March 18, 2017

Why is the security around Trump so bad?

1. "A California man who climbed over the White House fence last week managed to roam undetected on the grounds for about 17 minutes, as Secret Service agents appeared to ignore several alarms, officials said Friday," the NYT reports.

2. There's that laptop computer that was stolen that contained floor plans to Trump Tower among other important things. It was stolen from a car that Secret Service agent Marie Argentieri parked overnight in a driveway in Brooklyn. I wouldn't treat my laptop that way even if it had absolutely nothing sensitive in it.
A Secret Service “employee was the victim of a criminal act in which our agency-issued laptop computer was stolen,” spokesman Shawn Holtzclaw said in a statement.
That's not good enough! The Secret Service is supposed to protect the President from criminal acts. It can't play the victim card! And by the way, how do I know Argentieri was just a hapless victim?

71 comments:

roesch/voltaire said...

Same reason there were breached during Obama's administration-- human error, distractions, and sleep problems.

MadisonMan said...

Of course losing a laptop like that should be a fire-able offense. But, Government Employee, and all that. Disgraceful.

Who would've thought a valuable item left in a car overnight would be stolen? How about anyone with a lick of common sense. What morons are being hired?

alan markus said...

how do I know Argentieri was just a hapless victim?

Thief gets dropped off by a car (possibly an Uber), walked over to her car and takes the stuff, and then walks away. Seemed more than a random act.

WisRich said...

Ann Said...

And by the way, how do I know Argentieri was just a hapless victim?

---------

As I understand the event, person picks out a random neighborhood, pulls up in a car, possibly Uber, get's out looking for a score and finds the one car that belongs to an SS agent, is unlocked, and happens to have a laptop with highly sensitive information along with other security equipment, and walks away.

Nope, no possibility of an inside job there.

AprilApple said...

Marie Argentieri - Should be fired. now.
Incompetent or...

Robin Eatmon said...

I have had my concerns about the Secret Service for several years. There were several issues during the Obama administration and now these. I think something is seriously wrong and it needs to fixed.

alan markus said...

Yesterday the meme generators were busy with the "Melania Trump security costs $300,000 a day, and yet we can not afford the same to fund NPR, etc." posts on Facebook.

This is the best the government can do for $300,000 a day? (set aside for a moment that the figure itself is ill informed).

AprilApple said...

How much to we spend on Hillary and her SS duty?

Leftists don't care.

Joshua R. Poulson said...

Because the establishment wants him to waste his time feeling vulnerable.

Lewis Wetzel said...

This has got Putin's fingerprints all over it! Putin, I tell you! Putin!
And do you think Trump is going to lose any sleep over some greasy Ivan getting his commie paws on some female Secret Service agent's precious, private goods?
We know the answer to that question, don't we.

Mac McConnell said...

"What morons are being hired?"

Clowns!

DanTheMan said...

Ah, New York... Where you can park your car, walk three blocks, and find your own tires for sale.

alan markus said...

When I read the article yesterday, it referred to her car as a "2015 Bajaj" - I wondered what the heck kind of car that was (from India?) - all I could find on Google were motorcycles.

Now I notice the same article had deleted that detail. I googled "2015 Bajaj Argentieri" and it links to this article: The thief stepped out of a dark-colored car, possibly an Uber, and stole the laptop from Argentieri’s vehicle, a 2015 Bajaj, which was parked in the driveway of her Bath Beach home, sources said. Neighbors said the thief struck about 3 a.m - (quoted the NY Daily News article

Maybe the laptop was in the saddle bag of a motorcycle?

traditionalguy said...

One news story said this Secret Service laptop was snatched purposefully by a man dressed in black who was driven up to the house and driven away. It happened near the Brighton Beach, which is a Russian enclave.

traditionalguy said...

Putin is toying with the inept Americans. He wants attention. And his spy ship cruises along off shore.

robinintn said...

Why? Because there have so far been no negative consequences (for anyone who "matters"), and because the current (Republican President) fad in the culture and MSM for violence and assassination porn indicate that any future consequences will be positive.

Lewis Wetzel said...

That thief was lucky! The laptop bag might have been full of piranhas.
I've been watching a lot of Bond movies lately.

Darrell said...

And his spy ship cruises along off shore.

