3 Secret Service agents suspended in gatecrashing incident
Three Secret Service officers have been suspended as the investigation into White House gate crashing incident continues, Service director Mark Sullivan has revealed.world Updated: Dec 04, 2009 13:30 IST
Three Secret Service officers have been suspended as the investigation into White House gate crashing incident continues, Service director Mark Sullivan has revealed.
During a Congressional probe, Sullivan revealed that the three agents have been put on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into how two uninvited guests managed to crash President Obama’s first state dinner last week.
Sullivan did not identify the three agents who allowed the Salahis into the dinner, but added that they had been put on paid administrative leave until the end of the investigation.
“Beyond that, I would prefer not to go further. But I will tell you that we are going to look at this, we’re going to find out what the culpability was, and we’ll take appropriate action,” The New York Times quoted Sullivan, as telling the House Homeland Security Committee.
Sullivan told legislators that an initial investigation had shown it was “human error” that allowed two aspiring reality television contestants, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, to penetrate security around the White House.
“I’ve asked myself these questions a thousand times over the last week. And what I keep coming back to is that we didn’t follow procedures,” a beleaguered Sullivan said.
“Do I like to see this? Do any of our people like to see this?. No, we don’t. We’ve been beating ourselves up over this,” he added.
While insisting that Obama was never in danger the night of the state dinner on Nov. 24, Sullivan acknowledged that the potential for harm was great.
He said the Salahis had managed to get past three Secret Service checkpoints on their way into the dinner because uniformed officers did not follow procedures.