The predictable result of somebody jumping over the White House fence and running up to the front door has been, of course, media hysteria. Rather than the Secret Service being commended for their restraint in that they captured the intruder without killing him, some are seeing even that as a failure and saying that the intruder should have been killed. Why? Because this is America, dammit, and anyone who goes on someone else’s property without permission must be shot dead.
Petula Dvorak says that this incident should not be used to extend the security cordon around the White House and make it even more of a fortress, when simple measures could improve the security.
The security gurus think they might want to keep people off the sidewalks around the nation’s most famous residence. Or maybe screen tourists a block away from the White House. They want to Anschluss even more public space to expand The Perimeter around 1600 Pennsylvania, amping up the fear and paranoia that already pervade the heart of our nation.
Given their druthers, of course, the security mafia would close downtown Washington entirely. Tourists could watch a slick “Inside the White House” video clip (in HD) at Reagan National Airport and pose in front of a cardboard cutout of the White House. Same thing for the Capitol and the Supreme Court.
But she is asking for too much. American is a nation of hyperventilating, easily panicked people, where any potentially dangerous action by any disturbed individual is cause for a massive armed over-reaction.