Attack on the White House
True story…It was a moonless night near a small inlet on the South China sea as the submarine surfaced and dislodged a raft with four forced recon Marines. They made their way silently toward the deserted beach and their target at the top of a towering cliff. I had been at this post as a scout dog handler for three months now and other than spot inspections never had any attempts to bridge the perimeter. Unlike most military insulation’s, outside of combat zones, we were issued live ammo and our orders was that no one was to get near the bunkers.
Our base was surrounded with a fence system that could detect anyone coming within 50 yards of the perimeter. So suffice it to say that when the alarm and search lights came on I acted instinctively by chambering a live round. My training had me automatically set my dog to alert and I would without hesitation fire on anyone trying to cross the fence line. Almost at the same instant my radio crackled with the voice of our OOD, officer of the day, telling everyone in the field to stand down this was only a drill. That was 1965, in the middle of the jungle 8,000 miles from the United States and we had an alarm system that could tell the difference between a man and an animal at at least 50 yards away.
So tell me what is wrong with the picture of a lone 42 year old man, Omar Gonzalez, going over the fence at the White House and making it all the way inside the door of the North Portico before being subdued? One would think that in the 49 years since that mock attack in the Far East our country must have developed a far more sophisticated detection system, not to mention the fact that we are talking about the White House supposedly the most secure building on the face of the earth! It of course comes down to only one of two things either there was a massive malfunction of the White House defense system or the people manning that system screwed up.
If it was a collapse of the hardware that would leave me very nervous about the systems protecting our country from attack, but I do not think with our obsession for redundancy that was the problem that day. I believe the people manning the system are at fault. Yes I have absolutely no evidence to attest to this but I can not see that many systems crashing at the same instant. It is far easier for me to think that the people manning the system were away from their post, reacted too slowly or were not trained properly.