Russians have only being doing that since the end of WWII or so.

David Baker said...

Sounds like a setup.

And a laptop full of garbage.

Johnathan Birks said...

Secret Service has been a scandal for years. Colombian prostitutes, drunken binges in Holland, multiple breaches at the White House. If there's one swamp that needs draining ASAP it's this one, and it can't be as hard as killing Big Bird.

St. George said...

Presumably the laptop had a tracking device in it.....and was bugged to listen and view the thieves. Best case scenario---it was left to be stolen and contained viruses or misleading security information....

Michael K said...

I just hope Trump still has his own security around him. He could use the USSS for decoys.

Big Mike said...

If her hard drive was not encrypted then her next assignment should be searching for four leaf clovers. In Alaska. During a blizzard. In a bikini.

JHapp said...

Why isn't anyone talking about 20 years in jail for this moron, patriot act style.

Darrell said...

I'd fire anyone who has Green Day on any electronic device they own.

Psota said...

Remember one of the early Trump scandals was his plan to use his own private security detail?

"No!" They cried. "The Secret Service is uniquely qualified! And so professional!"

No they suck

And that Lady Agent deserves something more than a firing. Talk about gross mishandling...

Ambrose said...

Yes, but how do we know the Trump Tower plans weren't clever fakes?

Fernandinande said...

“It showed somebody running to the car and running back out and then laughing in Russian” he said.

dda6ga dda6ga said...

thought it was going to be a quicky and turned out to be an all nighter, forgot to lock the car...

ceowens said...

Hopefully, he didn't get a gun too.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/22/politics/secret-service-gun-badge-stolen-dc/index.html

Paul said...

Well after eight years of Obama, the SS have been off their game. Drunks, whoring, leaving guns at airports. I guess Trump needs to just fire them all and get a new team in.

damikesc said...

Secret Service wasn't terribly good under Obama, either (didn't one guy get INTO the White House?).

There is something seriously wrong with that outfit. They seem to have gotten sloppy and the biggest plus they ever had was their aura of impenetrability. That is gone. The best way to avoid problems is for people to believe that they wouldn't be successful if they tried.

I fear an eventual assassination.

Michael K said...

"Secret Service wasn't terribly good under Obama, either"

I suspect it is at least in part related to the way they are treated by the principals.

Reagan's Secret Service agent wrote a very good book called, "Riding with Reagan.

He was the only agent who knew how to ride a horse when Reagan was elected. He stayed with them until Reagan died.

On Inauguration Day. Nancy referred to the agent by his name, Roslynn Carter said, "You know their names ?"

Hillary was notorious and still is. I'll bet the Obama's were as bad.

Big Mike said...

Hillary was notorious and still is. I'll bet the Obama's were as bad.

No takers on that one.

And I agree with Psota.

Unknown said...

Meanwhile, the left and "lifelong republicans" like Chuck cheer the news, openly hoping Trump's security is so compromised he can be killed.

And then they'll defend themselves by saying something about how it wasn't a wiretap or something.

--Vance

Michael said...

The female agent should be made to buy a new laptop (high end MacBook Pro fully loaded) with her own money. Then be fired.

The Drill SGT said...

Roslynn Carter said, "You know their names ?"

Basic military leadership lesson that is applicable to the SS and their protectees.

If you want somebody to take a bullet for you, know their names, and invite their kids to the WH more than once a year for Easter eggs.

PS: A friend (best man) was a Coastie "special Military Aide" during the Carter Admin and stayed in the loop into the Clinton years. He wasn't a regular Aide to the POTUS, but was one of those extra, handsome single, young military officers called out for State dinners to escort VIPs around. Flashy uniforms, lady on arm, etc.

Hillary was beyond rude o the Military Aides. She was obscenely offensive, and vindictive.

tcrosse said...

How far down the order of succession do they have to kill until they find somebody Hillary could beat ? After all, she couldn't even figure out how to beat Donald Trump with 3 million more popular votes. And who would find Hillary worth killing for, especially if the Big Money is no longer behind her ?

Jonathan Graehl said...

women in physical roles in the secret service make no sense
but for the absent-minded losing of crucial documents they'll do in a pinch

Greg Hlatky said...

