Speed Reads

Here we go again

Two tourists allegedly avoided the Secret Service, snuck onto White House grounds in 2008

PR-wise, the Secret Service is not having a good time of it.

Less than a month ago, a man managed to scale a fence outside the White House, race across the lawn, and breach the entrance itself before being tackled by security. A week later, a man pretending to be a member of Congress successfully reached the backstage area of an event at which President Barack Obama was speaking.

And even before the infamous state-dinner crashers in 2009, the White House had struggled with uninvited visitors, The Washington Examiner reports.

Sources claim that in the summer of 2008, a pair of German tourists entered the White House grounds after peeling off from a legitimate tour group, only being noticed and then apprehended when they began using unauthorized cameras to take pictures near the White House's North Portico. Uniformed Division inspectors who allegedly investigated the incident said the breach occurred because two Secret Service officers charged with guarding the departure gate that the tourists doubled back through were talking and distracted. Agents allegedly claim long hours and surprise shifts result in fatigue, which they say is partly responsible for the security breaches.

The Secret Service's solution to the security lapse? The Examiner reports that they installed "a serpentine bike rack to make it more difficult to enter the White House grounds."