Thursday, October 02, 2014

Why the government fails - governmental sclerosis.

Maybe it is because governmental agencies are more concerned with political goals than agency goals?

For example, perhaps appointing a director of the Secret Service because of her gender somehow undercuts the goal of protecting the president.

In case you missed this story - which would be quite easy in light of the media blackout - here is this:

//Ms. Pierson’s support in the West Wing began crumbling late Tuesday, in large part because she did not tell the White House of a security failure in Atlanta last month when an armed man was allowed to ride in an elevator with President Obama at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.//


//For Ms. Pierson, the resignation ended a tumultuous two weeks that started when Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, an Iraq war veteran, evaded capture as he jumped the White House fence, ran across the North Lawn, barged through the unlocked door of the North Portico and knocked down an agent as he sprinted through the Entrance Hall to the Cross Hall to the East Room, the site of presidential news conferences and other formal events.//

Notice the "knocked down an agent" part buried in that paragraph?  Anyone curious about that and why is it buried?  Well, you might guess at the answer, which is provided in another deeply buried graph by CBS:

//He was confronted by a female Secret Service agent, who he overpowered....//

Anyone interested in the "knocked down an agent" or that it involved overpowering a female Secret Service agent?

Probably not.

Doesn't fit the agency's mission.

According to Althouse:

//It's as if they thought having a female director would fix — image-fix — their women-related problems. There's more to the Secret Service than just making it seem as if someone is stopping them from whoring. Did she even succeed at that? Or were we just supposed to feel better about it?//


Anonymous said...

Kinda like similar problems sometimes faced in the U.S armed forces where a social cause can sometimes take precedence over unit and mission effectiveness. On the other hand, lately some men in the Secret Service have been pretty abysmal, either drunk or in bed with hookers in foreign countries or both. I'm concerned an overall decline in responsibility and quality may be a worse issue than social correctness.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how we deal with this as a society.

I cut and pasted the SS Director's background in below from Wikipedia. Unless being a women is held against her, on paper she appears qualified for her role as Director. I doubt her being a women has much to do with whether she succeeded or failed as the Director. I don't really have a problem with her initial appointment. She almost certainly knew she was taking on a tough assignment. She appears to have failed. It's fair that she's now gone.

On the other hand, if I were the president, I'd prefer to have a bunch of quick and strong dudes formally in Delta Force directly responsible for the physical security of me and my family and guarding the doors into the White House. I'm torn. Do we just outright ban women from these and similar roles, which seems a tad like how the Saudi's approach almost all issues re women, or do we at times accept a lower level of physical performance. Like I said, if I was actually the president, I know what my answer would be. Sitting on my sofa typing this, I don't know.

Per Wikipedia:
"Following graduation, Pierson served three years in the Orlando Police Department (OPD), patrolling the northeastern section of Orlando. She was one of the first female OPD officers assigned to a beat.[8] She joined the United States Secret Service in 1984 as a special agent. She served in the Miami Field Office from 1984 to 1985, and the Orlando Field Office from 1985 to 1988. From 1989 to 2000, she served on the presidential protective details (PPDs) of Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. Between 2000 and 2001, Pierson held the position of special agent in charge of the Office of Protective Operations, and then as deputy assistant director of the Office of Administration from 2001 to 2005. From 2005 to 2006 she served as deputy assistant director of the Office of Protective Operations. From 2008 to her appointment as director, Pierson served as the chief of staff to the director, and as the assistant director of the Office of Human Resources and Training for the Secret Service."

Peter Bradley said...

If the problem is that SS men are being derelict in their duty with prostitutes, then the answer would be to fire them, not to give the job to a woman, unless she happened to be the next qualified person.

As for this woman's background, the problem we now have is that the system as a whole is corrupt. We can't trust that she wasn't punted up the ladder of success as a token. Maybe she was, maybe she wasn't, but we just don't know anymore.

That's the problem with government; the mission is just one of the things that agencies are tasked with.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting the issue not is solely a problem with deems or repubs. While it is probably a dem strategy to pressure repubs over such issues, repubs seem to respond the pressure by acting just like deems. Specifically, diversity as goal rather than an outcome. Major corps aren't much different.

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