Let's not normalize Trump to the point he can feel comfortable that he won't be an assassination target. Remember von Stauffenburg!

tcrosse said...

von Stauffenburg failed spectacularly, is what I remember.

rcocean said...

This SS agent should be fired, and so should the one who said she wouldn't take a bullet for Trump because he was so 'icky'.

Like many agencies, SS is probably the victim of affirmative action and probably has a quota of 50% of women, even though most top quality women are NOT interested in "taking a bullet for the POTUS". Probably for every 1 woman who dreams of being a SS agent there are 50 men who do so. So, if you put a 50/50 quota on it, you're going to get inferior agents.

But I don't want to blame affirmative action. There's something wrong with the SS, and Trump needs to fix it, fast.

rcocean said...

I'm really concerned about Trump safety. There's a long list of Pols who've been the victim of left-wing violence.

JFK - Killed by a Commmie
RFK - killed by Left-wing Palestinian
Wallace - shot by a left wing nut
Ford - Almost killed by a left-wing SF native
Reagan - shot by a left-wing nut.

We've already had some left-wing English nut try to kill Trump at a Rally. Fortunately, his planned assassination was so dumb it didn't go anywhere.

rcocean said...

I wonder what proof the SS agent has provided that her trunk was broken into and the laptop "Stolen". What if she just gave the laptop to someone for $$$ or ideological reason and then said her laptop was stolen?

Are we really supposed to believe she was so stupid, she didn't remember to take her laptop inside her house?

Like Althouse, I would never keep my own laptop, let alone the Corporate one in the trunk of my car. Ever.

buwaya said...

USG security has been terrible through the last administration, and presumably the rot was in long before.
There have been way too many truly enormous security breach scandals that the public has been informed of, even with the peculiar condition of the US press and the gross incompetence of the last administration - Jesus, Maria y Jose, the Secretary of States' emails alone ... . Who knows what we dont know about, yet.

Chuck said...

Unknown said...
Meanwhile, the left and "lifelong republicans" like Chuck cheer the news, openly hoping Trump's security is so compromised he can be killed.

And then they'll defend themselves by saying something about how it wasn't a wiretap or something.

--Vance


That wasn't my reaction at all.

Since you chose to provoke me on this (I am now getting provoked in Comments threads where I have posted a single comment of my own), I'll say this...

As a huge fan of Althouse and her blog, I think she's trolling us. Seriously, I do. I think she's mocking somebody, although I don't know quite who it is that is being mocked.

Reason? Come on. We've had a great many Secret Service screw-ups, and particularly a great many in recent years (probably because we now have much more, and closer media coverage of them), and they quite naturally pre-dated Trump.

We've had people who jumped the White House fence and got all the way inside the Obama-residence East Wing. We had people who drove cars onto the White House grounds. Secret Service agents who were drunk. An enraged Iraqi who threw a shoe at President George W. Bush.

Reagan was shot. Ford was shot at.

My thoughts aren't unique. The first commenter got it, and so have several others. Rightly.

All I want to add here, is that I KNOW that Ann Althouse is far too smart to have not known of that same history. These sorts of Secret Service stories are common enough that Althouse has a subject tag for "Secret Service." By my count, this is the 20th time that she has used the "Secret Service" tag. So what is it about Trump, that now causes some to get newly concerned about presidential security? Or to pretend to think that Secret Service problems are new to the Trump presidency?


Chuck said...

correction:

...(I am now getting provoked in Comments threads where I havenot posted a single comment of my own)...

HT said...

Security bad with Obama. Secret Service not what it used to be and times have changed.

Michael K said...

Chuck, I violated my rule about your comments but:

Or to pretend to think that Secret Service problems are new to the Trump presidency?

I think the issue is not that the USSS has been declining in discipline for a while. I think it is that the left has normalized assassination stories, much as they did with Bush but the level to which this has risen is much, much higher.

I am really concerned about an attempt and I hope he still has his own people around him. If he pays them, they are more likely to be competent. The confidence in government competence has gone below zero, in my opinion.

The treatment by principals just adds to the worry.

YoungHegelian said...

@HT,

Security bad with Obama. Secret Service not what it used to be and times have changed.

No. I worked in the Executive Office Office complex (e.g. WH, Old Executive Office, & New Executive Office) from 1981 until 1993. SS was incompetent even then. It's just it was incompetent in ways only the insiders saw.

