President Obama & Secret Service

President Obama & Secret Service
SAIC Vic Erevia

Friday, November 9, 2012

Secret Service re: Mitt Romney and President Obama

On November 08, 2012 at 7:19 AM

How the Secret Service Said Goodbye to Mitt Romney

At some point, early Wednesday morning, when Gov. Mitt Romney and family were tucked into bed, a quiet call went out on the radio channel used by his Secret Service agents: "Javelin, Jockey details, all posts, discontinue."

Of all the indignities involved in losing a presidential race, none is more stark than the sudden emptiness of your entourage. The Secret Service detail guarding Governor Romney since Feb 1. stood down quickly. He had ridden in a 15-car motorcade to the Intercontinental Hotel in Boston for his concession speech. He rode in a single-car motorcade back across the Charles River to Belmont. His son, Tagg, did the driving.

There is no formal guideline for the Secret Service agents in this situation; it's up to the discretion of the detail leader, who usually consults with the local police to make sure that his protectee's home won't be overrun by protestors and supporters all of a sudden.

But the Service leaves quickly. No more motorcades. No more rope lines. No more bubbles. Familiar faces disappear, never to be seen again.

In 2008, agents offered to see John McCain back to his ranch in Sedona, but McCain insisted on saying his good byes in his suite at the Biltmore Hotel. The next morning, McCain was seen driving his own car to get groceries.
Had Romney won, everything would have been different. A full counter-assault team, "Hawkeye Javelin," was on stand-by in Boston, ready to supplement his detail. A team from the White House Communications Agency, which had been consulting with his informal transition team on secure space for intelligence briefings, was on hand too.

Romney has his family. When the race was close, agents would joke about the number of "j" words they'd need to come up with in order to give every one of his children, their wives, and all of their children code names. That's 29 people who would have received, if not protection, at least a protective survey and recommendations from the Service. Quietly, plans had already been put in place to assign protective details to all of them, just in case.

The Secret Service has had a hellish year. Not only has it been the busiest ever for the small agency, but it has been their most embarrassing since the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan in 1981. April's prostitution in scandal in Cartegana, Colombia threatened to demoralize the entity in charge of safeguarding the democratic process right on the eve of their active phase; two conventions, major foreign trips for the president, the presidential debates, the United Nations General Assembly, the campaign season itself (with sometimes more than a thousand agents and officers changing locations daily). An Inspector General's report has concluded that agents did not jeopardize the president's safety, but having spent time with agents over these past few months, their morale has been flagging. The public mockery takes it toll, even on silent soldiers.

And yet, for everything they were confronted with, the Service did its job. Protectees were protected 100 percent of the time. Several assassination plots were nipped in the bud. Thousands of events were secured, perfectly. Results matter, as we learned Tuesday night.

Though no one in the Service was rooting one way or the other for any particular candidate, at least not to colleagues or publicly, not having to secure the Romney family means that agents who have been working 12 hours shifts for eight weeks straight can take some time off before the inauguration. Families of many more agents will get them home for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Secret Service said to have foiled several assassination attempts on President Obama and Mitt Romney during the campaign, but report is under scrutiny

GQ author Marc Ambinder defended his reporting with a list of public-record assassination attempts but had few other details to offer. A Secret Service spokesperson said he was unfamiliar with Ambinder’s sources.

By Charlie Wells / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

President Obama and Mitt Romney may have had something much more serious to lose on this year’s campaign trail than the presidency: life itself.
A number of assassination plots were thwarted by Secret Service agents over the course of this campaign, according to one reporter, whose findings have come under scrutiny from the media in the wake of Tuesday’s election.
In an article about Romney’s intensive security detail written by GQ’s Marc Ambinder, the journalist said that in the Secret Service’s busiest year yet, “Several assassination plots were nipped in the bud.”
This claim was almost immediately questioned by members of the media, especially as Ambinder took to Twitter to suggest that more information might come out in a print edition of the article.

Politicker reached out to Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan for further details on the reported plots.
“We didn’t work with Marc Ambinder on that article, so I don’t know what his sourcing is,” Donovan told the publication.
When Politicker contacted the author, he eventually responded but without many juicy details.

