonzalez traveled inside the White House represented half a public tour of the White House.

“I wish you spent the time protecting the White House that you spent protecting your reputation here today,” Lynch said.

Pierson sat silently before interjecting: “Let me be clear, the United States Secret Service does not take any of these incidents lightly.”

But Lynch pressed on, saying that he had “very low confidence in the Secret Service under your leadership.”

 MORE:

Via Twitchy:

 

Also via Twitchy: You got to go, lady’: Time for bumbling Secret Service director to hit the road?

 

The Watcher’s Council Weasel of The Week Nominations!!!

weasel of the week

Hello and welcome to the Watcher’s Council’s  ‘Weasel Of The Week’ nominations,  where we award the golden plastic Weasel to a public figure who particularly deserves to be publicly slimed and mocked for his or her dastardly deeds during the week. Every Tuesday morning, tune in for the Weasel of the Week nominations and check back Thursday to see which Weasel gets the votes and walks off with the statuette of shame!

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Here are this weeks’ nominees:

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President Barack Hussein Obama!!

The Noisy Room:  Barack Obama for his ‘Latte Salute’ of his Marine guard this past week. It was one of the most disgraceful, disrespectful things I have ever seen. The salute reveals Obama’s true feelings towards the military and his contempt and utter disrespect for our warriors. How very un-presidential… how very un-Commander-in-Chief.

While it is protocol for U.S. service members in uniform to salute the Commander-in-Chief, it’s not required for a civilian president to salute back, military experts say. Ronald Reagan is thought to have set precedent for the practice back in 1981, so this is also a slap at Reagan. The salute is not required, but expected by Americans and the military. Since Obama is also left handed, some looked at this gesture as calculated. He did it with his right hand. By the way, Obama is a tea drinker normally, not a coffee drinker.

The Independent Sentinel: I have to name Barack Obama again. He blamed the intelligence community for his refusal to act on the ISIS threat during a 60 Minutes interview Sunday.

“Well, I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” Obama told Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes.
Everyone in the world who is paying attention knows he’s lying.

 Radovan Karadži?

Radovan Karadzic, Former President Of The Bosnian Serb Republic!!

The Glittering Eye:Although I was tempted to nominate George Clooney, I finally settled on the supervillain who was back in the news this week: Radovan Karadzic. As president of the Bosnian Serb Republic he was a driving force behind the murders of thousands of Bosnian men and boys and deserves the lengthy imprisonment that very few really doubt he will receive.

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Suhaib Webb,  former imam of of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, and currently imam of the Islamic Society of Boston!!

 Virginia Right!: For best taquiyyah performance as a ‘peaceful Muslim.’  Imam Webb’s most recent newsmaker was to publicly apologize to ISIS and al-Qaeda for criticizing them.

Melissa-Harris-Perry

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry!!

 Nice Deb:For refusing to see the OBVIOUS link to radical Islam in the Oklahoma beheading.

She repeated the administration spin that it was “workplace violence” and condemned any references to his Islamic faith when discussing the crime with her equally clueless guests.

A week after an ISIS beheading plot was disrupted in Australia – the very week an ISIS commander called for lone wolf attacks in America – specifically for beheadings, a Muslim jailhouse convert who has jihadist pictures on his Facebook page, beheads a co-worker while reportedly shouting Muslim phrases – and this dim bulb can’t see the connection? She can’t connect the dots? Or she feels compelled to push a politically correct counter-narrative because she feels the American people can’t be trusted with the truth?

Whatever the case – it’s pathetic – and weaselly.

Well, there it is! Are these worthy weasels or what? Check back Thursday to see which Weasel walks off with the statuette of shame!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum.

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted onFriday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

Live: House Oversight and Reform Hearing on Security Failures

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson told the House Oversight and Reform Committee she takes “full responsibility” for the recent fence-jumping incident in which a an intruder was able to make it deep into the White House before being detained.

Via the Washington Examiner:

“I am here today to address the concern that we all share, following the incident on Sept. 19 at the White House. It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly,” she told lawmakers at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Tuesday morning.

“I take full responsibility; what happened is unacceptable and it will never happen again.”

Testimony and questions are ongoing.