Every time another organization tried to lodge a complaint about what jerks the SS was, the SS would respond with "Tough Shit. We protect the president & so what we do takes precedent over what you do, & we don't have to apologize for any inconvenience we cause you because we're doing our jobs". The only way to change the SS was for the highest levels (President or immediate staff) to complain.

When you have an organization that gets to blow off every criticism from its peer working groups with "We're too important to give a shit!", the long term effect is so destructive that it won't be too long before that organization can't perform its primary mission. This is what we're seeing with the SS.

exhelodrvr1 said...

THis started during the Obama years - it should have been stopped then.

Drago said...

"llfelong republican" Chuck: "So what is it about Trump, that now causes some to get newly concerned about presidential security? Or to pretend to think that Secret Service problems are new to the Trump presidency?"

We have reached a point of uniquely extreme mass hysteria and mental illness on the part of the left and "lifelong republicans", along with clear "its okay" signals regarding acceptable violence against conservatives and republicans by the major media (news, tv, movies, music) that the long simmering degradation of the Secret Service now represent something to be very concerned about.

DKWalser said...

In most firms I've worked for, leaving a laptop in a car unattended was a firing offense. That was true even if the car was locked. An exception was made for locking the laptop in the trunk while in a restaurant or at a meeting; but a laptop was never to be left in a car -- inside the trunk or not -- overnight. You were required to bring the laptop inside with you.

I cannot imagine the Secret Service having lower standards than CPA firms. I also cannot imagine leaving my gun in a restroom, but Secret Service agents have done that, too.

Andrew said...

Secret Service on her motorcycle.

http://shewentwest.ca/images/gay_pride_clown_on_bike.jpg

YoungHegelian said...

@DKWalsher,

In most firms I've worked for, leaving a laptop in a car unattended was a firing offense.

If there wasn't a protocol in place among SS that traveling laptops with secured information must encrypt all data more than just that agent's head should be on the block. Whatever Agent Argentieri's faults were, it was not her job to set protocols & standards for the carrying of sensitive data.

hombre said...

You remember the Secret Service under Obama: Sex parties, absenteeism, resignations, including the boss. Also the armed forces: 40% of the planes don't fly, carrier maintenance neglected, etc. Some of the evidence of incompetence/corruption got deferred. The CIA only recently lost thousands of pages of classified material including the keys to their clandestine computer stuff. DOJ leaking classified intercepts to WaPo. The government turned to shit under Obama and it is unlikely the GOPe or the Democrats will help Trump fix it.

Trump must purge Obots from the justice/military/security arms of the federal government. He must see if the Republican Party has a presence outside the swamp and bring those people to the fore. If not, he should kill it and settle for one term. Something better will rise from the ashes. He is in a war and he has few reliable allies.

FullMoon said...

Drago said...

"llfelong republican" Chuck: "So what is it about Trump, that now causes some to get newly concerned about presidential security? Or to pretend to think that Secret Service problems are new to the Trump presidency?"

We have reached a point of uniquely extreme mass hysteria and mental illness on the part of the left and "lifelong republicans", along with clear "its okay" signals regarding acceptable violence against conservatives and republicans by the major media (news, tv, movies, music) that the long simmering degradation of the Secret Service now represent something to be very concerned about.


Violent Threats against President Trump OK with Left

Big Mike said...

I cannot imagine the Secret Service having lower standards than CPA firms.

After living in the Washington metropolitan area since 1969, sad to that you may not be able to imagine it, but I sure can. You want to know how hard it is to terminate a non-performing federal employee? They couldn't even fire a guy for murdering his boss.

Chuck said...

Drago you liar. You transparent, unserious, mendacious liar.

Where did I ever say that violence against Trump, or threats of violence against Trump were okay? Where did I ever suggest that Trump didn't need Secret Service protection, or that he wasn't worthy of the best efforts of all of the security services?

All I did was to point out that Althouse has done a number of Secret Service stories, and they were always "straight" in the sense that she never personalized it as to the personality of the then-current occupant of the White House.

I really don't want any harm to befall Trump. Mostly, because I don't think I could stand it if Trump went down in history as some kind of weird ersatz martyr to whatever cause his supporters manage to rally around.

