Time to Outsource the President’s Security

I was stunned to hear that an armed security contractor with a criminal record recently rode an elevator with President Obama. According to news reports, the Secret Service didn’t do anything about the man until he Melvin Durai's Humorstarted taking photos with his cellphone and acting unprofessional. I’m not sure what “acting unprofessional” means, but if I were in an elevator with the president and his bodyguards, the last thing I’d be doing is taking selfies.

“My pal, Barack, and I riding an elevator” would be a great Facebook post, but I’d be afraid of the follow-up post: “Just spent eight hours in the interrogation room. Please pray for me. Tomorrow is the deportation hearing.”

The elevator incident is hardly the first time Obama’s security has been compromised. Just a few weeks ago, a man carrying a knife jumped over the White House fence and managed to enter the president’s home through an unlocked front door. Reacting quickly, the Secret Service stopped the man and directed him to the kitchen, believing he was there to cut a pot roast for the president’s dinner.

Actually, they chased him around for a few minutes and managed to capture him, thanks to a solid karate kick to the backside by Michelle Obama.

No, that’s not true either, but you get the point: the Secret Service bungled their job and compromised the secret_servicepresident’s safety. Who knows what this knife-wielding fence-jumper would have done if he had run into Obama? Thankfully, the president wasn’t home; otherwise it could have been a huge tragedy. America is prepared for a lot of things, but I’m not sure it’s ready for President Biden.

Given the seriousness of these security breaches, I was pleased to hear that the U.S. Congress called Secret Service Director Julia Pierson before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, whose duties include directing important questions at government officials while drinking massive amounts of coffee. Soon after that, Pierson resigned from her position and the Secret Service announced that it will implement three major changes to better protect the president:

1. From now on, members of the Secret Service will be required to screen all people who ride in elevators with the president, making sure that they are either unarmed or wearing nice suits.

2. Anyone who attempts to climb the White House fence will immediately be asked to stop what they’re doing and fill out a questionnaire about their motives.

3. All doors to the White House will be kept locked whenever the president’s dog, Bo, is taking a nap.

These changes will certainly help, but I don’t think they’re quite enough. I think it’s time for a drastic change: President Obama’s security needs to be outsourced to China.

Why China? Well, China leaves no stone unturned in its security measures. When 10,000 doves were released recently in Beijing to celebrate China’s National Day, they served as symbols of peace as well as the country’s airtight security. Prior to being released, every single dove went through a screening process, its legs, wings and anus checked to make sure it wasn’t carrying any dangerous material – or a banner that might open mid-flight saying, “Communism Sucks.”

If Chinese workers can check every dove’s anus, just picture what they’d do to anyone who attempts to get into an elevator with President Obama.

I can only imagine what those doves were saying.

Dove 1: “Hey, what are you doing? Stop ruffling my feathers. And don’t look down there! We’re not that close. I don’t even know your name.”

Dove 2: “Don’t make such a fuss. They’re going to set us free after this.”

Dove 1: “So what? We shouldn’t have to go through this undovelike treatment.”

Dove 2: “If that’s how you feel, express your feelings later – while you’re flying over them. Drop them a message or two.”

Dove 1: “What would I be saying?”

Dove 2: “Screen this, you idiots.”

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If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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