Thursday, January 28, 2016

Quickies: Presidential Security

     Presidents used to be assassinated, you know. Four were killed in office; three survived close calls. Contrary to what I’d previously believed, I recently learned that though the formation of the Secret Service did occur shortly after the assassination of Lincoln, it was not in response to that event, but rather to address its other, less discussed duty: the suppression of counterfeit currency, which Lincoln’s “greenbacks” had made profitable at long last. All the same, after Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley bit the big one, the USSS – say, that’s a pretty ominous acronym, isn’t it? – eventually took up responsibility for the protection of high federal officials. The most prominent case is, of course, the Presidential Detail.

     Yet presidential security remains ever on certain minds...most notably, the minds of presidents. So we get developments such as this one.

     But presidents continue to think themselves safer – better liked, at any rate – than they really are. Remember George W. Bush’s wholly unapproved – say, who “approves” the travels of presidents, anyway? – secret jaunt to Iraq to celebrate Thanksgiving with some American troops? The Secret Service had a whole herd of cows over that one. So the thinking goes ever on. Indeed, some of the proposals to ban so-called assault weapons have been founded on the security of the president, as a modern sniper rifle in the hands of an expert can “reach out and touch someone” from two miles away.

     There’s only one solution: to make the target effectively un-targetable. To do that, there’s only one approach that will work – and it isn’t to fortify the White House and keep the president a prisoner therein.

     Therefore the solution must be anonymization.

  • The identity of the man elected to the highest office in the land must be so perfectly obscured that he might be anyone passing on a public street.
  • The president himself must be compelled by statute law – not regulations; they’re too fluid, and too many presidents believe themselves empowered to grant exemptions from them – to wear anonymizing devices and garb at all times. (Yes, even in bed with his wife / husband / little bit on the side / catamite. It might spice up the First Couple’s evening activities.)
  • Accordingly, no one will know where the president is at any given moment.
  • When he speaks, no one will know whether it’s really the president speaking.
  • To make assurance triply sure, the president must never go in public except wearing a tracking anklet, a voice anonymizer he cannot remove, and a fully opaque burq’a.

     Amazing! If you don’t know which of 330 million residents of the Land of the Formerly Free really is the president, how can you take aim at him? But better yet, it would cut executive orders and presidential gasbaggery virtually down to zero. Why listen to anyone who claims to be the president if you can’t know for sure that he’s the real deal?

     Yes, it would make for a large change in the arrangements of the highest office in the land. But security! I mean, could anything be more important? So what if presidential egos would be severely wounded? I did say there’d be spinoff benefits, didn’t I?

     And you’d begun to wonder why you bother to read the self-important posturings of this supposed Certified Galactic Intellect! I shall smile broadly and pat myself enthusiastically upon the back as I await your no-doubt-thunderous accolades.


Malatrope said...


Anonymous said...

"Thunderous accolade"! now, my hands hurt. I need medicinal alcohol.
And a nap.