Metalman said...

From the NY Post version of the Story
http://nypost.com/2017/03/17/secret-service-hunts-for-stolen-laptop-with-trump-tower-floor-plans/

“The thief drove up to Argentieri’s home around 8:40 a.m., walked right up to her Bajaj motorcycle and took the items.”

Bajaj makes many models of mopeds, motorcycles, rickshaws and what they call a quadracycle ( cars )

the Bajaj rickshaw was last sold in the US in 2008
http://www.autoblog.com/2008/05/02/bajaj-3-wheeler-is-now-off-the-u-s-market/

there is a used market for Bajaj rickshaws in the US, literally for use as clown cars in parades, advertising, events

No quadracycles are sold in the US, the first one was marketed in 2012
they do not meet US safety and emission certifications


Tom from Virginia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom from Virginia said...

Maybe we should build one of those virtual fences around the White House, you know, like the one that has worked so well on the U.S. Mexico border.

William said...

The Secret Service used to be an elite group. Eight years of Obama turned it into an affirmative action mediocrity that is not up to its job.

aritai said...

I hear Mr. T. is a qualified marksman who carries the small Glock 43 in a pocket built into his ceramic body armor which has built up a callus on this right thumb, a sure give away, and he and his SS escort compete for quick-fire accuracy at the range over the bowling alley downstairs. He likes this kind of man to man competition even better than golf. What is it about men and holes? the SS is grateful for the company, small talk, their families and much better they feel about their jobs since someone like him shares their burdens and anxieties, to say nothing about having backup. No human based system is perfect, so prepare for the worst. Like all citizen's should do. Would certainly reduce violent crime in the worst areas. After George Zim.. crime in the area went down by 90%. Which helped the poorest and minority residents most, who were always the victims, and reduced to a slave to their fears. Couldn’t even walk around the block without thinking about the worst, even though it seldom happened. The wonder of human’s being non-rational beings. Then again, that’s why we never died out.

Doc said...

I remember the Secret Service being tougher than this...

axelhose said...

Chuck got triggered by reading other people's comments which were not directed at him? Well bless his little heart.

TBlakely said...

If I was an evil Russian leader, I'd want to seed as much chaos in the US as possible. First I'd start with messing around with the election (like hacking and releasing embarrassing emails) or at least giving the appearance of favoring* one candidate over another. Then I'd help here and there with the over the top hostility toward Trump. Maybe fund (with or without cutouts) some of the more rabid anti-Trump organizations. And down the road engineer an assassination attempt with some lefty dupe as a fall guy (given the demonstrated incompetence of the Secret Service, I figure they'd have a pretty good chance of success). Can you imagine the political fallout even if the assassination attempt failed? As an evil Russian leader I'd be laughing my ass off the entire time.


* Given that Trump is a big supporter of 'drill, baby, drill' which is far more harmful to Russian interests than any foreign policy 'favoritism', it's rather crazy to call Trump a Putin lapdog rather than Obama or Hillary since they'd love to shut down the frackers. Funny how that factoid is ignored.

TM Lutas said...

I believe that the laptop was stolen from a motorcycle, not a car. Those talking about it being ok if a laptop is temporarily locked up in a trunk are victims of mainstream media covering up the magnitude of the problem.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Speaking of multiple levels of encryption... There may be a boot password, and then a user password. What's the chances the boot password at least is on a Post-It note on the laptop keyboard? And if this was quote unquote an inside job, could the passwords have been transmitted sub rosa to the thief?

HT said...

More breeches are happening the more barriers are put up.

Peter said...

"If her hard drive was not encrypted then her next assignment should be searching for four leaf clovers."

It's very hard to believe that the secret Service wouldn't require that all portable computers used for work be encrypted, yet somehow the article doesn't say if the laptop was, in fact, encrypted.

If she put sensitive information on a non-secure laptop in violation of requirements, one would think that would be more than ample grounds for firing her.

And if the Secret Service makes no or ineffectual attempts to secure sensitive information on portable devices then perhaps it's time for some housekeeping, starting at the top?

Laptops get stolen. Laptops get left in the back seat of taxis and Ubers, in airliner overheads, etc. etc. What excuse could there possibly be for any government agency that deals in sensitive information to not require that all such devices used for official business be encrypted?