(by Garth Kant, WND) – White House intruders are nothing new.
President Herbert Hoover had dinner unexpectedly interrupted twice, once by a sightseer and again by a man demanding an appointment. An uninvited guest watched a movie with President Franklin Roosevelt, unnoticed until the lights came on. An intruder followed the Marine Band and toured the White House on his own for 15 minutes during the second inauguration of President Ronald Reagan. Two guests successfully invited themselves to a state dinner with President Barack Obama in 2009.
Not one of them was shot.
Sixteen people have jumped the White House fence in the last five years.
Not one of them was shot.
And then, on Sept. 19, came the incident that shook the Secret Service to its core.
With a folding knife in his pocket, decorated Army veteran Omar G. Gonzalez sprinted 70 yards across the North Lawn on Sept. 19, past an attack dog and a specialized SWAT team, breezed through the unlocked front door, overpowered a female Secret Service agent, dashed through the main hall and turned a corner, rushed past the staircase leading to the president’s living quarters and crossed the 80-foot length of the ornate East Room.
Gonzalez reached the door of the antique-filled Green Room before an off-duty counter-assault agent happened by and finally wrestled the intruder to the ground, but only after he had made it past five rings of security and 168 feet into the executive mansion.
He was not shot.
In contrast, one year ago Friday, unarmed suburban mother Miriam Carey made a wrong turn near the White House gate entrance and immediately tried to leave.
She was shot and killed.
In fact, she was dispatched with overwhelming force.
After apparently making a wrong turn near the White House gate at 15th and E Street, Carey found herself surrounded by menacing federal officers brandishing firearms. Realizing her mistake, she made a U-turn and tried to depart.
But Secret Service agents and Capitol Police chased the dental hygienist down Pennsylvania Avenue at high speeds and forced her to a stop in the shadow of the nation’s Capitol, having fired 27 bullets, hitting her three times in the back, once in the back of the head and once in her arm.
Despite their erratic marksmanship, the shooters somehow missed the 34-year-old’s infant daughter, strapped into the backseat of Carey’s black 2010 Infiniti G37Xs Coupe.
Even after a year, nobody knows exactly why Carey was killed by federal officers on Oct. 3, 2013, after she drove to the nation’s capital from her home in Stamford, Connecticut.
That’s because the Department of Justice, or DOJ, has refused to release the final investigative report.
But Carey family attorney Eric Sanders told WND the Carey case and the Gonzalez incident have one key factor in common: The Secret Service lied about what happened.
Secret Service ‘lies’
Former Secret Service Director Julia Pierson was forced to admit in a congressional hearing Tuesday that her department provided a false account of the Gonzalez break-in, which incorrectly claimed he was not armed and was subdued just inside the White House front door.
The Secret Service admitted the falsehood only after the Washington Post on Monday published an account provided by multiple sources about what really happened.
Pierson resigned Wednesday following severe bipartisan criticism of her testimony and after the revelation of yet another shocking security breach on her watch, in which the Secret Service let a man with a gun and three convictions for assault and battery ride in an elevator with the president in Atlanta on Sept. 16.
During her one-and-a-half year tenure, Pierson was also in charge of the Secret Service when Carey was killed last year.
Sanders rhetorically asked WND: If the Secret Service lied about the Gonzalez case, “why wouldn’t they lie” about the Carey shooting?
In fact, he pointed to two key elements in the Carey case in which he believed the Secret Service had lied.
The attorney said the real cause of the confrontation with Carey at the White House was not because she refused to stop, as the Secret Service had claimed. He said the incident only happened because Secret Service security was so lax that agents allowed her to accidentally enter the area without stopping her at the gate.
Miriam Carey drives past two uniformed Secret Service agents while departing White House entrance. Photo provided by U.S. Attorney’s Office.
A former New York City Police officer himself, Sanders emphasized, “I’ve said from the beginning they (agents) were poorly trained and poorly disciplined, and now it’s been confirmed.”
That echoed what Sanders told WND in July, when he marveled, “She somehow got past them. You know how she got past them? Because they were over there, smoking and joking and lackadaisical, just like I said from the beginning.”
According to the attorney, the second clear instance of an official fudging of the truth was the explanation given as to why agents and officers shot Carey at the Garfield traffic circle, just below the Capitol.
Sanders said the reason authorities did not release photos of officers shooting at Carey at Garfield Circle is because their excuse is so weak.
“Officers were (supposedly) concerned because she was driving toward people on the sidewalk,” he said. “They didn’t show pictures of anyone on the sidewalk. They didn’t show she was about to run anybody over, either.”
The attorney explained what he saw as the absurdity of that reasoning.
“Think about that one for a minute,” he said. “Let’s assume there was someone in front of her car. And you morons are shooting at her from the back? What are you, stupid? So, you miss her and then you shoot (innocent bystanders?)”
Nonetheless, the DOJ cited that supposed concern for bystanders when it announced in July that no criminal charges would be filed against agents or officers.
Sanders called the DOJ’s refusal to release the official report on the incident a “stonewall.” The actions of the Secret Service and the Capitol Police were investigated by the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department. That report was reviewed by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, which is part of the Justice Department.