Secret Service Struggles to Prevent Shootings at the White House

The shooting incident at the White House is a reminder that the presidential security bubble is often put to the test.

Of course, the White House is a tough target. There is the bulletproof glass, the barriers, the fence, the sensors. Secret Service officers are standing guard, walking patrol, riding bicycles, driving cars, or leading bomb-sniffing dogs. It’s been reported there’s an antiaircraft system ready to take out planes that might try to launch 9/11-style suicide attacks.

But none of that, of course, stopped the alleged shooter last week, Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, a 21-year-old student. Officials say he managed to hit, though not to penetrate, a White House window with a rifle shot from Constitution Avenue. Ortega, who seems unbalanced, has allegedly referred to President Obama as "the Antichrist" or "the devil," and on tape he called himself a "modern-day Jesus Christ."

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Tags: aram roston, barack obama, oscar ramiro ortega-hernandez, secret service, white house

    • Aram Roston
    • