Secret Service Director “Forgot” His Agents Were Illegally I

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Secret Service Director “Forgot” His Agents Were Illegally I

Postby admin » Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:17 am

Secret Service Director “Forgot” His Agents Were Illegally Investigating Congressman
by Andrew Emett
October 4, 2015

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Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy told investigators he was, in fact, aware his agents had got ahold of confidential information in regards to the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. So he was aware of this information days before it was released to the public.

In contrast to his original story, Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy informed investigators this week that he was aware his agents had accessed private information in retaliation against the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

During an apology to Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Dir. Clancy told the congressman that he had been aware of the sensitive information days before it was leaked to the media but had forgotten about it. Instead of embarrassing the congressional chairman, the Secret Service merely emphasized the need for more oversight to reign in the petulant agency.

During a March 24 House hearing, Rep. Chaffetz reprimanded Clancy and the agency after two Secret Service agents were caught on surveillance video driving drunk into an active bomb investigation. Instead of allowing law enforcement officials to arrest the agents or determine their blood alcohol content, a Secret Service supervisor simply decided to send them home.

Immediately after the embarrassing hearing, 45 Secret Service agents from nearly every layer of the agency, including senior headquarters offices, the president’s protective detail, and the office of investigations, violated federal privacy law by accessing a restricted database and pulling up sensitive information on Chaffetz. After discovering that Chaffetz had applied to the Secret Service over a decade ago but was rejected, the agents shared the disparaging information with their colleagues while creating posters mocking the oversight chairman.

On March 31, Edward Lowery, the Assistant Director of the Office of Training, wrote in an email to a fellow director, “Some information that he [Chaffetz] might find embarrassing needs to get out. Just to be fair.”

Two days later, The Daily Beast published an article about Chaffetz’s rejected application to the agency after the Secret Service illegally leaked the information to the media. While conducting an investigation, John Roth, inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, found that 18 supervisors, including assistant directors, the deputy director, and even Clancy’s chief of staff knew the information was being widely shared through agency offices. But Roth’s report stated that Clancy was completely ignorant of the actions of his agents.

While apologizing to Chaffetz during a recent phone call, Clancy admitted that he had learned about the rejected job application days before it was leaked to the public but had forgotten about it. Instead of investigating the illegal security breaches, Clancy dismissed the accusations as “speculative rumor.”

In a statement to The Washington Post, Clancy wrote, “It was not until later that I became aware that this rumor had developed as Agency employees had used an Agency database to gain access to this information.”

Unfortunately for Clancy, his statement does not make any sense. His agents could not have known Chaffetz’s application had been rejected unless they illegally accessed the database. The fact that the agency knew private information about the oversight chairman meant that his people had breached the restricted database.

Although Clancy initially told investigators that he was unaware of the incident before it was leaked to the media, the director decided to revise his account this week. Claiming that he now remembers a top deputy had informed him about his agents spreading the sensitive information, Clancy says that he simply forgot about the issue until it became public a week later. According to officials, investigators from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general’s office plan to reinterview Clancy concerning his memory lapse.

The current controversy surrounding the agency is merely the most recent in a litany of abuse and misconduct. On April 15, a Florida postal worker protesting against weakened campaign finance reform laws also inadvertently pointed out a massive security lapse by landing his gyrocopter on White House grounds. A Secret Service manager was put on leave with his security clearance suspended after a female employee accused him of sexually assaulting her at agency headquarters in March.

On October 1, 2014, former Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned after lying to congressional members regarding her failure to disclose all security breaches to President Obama. On September 19, 2014, Iraq war veteran Omar Gonzalez leapt over the fence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and broke into the White House equipped with a three-inch serrated knife. During a visit to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention three days earlier, President Obama entered an elevator accompanied by an armed private contractor with three convictions for assault and battery.

In May 2013, Secret Service supervisor Ignacio Zamora left a bullet in a woman’s hotel room and attempted to force his way back into the room to retrieve it. In March 2013, three members of the Secret Service’s Counter Assault Team were placed on paid administrative leave after one of them was found passed out drunk in a hallway by hotel staff in Amsterdam. Days before President Obama’s arrival to the international summit in Cartagena in 2012, multiple Secret Service and DEA agents were caught purchasing prostitutes in Colombia.

“Again they are demonstrating why we need to conduct thorough oversight of their agency,” Chaffetz stated. “Their culture is reprehensible.”
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Re: Secret Service Director “Forgot” His Agents Were Illegal

Postby admin » Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:19 am

Congressman Who Oversees Secret Service Was Rejected by Secret Service
by Tim Mak
4/2/15

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Jason Chaffetz, who as House Oversight Committee chairman is responsible for overseeing the agency, once applied for a job there and was turned down—because of his age, he says.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, who oversees the Secret Service, never disclosed that he had applied for and was rejected from the agency in the early 2000s.

“It was because I was too old,” the Utah Republican told The Daily Beast. “I’m not sure [of the reason]…that’s more than a decade ago.”

The Secret Service now requires that applicants be between the ages of 21 and 37 at the time of appointment. Chaffetz said he was unsure whether he had applied in 2002 or 2003. He would have been 36 in 2003.

Asked whether he harbored any ill will at being rejected from the agency, he replied, “That’s pretty funny, no.” He pointed out that his grandfather had been a law enforcement agent.

Chaffetz said he “might have” applied to the FBI around the same time, as well. But he wasn’t sure, he said.

The congressman explained that he hadn’t disclosed his Secret Service application because he had spent only “10 minutes” on his application and hadn’t thought about it in years.

