The Right Coast
November 25, 2004
Bush the Guy
Of course Bush did the right thing. If the Chileans feel humiliated, they have only themselves to blame. There are about a dozen reasons why POTUS should not allow foreign security to separate him from his own security detail. First, security reasons. In my year in "the White House," which includes the Old Executive Office Building (now called the Reagan building, or something) where I worked (as opposed to the "West Wing," where the upper White House Staff worked, or White House Scum as I sometimes refered to them, since I thought most of them were political hacks, as opposed to the economic or national security professionals on the 3rd floor of the OEOB), security around the President himself was really, really tight. This was obviously before 9/11. You had to go through two or three screenings, with both metal dectectors and ID check (against a database with lots of info about who you were) to get anywhere near him. The agents themselves were very imposing physical specimens, all over 6 feet, very fit, and very vigilant. The idea that some foreign security heavies would interpose themselves between the President's personal detail and the President is very shocking. If you tried this in the US, you'd be lucky to come out of it alive.
This incident has its lighter side, but in fact, it's fortunate it did not lead to something much worse. If the President had not come back as soon as he did, the Secret Service would have started getting much rougher and who knows what would have happened.