“There was that guy who shot at the White House from across the ellipse, and then the soldiers arrested for plotting the assassination of the president and others,” Ambinder wrote, ticking off a list of public-record assassination attempts.

“I don’t know any details about any non-public attempts, if there were any,” he wrote.
Whether someone attempted to kill him as a presidential hopeful or not, Romney -- apparently known as “Javelin” by the Secret Service -- will return to post-candidate life without the massive security detail that followed his every move on the trail.
Obama, whose detail will, of course, continue, is known by the Service as “Renegade.”

Friday, November 2, 2012

Secret Service agent kills self amid affair probe

Secret Service agent kills self amid affair probe

Associated Press – 2 hrs 45 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — For nearly six years, a senior Secret Service agent kept his extramarital affair with a Mexican woman a secret from the agency responsible for protecting the president.

But in the wake of an embarrassing prostitution scandal involving 13 agents and officers, Rafael Prieto's secret was revealed by a fellow employee amid concerns that the Secret Service wasn't enforcing its rules consistently.

With an internal investigation ongoing, Prieto apparently committed suicide last week. That's according to people familiar with the matter. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss Prieto's death or the investigation, which they say has focused on whether Prieto violated agency rules that require disclosing relationships with foreigners.

They say Prieto, a married father, admitted the years-long relationship when confronted by investigators.

Source: Secret Service agent dead of apparent suicide

By Carol Cratty, CNN

updated 11:04 PM EDT, Thu November 1, 2012


• Rafael Prieto was a 20-year veteran of the Secret Service

• He was assigned to President Obama's protective detail

• Authorities were looking into a suspected long-term relationship with a foreign national

• A law enforcement source says his death last Saturday was an apparent suicide

Washington (CNN) -- A Secret Service agent suspected of having a romantic relationship with a Mexican woman is dead of an apparent suicide, a law enforcement official told CNN Thursday.

The source said Rafael Prieto, 48, was assigned to President Obama's protective detail.

The Secret Service confirmed Thursday that Prieto's death last Saturday is currently being investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, along with the medical examiner's office. No official determination of death has been made.

Prieto's access to Secret Service facilities had been suspended while authorities were looking into his apparently unreported and long-term relationship with a foreign national, the law enforcement official said.

"There is nothing to indicate that any classified or sensitive information was compromised as a result of this relationship," according to the source.

The official said Prieto was involved in an "administrative process" about his connection with the woman but that he was not under investigation by the Secret Service's Office of Professional Responsibility.

Prieto could have been in violation of Secret Service protocols if he had not informed superiors about a personal relationship with a foreign national. Such relationships came under a spotlight after agents sent to Cartagena, Colombia, in advance of President Obama's trip earlier this year spent time partying with prostitutes.

"Rafael Prieto had a distinguished 20-year career with the Secret Service that was marked by accomplishment, dedication, and friendships," said Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan. "The Secret Service is mourning the loss of a valued colleague."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Secret Service: Newport's cost concerns are misdirected

Secret Service: Newport's cost concerns are misdirected

Spokesman says the city's police budget issues should have been raised with the service, not the candidate's campaign. Newport is still trying to collect from Obama after his CdM visit.

July 28, 2012
By Mike Reicher

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A Secret Service official said Newport Beach city administrators are asking the wrong people to pay for police protection at presidential campaign events.

It's the service that is responsible for the candidates' security, not the campaigns, spokesman Max Milien said, and any cost concerns should have been directed its way.

Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff billed the campaigns for President Obama and presumptive GOP candidate Mitt Romney for police security at their separate fundraisers in Newport.

Now that the Romney campaign paid its bill, the city is left in the awkward position of collecting from Obama.

"We cannot reimburse any agencies," Milien said. "We make that clear from day one."

Milien explained that an advance team works with local law enforcement to plan road closures and other measures before a candidate's visit. If the local agency cannot afford to pay for extra security or overtime, the local officials should inform the Secret Service ahead of time, he said.

In that case, Milien said the Secret Service would seek help from other law enforcement groups — county or state police, for example, who would not charge for the service.

"There is adequate time if an agency cannot assist us and is strapped for manpower," he said, adding that the Secret Service does not have the budget for that type of expense.

But Kiff says the Police Department raised the issue with the Secret Service before the President's visit.