“I haven’t looked at that in more than a decade. It’s not something that’s entered my mind…seriously, this was like 10 minutes, 12 years ago,” he said.

In 2003, around the time Chaffetz applied, the Secret Service application form was some 50 pages long.

The congressmen said he was motivated to apply because “it was just after 9/11.” He applied for the Secret Service through a field office.

Early on in the process, he received a “BQA” letter, a rejection letter that explained he was rejected because there were better qualified applicants at the time. A BQA is a generic rejection that can take place at various points of the application process. Chaffetz said he was never given a physical test by the Secret Service.

Chaffetz, who was elected to Congress in 2008 and has chaired the Oversight Committee since January, has been on a mission to root out the causes of the Secret Service’s dysfunction.

The Secret Service, which is responsible for protecting the president and foreign dignitaries, among other functions, has suffered from a series of embarrassing scandals in the past few years.

Last year, a White House fence jumper was able to make it into the White House through an unlocked door. Later, an armed security guard was allowed in the same elevator as President Obama.

And the 2012 Secret Service prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, still hangs over the agency’s reputation.

Chaffetz’s committee announced this week that it was subpoenaing two Secret Service officials, after the agency suffered another embarrassment last month. Agents had allegedly collided with a White House barrier while an active suspicious package threat was being investigated.
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Re: Secret Service Director “Forgot” His Agents Were Illegal

Postby admin » Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:23 am

Drunken Secret Service Agents Crash into White House Barricade
by Andrew Emett
March 12, 2015

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Secret Service agents Mark Connolly and George Ogilvie were returning from drinking and celebrating the retirement of departing Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan. While driving drunk through the police tape and interrupting an active investigation, the agents crashed into a temporary barricade in their government vehicle.

In yet another example of misconduct and incompetence, the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general has launched an investigation into two Secret Service agents caught on surveillance camera driving drunk and crashing into a White House barricade. Besides driving under the influence, the agents also disturbed an active bomb investigation by possibly driving over the suspicious package. Instead of allowing law enforcement officials to arrest the agents or determine their blood alcohol content, a Secret Service supervisor simply decided to send them home.

Around 10:25pm on March 4, a Pennsylvania woman exited a blue Toyota near the southeast entrance of the White House carrying a package wrapped in a green shirt. As the woman approached a Secret Service agent, she shouted at him that she was holding a bomb. After placing the package on the ground, the woman ran back to her vehicle and jumped inside with the agent in pursuit.

Opening the front passenger door, the agent ordered the woman to exit the vehicle when she put the car in reverse. After the open door struck the agent, he managed to reach inside the car and force it into park. But the woman shifted it back into drive and sped off before the agent could stop her. Officers immediately secured the area with police tape and called the bomb squad to check the package for explosives.

During that time, Secret Service agents Mark Connolly and George Ogilvie were returning from a party at a bar about eight blocks away from the White House where they had been drinking and celebrating the retirement of departing Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan. While driving drunk through the police tape and interrupting an active investigation, the agents crashed into a temporary barricade in their government vehicle shortly before 11pm. According to witnesses and video footage, investigators believe the inebriated agents may have driven over the suspicious package.

As officers attempted to arrest Connolly and Ogilvie, a senior supervisor appeared and allegedly ordered the officers to release the agents without conducting field sobriety tests. Instead of punishing the agents, the supervisor ordered Connolly and Ogilvie to return home. At 11:45pm, the bomb squad determined the suspicious item was not a threat and instead turned out to be a book.

Two days later, the Secret Service found the woman and charged her with assault with a dangerous weapon for trying to run over an agent with her car. Instead of placing the intoxicated agents on administrative leave, Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy transferred Connolly, the second-in-command on President Obama’s detail; and Ogilvie, a senior supervisor in the Washington field office; to non-supervisory, non-operational assignments. Due to the fact that the incident involves senior officials, the Department of Homeland Security inspector general will handle the investigation instead of allowing the Secret Service to conduct an internal review of the charges.

The incident is merely the latest example of a history marred with misconduct and incompetence. On October 1, 2014, former Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned after lying to congressional members regarding her failure to disclose all security breaches to President Obama. On September 19, 2014, Iraq war veteran Omar Gonzalez leapt over the fence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and broke into the White House equipped with a three-inch serrated knife. During a visit to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention three days earlier, President Obama entered an elevator accompanied by an armed private contractor with three convictions for assault and battery.

In May 2013, Secret Service supervisor Ignacio Zamora left a bullet in a woman’s hotel room and attempted to force his way back into the room to retrieve it. In March 2013, three members of the Secret Service’s Counter Assault Team were placed on paid administrative leave after one of them was found passed out drunk in a hallway by hotel staff in Amsterdam. Days before President Obama’s arrival to the international summit in Cartagena in 2012, multiple Secret Service and DEA agents were caught purchasing prostitutes in Colombia.

On November 11, 2011, Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez fired a semi-automatic rifle at the White House while Sasha Obama was home. The Secret Service realized four days later that seven bullets had hit the White House only after a maid noticed broken glass and pieces of cement on the Truman balcony.

“The Secret Service has suffered from a lack of leadership and that has had a detrimental impact on security, training, protocols, and overall culture,” stated Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed the first black Secret Service agent to the Presidential Protective Division. During an interview with ABC News, former Secret Service agent Abraham Bolden admitted that his white colleagues repeatedly drank on the job.

“I told the chief of the Secret Service this, that if anything happens, that if an emergency situation happens with President Kennedy, that their reflexes are gonna be in such a condition that they won’t be able to respond,” recalled Bolden. “And Dallas, Texas, proved that I was right.”
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