|Where was he when that Iraqi started throwing shoes?
The Atlantic just ran a major feature that offered one of the most intimate views of the Secret Service that has ever been provided. How reporter Marc Ambinder convinced the agency to give him such an up-close understanding of how they protect dozens of world leaders during the UN General Assembly both puzzles and astonishes me.
One of the most interesting tales that came to light was that the Secret Service pulled their guns on the Turkish delegation during a misunderstanding that arose from Prime Minister Erdogan’s unwillingness to wait for Obama’s motorcade to pass.
Another interesting fact is that on more than one occasion, the CIA has asked the Secret Service to spy on the leaders they have been tasked with protecting. Although he refused to comment on the request, Mark Sullivan, Director of the Secret Service, told Ambinder that the agency is only a consumer of intelligence, not a collector.
Although the agency refused to confirm that the CIA asked them to collect intel on two occasions, former director W. Ralph Basham told Ambinder: “Once you lose the confidence of those individuals you protect…. It would never be a workable situation.”
Props to the Secret Service for standing their ground and being the more honorable agency. But you can’t blame the CIA for asking. Who ever said spying was supposed to be honorable anyway?