Secret Service Says Low Security is All Part of the Plan

Star-Telegram.com: | 02/22/2008 | Secret Service defends security at Obama rally in Dallas: The U.S. Secret Service on Friday defended its handling of security during a massive rally in downtown Dallas for Barack Obama, saying there was no “lapse” in its “comprehensive and layered security plan,” which called for some people to be checked for weapons, while others were not.

Nick Shapiro, a spokesman for Obama in Texas, said the campaign would have no comment on whether there was a security breech in Dallas. Shapiro referred questions to the Secret Service.

“There were no security lapses at that venue,” said Eric Zahren, a spokesman for the Secret Service in Washington. He added there was “no deviation” from the “comprehensive and layered” security plan, implemented in “very close cooperation with our law enforcement partners.”

Zahren rebutted suggestions by several Dallas police officers at the rally who thought the Secret Service ordered a halt to the time-consuming weapons check because long lines were moving slowly, and many seats remained empty as time neared for Obama to appear.

“It was never a part of the plan at this particular venue to have each and every person in the crowd pass through the Magnetometer,” said Zahren, referring to the device used to detect metal in clothing and bags.

Personally, I don’t consider this an adequate explanation. Although I put the original item, Look, We Worry About This Stuff, in my “tinfoil” category, I’m promoting it now to regular politics.

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7 Responses to Secret Service Says Low Security is All Part of the Plan

  1. Dui says:

    I don’t know anything about security protocol for political speeches. Do you? Does the SS treat Obama one way, and other politicians another? Is that the claim here?

    Perhaps this is the way these things are handled. We have no idea if Obama’s team gets to dictate the level of security, or not. If they do, perhaps they requested that not everyone be searched. If they don’t, we would still need to know the routine level of security the SS provides at such an event.

    You’re not going “conspiracy level” with this are you?

  2. rory_and_me says:

    I don’t think you need to take it to a conspiracy level, the facts speak for themselves. This wasn’t small town in New Hampshire, it was Dallas where tragedies have been known to occur before.

    Comparisons between security given to Hillary and others in the campaign and Obama, don’t correlate. Obama has been the target of serious threats. The concern level with respect to a possible attempt on his life is high – and not just among his supporters.

    This being the case, in a city like Dallas, it should be deeply concerning that a large percentage of the those in attendance obtained access without even so much as a visual check.

    Dallas cops were clear that an order came down from the ss to back off the security check – a number said they found the order odd. SS spokesperson, Zahren, claims there were no deviations from what he termed a “comprehensive and layered” plan.

    More interestingly though, when the Obama campaign people were asked if there had been a security breach, they refused comment. If they had been satisfied with the security arrangements, it’s unlikely they would withhold comment.

    This isn’t an isolated incident. A person cited in a Star-Telegram piece on the incident, claims exactly the same thing happened at an Obama rally in Boston. There is a pattern here. It’s now pretty evident that if you want to get a weapon into an Obama rally you wait until the security checks are lifted.

  3. Ann Bartow says:

    Well, if you want to back to tinfoil hat territory, if something happens to Obama there is a sizeable portion of Obama supporters who might very well blame it on Clinton, handily giving the Presidency to McCain.

  4. rory_and_me says:

    There is nothing over-the-top about realistic assessments with respect to threats and security issues that impact the Obama campaign. These are pragmatic concerns.

    The likelihood of a worst case scenario is remote, in the meantime vigilance is to be commended.

  5. CollinsJ says:

    .

    … so under what fantasy legal authority is the federal ‘Secret Service’ directing local Dallas police to conduct general, warrantless searches of thousands of citizens … who are merely attending a political speech at a local publicly-owned auditorium ?

    It matters NOT in the slightest who the particular political speaker was at this event, nor even who is elected President — as long as this outrageous trashing of the 4th Amendment is considered perfectly legal & acceptable in the United States.

  6. Thomas says:

    Once you take this step, then it doesn’t matter what happens. Secret Service insists on checking everyone, meaning there are long lines and lots of potential voters miss the speech? Of course they did: they’re trying to hurt Obama.

    The left in this country has taken their hatred of the current administration and their traditional antiAmericanism to new and newly corrosive levels. What kind of government do you think Obama is hoping to be in charge of?

  7. bemused says:

    Since when is putting someone through a metal detector as a security measure before allowing them into a private venue a warrantless search? And as usual, Thomas’s comment is just unintelligible.

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