July 27, 2003
Shame on the Secret Service. This week, it investigated renowned editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez like he was some left-wing homeless crackpot who had sent President Bush an anthrax-laced death threat — all because Ramirez drew a provocative cartoon that was clearly intended to defend the president.
Meanwhile, the Secret Service can’t even keep a loony-tunes stowaway from conning his way onto a White House press charter plane in Africa or prevent a known wacko named the “Handshake Man” from slipping past security and personally delivering an unscreened letter to Bush at a public event in Washington, D.C.
The Secret Service’s response to “threats” aimed at the President sometimes looks more like an effort to reinstate the old English offense of “encompassing the death of the King” than serious effort to spot dangerous people. And the Secret Service’s proximity to the President has shielded it from the scrutiny that it deserves.