Brett Michael Dykes
Yahoo! News Blog
October 22, 2009
[efoods]An internal congressional report questioning the ability of the Secret Service to continue fulfilling its duties was leaked to the Boston Globe. The report says the Secret Service is strained by a drastic increase in threats to President Obama, coupled with deep budget cuts. Some are speculating that the agency may need to relinquish all or part of its roles in protecting the country’s financial machinery in order to focus resources on the protection of the president and other high-profile leaders.
The report, issued in August by the Congressional Research Service, claimed that if “an evaluation of the service’s two missions” were to be done at this time, there’s a good possibility that “it might be determined that it is ineffective…to conduct its protection mission and investigate financial crimes.” Additionally, an anonymously quoted government official said that many inside the halls of Congress and within the Secret Service itself are questioning whether or not the agency’s effectiveness wouldn’t be enhanced by transferring some of its responsibilities regarding the investigation of financial crimes over to the Treasury Department.
Talking Points Memo noted that Ronald Kessler, the author of a recently released book on the Secret Service’s protection of U.S. presidents, recently said that threats against President Obama are up 400 percent from the number of threats levied against former President George W. Bush, while the size of the agency’s staff has only increased by 5.3 percent.