Less than 24 hours before the resignation of Secret Service Director Julia Pierson, a former Secret Service agent who served on the presidential detail suggested former Republican Congressman Allen West of Florida as a suitable replacement for the troubled law enforcement agency.
In a piece published Tuesday for The Washington Post, former Secret Service Agent Dan Emmett lamented there is not enough quality leadership at the top of the agency. While he commends Pierson for her knowledge and experience, he says change is needed and the next director should be an “outsider” with military experience, someone in the mold of West.
“Pierson should be replaced and the next director should come from outside the Secret Service, with the deputy director remaining an agent. In this role, a true leader, not a bureaucrat, is needed. Someone like Florida congressman and retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Allen West would be perfect for the role.
“West has successfully demonstrated that he possesses the leadership skills of a combat officer as well as managerial and diplomatic skills of a congressman, exactly the traits needed in the next director.”
Emmett wrote Within Arm’s Length: A Secret Service Agent’s Definitive Inside Account of Protecting the President, released in June. He served in the Secret Service Presidential Protective Division, the CIA National Clandestine Service, and the United States Marine Corps, according to his biography in The Post.
“The fact is that the Secret Service failed to protect the White House against armed, forced intrusion. There is no mitigating or minimizing of this fact.
“That Omar Gonzalez was armed with a knife rather than weapons capable of multiple casualties, and that he was not a diversion for a larger attack, merely means that the Secret Service was lucky – very lucky.
“In the business of presidential protection, this was a complete failure, and in that business there is never room for failure.”
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Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore (Flickr)