Report: Secret Service strained to protect Obama

By | October 21, 2009

Report Secret Service strained to protect Obama

An internal congressional report questioning the ability of the Secret Service to continue fulfilling its duties was leaked to the Boston Globe. The report says the Secret Service is strained by a drastic increase in threats to President Obama, coupled with deep budget cuts. Some are speculating that the agency may need to relinquish all or part of its roles in protecting the country’s financial machinery in order to focus resources on the protection of the president and other high-profile leaders.

The report, issued in August by the Congressional Research Service, claimed that if “an evaluation of the service’s two missions” were to be done at this time, there’s a good possibility that “it might be determined that it is ineffective…to conduct its protection mission and investigate financial crimes.” Additionally, an anonymously quoted government official said that many inside the halls of Congress and within the Secret Service itself are questioning whether or not the agency’s effectiveness wouldn’t be enhanced by transferring some of its responsibilities regarding the investigation of financial crimes over to the Treasury Department.

Talking Points Memo noted that Ronald Kessler, the author of a recently released book on the Secret Service’s protection of U.S. presidents, recently said that threats against President Obama are up 400 percent from the number of threats levied against former President George W. Bush, while the size of the agency’s staff has only increased by 5.3 percent.

The Southern Poverty Law Center says that the U.S. has seen a 35 percent rise in hate groups in recent years, and few doubt that the discontent stirred up over the election of an African-American president is fueling the rise in threats. But, could the influx of modern technology also be to blame?

As the cost of computer technology has fallen (and accessibility to high-speed Internet service has spread), more and more people are spending more and more time online. Accordingly, these people are doing what people often do on the Internet: sending emails, communicating in chat rooms and on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, watching YouTube videos, etc.

via Report: Secret Service strained to protect Obama – Yahoo! News.

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