Julia Pierson, first ever female head of the United States Secret Service – was fearless and courageous in accepting full responsibility on Tuesday for the shameful succession of bungles that put U.S. President Barack Obama’s life at risk.
Except – of course, she wasn’t.
Pierson lied. She didn’t accept responsibility at all.
If she had she would have handed in her resignation.
Pierson’s strategy was the same as that of all passive-aggressive losers when they are finally called out on their most egregious acts of criminal negligence. They “accept full responsibility” and then vow “to do better next time.”
But they never do the one thing their admitted and catastrophic record of bungling and incompetence requires them to do: They never willingly just give up the jobs they have proven themselves so inadequate in.
This of course is an old, old story.
In May 1940, in the most fateful and dramatic debate in the in the 700-year-long history of Britain’s House of Commons, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain appealed for “sacrifice” in support of his embattled and useless government.
In response, the legendary David Lloyd George, Britain’s victorious war premier in World War I, witheringly replied, “I say solemnly that the Prime Minister should give an example of sacrifice, because there is nothing which can contribute more to victory in this war than that he should sacrifice the seal of office.”
Those words today do not apply to the President of the United States, a chief executive, let it be remembered who hunted down and brought to justice the perpetrator of the terror massacres of 9/11 . These words apply to the woman solemnly charged by Congress with protecting and preserving the life of the President.
The only selfless, patriotic act left to Julia Pierson is to resign at once, with her last semblance of dignity and honor. If not, she should be fired immediately with full ignominy.
Pierson had a 30 year record in the Secret Service. She may have been outstanding in all her previous jobs. She may just have been ploddingly mediocre and rising only by keeping her nose clean.
I strongly tend to the latter interpretation. As one of the few women rising to veteran status in the Secret Service she knew Political Correctness was on her side. She didn’t have to be brilliant to rise. She only had to plod. And then, the empty, meaningless tributes of “brilliant, selfless service” would mindlessly pile up in her record.
However, as the great English poet Rudyard Kipling so witheringly recorded in his great poem, The Dutch in the Medway:
“But honor and dominion
Are not maintain-ed so,”
True leadership, security and honor, Kipling maintained, were only protected and preserved by leadership and courage proved in crisis and the heart of battle.
“They’re only got by sword and shot
“And this the Dutchmen know!”
Well, Kipling’s bold 17th century Dutch admirals and sailors may have known all that, but Julia Pierson clearly doesn’t.
Pierson proved by her testimony before Congress on Tuesday that she hasn’t a clue about anything that is needed to protect the life of the Chief Executive in times of extreme crisis: She has the speed of response of a tortoise and the moral imagination of a slug.
And one thing is for sure: In the year and a half since taking over the Secret Service in March 2013 she has presided stoically and haplessly over one shameful and embarrassing bungle after another.
If Pierson were truly the selfless patriot that the predictable cheering sections of dimmer conservatives and last ditch feminists are going to claim, she would stand aside now, for the safety of the President of the United States and the national interest.
Her credibility is gone, shot to pieces. The longer she stays in her post, the greater is the danger that she attracts to the person of the President.
If even a harmless delusional fantasist like Omar Gonzalez can break into the White House and penetrate the living quarters of the First Family, how many more serious, dedicated terrorists and hatemongers will spurred on by his example, and by the hope that the complacent, cud-chewing, dim and inadequate Pierson will still be on watch?
Real dynamic leaders from Gens. George Patton and Curtis LeMay to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and current South Korean President Park Geun-hye would have kicked Pierson out of the door.
Pierson must must be fired, immediately. A national catastrophe beckons if she is not.
There is no end of hard-charging generals, successful, abrasive police chiefs or veteran intelligence commanders from whom her successor can and should be appointed. The Secret Service clearly needs an outsider to bring a hurricane of reform and awakening to its crucial duties. Business as usual should not be an acceptable cop-out for effective reform as it has been for so long.
If the hundreds of Pericles’s and Cicero’s (in their own imagination) in Congress have any remaining worth at all, why can’t they get together and kick out this worthless, pathetic nonentity before the end of this week?
The great Leo Amery, soon to join Winston Churchill’s legendary War Coalition government, gave a withering ultimatum to Neville Chamberlain in the May 1940 Commons debate. Quoting the words of Oliver Cromwell to the corrupt old Long Parliament on April 23, 1653, he said:
“You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go”
Amery’s words ring true for Julia Pierson today.
It is time for her to go.
The safety and even survival of the President demands it.
Martin Sieff is a former senior foreign correspondent for The Washington Times and former Managing Editor, International Affairs for United Press International. Mr. Sieff is the author of “That Should Still Be Us: How Thomas Friedman’s Flat World Myths Are Keeping Us Flat on Our Backs” (Wiley 2012) and “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Middle East” (Regnery, 2008). He has received three Pulitzer Prize nominations for international reporting.