"At that time, our staff was told that the Secret Service would not reimburse the City," Kiff wrote in an email, "and that we should check with the President's campaign or the DNC."

The Romney campaign paid its bill Monday, about a month after the city sent its invoice. The Obama bill, however, was sent in May and has not been paid.

City spokeswoman Tara Finnigan said that the city's billing system will be sending past-due notices.

About three weeks ago, the Democratic National Committee contacted the city and told officials to deal with the Secret Service.

The DNC and the Republican National Committee split their Newport Beach event proceeds with the respective campaigns.

"Any local law enforcement organization contacted by the Secret Service to assist in security should discuss matters related to costs and how to effectively manage those costs with the Secret Service," DNC spokeswoman Melanie Roussell wrote in an email to the Daily Pilot on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Kiff would just like the issue to go away.

"I am very tired of this story, but it will have legs again," Kiff wrote in an email to the City Council after the Orange County Register inquired about the Romney campaign's payment.

The city was "honored" to have the President in town, Kiff said, but he viewed the campaign fundraisers as private events.

"Had this been a "business trip"—if the President came to Newport Beach to talk about one of his policies with our residents—the city would not have sent an invoice," he wrote in an email to the Pilot.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Fellow Citizens:

What in the world is going on with the protection of The President of These United States of America? During President Obama’s administration, we have witnessed colossal security breakdowns by those who are responsible for our president’s safety. And very little is apparently being done about it except praise and expressions of confidence in the leaders within the secret service by officials within the government.

Well…you can form your own opinions and take what I say with a grain of salt if you want to; but I tell you as an ex-secret service agent that the protection surrounding our president MUST be re-evaluated as to responsibility and authority. Congress MUST look into the activities of those charged with the safety of our president and determine whether the secret service agents of Homeland Security are either unwilling or unable to protect our president. I made a similar statement to Chief of the United States Secret Service U.E. Baughman in 1961. I discussed the fact that the then President John F. Kennedy was not receiving the kind of protection that would ward off a successful attempt on his life. For my constant complaining about the lack of adequate protection being given to President Kennedy and my failure to “shut your mouth and tend to your own dam business” I have suffered degradation for the past 49 years of my life.

Even now, I have been told that by continuing to voice my opinion on the subject of the current president’s protection, I may as well forget about receiving any kind of executive action clearing my name of the false conviction perpetrated against me by high officials within the secret service back in 1964.

The fact of the matter is that I don’t give a rat’s a*s about being “forgiven” for a crime that I did not commit. The question is: how in the Sam Hill Hell can our president be so opened to public manipulation as to permit our President of These United States of America to be lifted two feet off of the floor by anyone, anywhere, anytime??? Where were the agents when our president was so unceremoniously embraced???

This is no matter of levity and I ask all who read this message to request their senators and congressman to look into this matter before we hear the muffled drums and the clops of horse’s hooves echoing past a purple bannered White House.

The big squeeze: Barack Obama gets airborne bear hug

PRESIDENT Barack Obama reputedly loves nothing more than a good old campaign trail hug -- but he may have got more than he bargained for on Sunday.

Abraham W. Bolden, Sr.


Visit website at:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bear hug of Obama OK in this case, Secret Service says

Bear hug of Obama OK in this case, Secret Service says

September 10, 2012, 3:17 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama is hugged and picked up by Scott Van Duzer
(Corrects spelling of name throughout.)
It was fine for Scott Van Duzer, the owner of a pizza shop in Ft. Pierce, Fla., to give President Barack Obama a bear hug on Sunday, a spokesman for the Secret Service said Monday.
Agents, who are trained to make assessments on the behavior of the people who interact with the president, thought Van Duzer’s actions were appropriate and consistent with the event, said the spokesman, who did not want to be identified by name.
During a stop at the pizza shop while on a two-day bus tour of the crucial swing-state, Obama was lifted off the floor by Van Duzer as onlookers gasped. Obama and Van Duzer had been bantering about the size of the restaurateur’s biceps.
He is 6’3” tall and weighs 260 pounds and told reporters he can bench press 350 pounds.
Van Duzer said he was “just overcome with excitement” which led him to lift the president off the ground. Van Duzer told reporters on Sunday the agents said it was fine for him to do so as long he didn’t carry Obama away.
– Greg Robb

