2014 was not a good year for White House security, when one after another deranged intruder managed to scale the fence, and on at least one occasion, make it all the way inside the building housing the "leader of the free world" (assuming of course said leader was not on a golf course at precisely that time). The resultant embarrasement for the Secret Service was too much to bear for at least one person, and in October the head of the Secret Service resigned claiming it was the "Noble thing to do" (leaving unclear if it was "nobler" to no longer have to protect Obama or something else). However, this took place only after some others came up with the idea to dig a moat surrounding the holiest of American holies.
Which would have been a great idea, if the earth was 2 dimensional. And as it turns out, over the past few days someone figured out that while there is an extensive barrier surrounding the White House, it only stretches about 8 feet above the ground. Everything above that is open air, or as it is better known in this day and age of pervasive drone overflights: "a direct path."
As AP reports, this is precisely what happened at the White House early this Morning during Obama's trip to India (and shortly, to King Abdullah's funeral in Saudi Arabi), when according to the Secret Service, a small quad-copter drone crashed overnight at the White House complex.
Walking side-by-side, USSS officers searching WH North Grounds after drone found on South Grounds overnight. pic.twitter.com/sdpYsEfpdc— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) January 26, 2015
Plenty of "quad copters" available on Amazon in the $40-$70 range. http://t.co/pfYYRjToOL— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) January 26, 2015
An investigation is underway to determine its origin and identify suspects and their motive.
Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary says the device was a quadcopter and was about 2 feet in diameter. A quadcopter is an unmanned aircraft that is lifted by four propellers.
Leary says the quadcopter was flying at a very low altitude before it crashed on the southeast side of the executive mansion around 3:08 a.m. Monday.
This latest "targeting" of the White House raised new questions:
Drone raises the question of how tall a new WH fence would have to be to keep drones from intruding.— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) January 26, 2015
Why would anyone possibly want to fly a drone into the White House, an action that is sure to bring jail time if the perpetrator is discovered? One possible explanation was hinted at last week in "Smuggling Drugs Across The Mexican Border? There's A Drone For That." After all, this president may not be known for his economic acumen, or "administration transparency" but he certainly is legendary in his liberal attitude when it comes to mind-altering substances.