Secret Service Admits 91 Security Lapses in 30 Years

It appears the crashing of a White House state dinner last month was just the latest in a long series of security lapses by the Secret Service. In fact, according to a report in the Washington Post, the agency owns up to at least 91 instances over the past 30 years.

The newspaper obtained a 2003 report by the Secret Service in which it outlines its failures since 1980. The paper says the report was used to help train agents.

"This document reflects a proactive attempt to evaluate our security and obviously raises the awareness of uniformed division officers and agents about their jobs," Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan said, according to the Post.

"We have to be concerned about the threats to our protectees at all times, whether at the White House or away from the White House."

Some of the security lapses turned out to be harmless. For example, a family in a minivan was able to get through the White House gates in 1982 by simply honking their horn at agents. They were stopped when they got closer to the West Wing.

But others were more serious, like the time in 1994 when a man was able to fire off 29 shots from a semi-automatic rifle at the White House before agents confronted him.

Tareq and Michaela Salahi got through several checkpoints and into the state dinner last month. They claim they were invited guests, but so far there is no evidence that they are anything but party crashers.

During testimony at a congressional hearing last week, Secret Service DirectorMark Sullivan accepted responsibility for the incident, saying it left him "deeply concerned and embarrassed."


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