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Secret Service Detail Leaves Gun Unattended on Romney's Charter Flight

Secret Service Detail Leaves Gun Unattended on Romney's Charter Flight

By Emily Friedman | ABC OTUS News – 10 hrs ago

TAMPA - A member of Mitt Romney's Secret Service detail was removed today from a campaign trip after she accidentally left her firearm unattended in the candidate's charter plane bathroom.
The agent in question left a gun unattended in the bathroom of the plane during a flight between Tampa and Indiana. The gun was found by a reporter on board who immediately informed the agent, who then went back into the bathroom and retrieved the weapon.
Ed Donovan, a spokesman for the United States Secret Service, told ABC News that officials are "aware of the incident."
"We take the care and custody of our equipment - especially firearms - very seriously," he said. "We will deal with this matter internally and in an appropriate manner."
The Romney campaign referred all questions regarding the incident to the Secret Service.
The gun was left in the bathroom primarily used by media in the back of the plane. Romney and his staff sit in the front several rows of the plane and the candidate uses the forward bathroom.
It was not immediately clear if the gun was loaded or on a safety lock, but the agent was on active duty at the time of the incident.
Following a campaign event in Indiana, the agent in question never re-boarded the flight back to Tampa.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Secret Service scandal rocks Obama trip

Secret Service scandal rocks Obama trip By DONOVAN SLACK and JOSH GERSTEIN | 4/13/12 10:43 PM EDT Updated: 4/14/12 9:14 AM EDT CARTAGENA, Colombia — Up to a dozen Secret Service agents in Colombia for President Barack Obama’s trip there have been relieved of their duties amid allegations of misconduct. The Secret Service did not detail the accusations but said they did not affect security for the president, who landed in the country Friday for a weekend at the Summit of the Americas. The Associated Press reported that the allegations involve prostitutes. A senior official told Fox News they were serious enough to require mediation by diplomats. “There have been allegations of misconduct made against Secret Service personnel in Cartagena, Colombia prior to the President’s trip. Because of this, those personnel are being relieved of their assignments, returned to their place of duty, and are being replaced by other Secret Service personnel,” Edwin Donovan, Secret Service spokesman, said in a statement. “The Secret Service takes all allegations of misconduct seriously. This entire matter has been turned over to our Office of Professional Responsibility, which serves as the agency’s internal affairs component,” Donovan said. “These personnel changes will not affect the comprehensive security plan that has been prepared in advance of the President’s trip.” Donovan would not release further details, and the White House referred all questions about the episode to the Secret Service. The story broke as Obama was preparing to attend a gala dinner with more than 30 leaders gathered for the summit. Security personnel were somewhat on edge Friday evening due to reports of small explosions in Cartagena and Bogota, about 400 miles to the south. The minor explosions in Bogota took place near the U.S. Embassy. There were no reports of injuries in any of the incidents. Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, confirmed to The Washington Post that an agent was involved with prostitutes. Adler subsquently told the AP that he did not know of any specific wrongdoing, though he had heard the prostitution allegations Cartagena is a city with a history of prostitution problems that has been making progress in battling.There are several nongovernmental organizations dedicated to eradicating the sex trade there. Cartagena Mayor Campo Elías Terán said in a radio interview earlier this week that plans for the summit involved moving homeless people and further restricting the presence of prostitutes in some parts of the city, where there’s limited legalized prostitution. The president said Friday that he intended to use the trip to talk trade policies and look to open markets for American goods, but attention is sure to be diverted by the misconduct allegations. Whenever the president travels, a contingent of agents precedes him to map out routes, check venues and assure that Obama can be guarded appropriately. The “advance team” can be composed of dozens of agents who perform all manner of roles, from IT specialists to threat and munitions detection. There have been several incidents with the president’s detail recently — a member of Obama’s security team was arrested in Iowa last summer for suspicion of drunken driving, and a federal agent with the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security was charged with second-degree murder after shooting a man in Honolulu late last year. But the Secret Service has not had a major scandal since officers failed to adhere to proper security protocols and allowed gate-crashers into a state dinner at the White House in 2009. Three agents were placed on leave after that incident, and the White House social secretary at the time, Desiree Rogers, left her post. The president said after that scandal that although “the system didn’t work the way it was supposed to,” he felt safe and trusted the agency to protect his family. “I could not have more confidence in the Secret Service,” Obama told USA Today at the time. Donovan Slack reported from Washington. Josh Gerstein reported from Colombia Read more: -------------- Secret Service agents relieved of duty in Colombia amid alleged misconduct From the CNN Wire Staff updated 11:46 AM EDT, Sat April 14, 2012 Cartagena, Colombia (CNN) -- A group of Secret Service agents and officers sent to Colombia ahead of President Barack Obama were relieved of duty and returned home amid allegations of misconduct that involved prostitution, according to two U.S. government sources familiar the investigation. Roughly a dozen Secret Service agents and officers are being investigated over early findings that they allegedly brought back several prostitutes to a hotel in Cartagena, the sources told CNN Saturday. None of the agents or officers were part of the president's personal protective detail. The incident overshadowed the start of the sixth Summit of the Americas, where the president was to focus on trade, energy and regional security. Before the president's arrival, an undisclosed number of Secret Service agents were relieved of duty and replaced, said Edwin Donovan, an agency spokesman. "There have been allegations of misconduct made against the Secret Service in Cartagena, Colombia, prior to the president's trip," Donovan said in a statement. "Because of this, those personnel are being relieved of their assignments, returned to their place of duty, and are being replaced by other Secret Service personnel. The Secret Service takes all allegations of misconduct seriously." There was a dispute between at least one Secret Service member and a woman brought back to his hotel over a request to be paid, the U.S. government sources said. "One of the agents did not pay one of the prostitutes, and she complained to the police," said Ronald Kessler, a former Washington Post reporter and author of "In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes With Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect." Calling it "clearly the biggest scandal in Secret Service history," Kessler said 12 agents are accused of involvement in the incident "in one degree or another," from allegedly interfering in the investigation to participating in other alleged misconduct. Kessler did not identify to CNN who provided him with details of the investigation, and CNN could not immediately confirm the claim. The Washington Post, which was the first to report the story, said it was alerted to the investigation by Kessler. Donovan declined to identify the nature of the alleged misconduct, saying only that the matter was being turned over to the agency's internal affairs department. The Washington Post reported that Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, said the accusations relate to at least one agent having involvement with prostitutes in Cartagena. Adler later issued a statement saying he was disheartened by what he called "Kessler's need to orchestrate an indictment by rumor." It was not clear whether he was disputing the newspaper's characterization of his comments. "I respect our due process and trust the Secret Service to investigate this matter professionally. I stand by the brave men and women of the Secret Service, and ask that everyone reserve judgment until the matter is properly reviewed," Adler's statement said. "It would be both reckless and premature to jump to judgment that either the president's safety or his mission in Colombia were jeopardized by the allegations in question." A spokesman for Colombia's National Police declined to comment, referring questions to the Secret Service. The president arrived in the Colombian coastal resort city Friday, a visit that will mark the most time a U.S. president has spent in that country, where security concerns had limited previous presidential trips. Amid the reports that Secret Service agents were being replaced, two small blasts occurred nearly back-to-back in Cartagena. The explosions, one near a bus station and another near a shopping mall, occurred well away from where the world leaders were gathering for the start of the summit, said Alberto Cantihho Toncell, a spokesman for the Colombia National Police. There were no casualties, and only minor damage was reported, Toncell said. The explosions came on the heels of a similar one earlier in the day near the U.S. Embassy in the capital city of Bogota, authorities said. The blasts were a reminder of the violence that has gripped Colombia as it battled powerful cocaine drug cartels. Violence has significantly fallen off in recent years as the Bogota government, aided by U.S. extradition efforts, has successfully picked apart the cartels. More than 7,600 police officers and thousands more troops have been deployed in the walled colonial city of Cartagena as part of stepped up security for the summit. Submarines are patrolling in the coastal waters near the city, armed helicopters are hovering at the ready and snipers in strategic locations are watching for suspicious activity, officials said before the summit's start. Anti-explosive robots and radiation detectors are also part of the security detail. CNN's John King, Dan Lothian, Randi Kaye, Chelsea J. Carter, Mike Ahlers, and journalists Jorge Baron and Fernando Ramos contributed to this report.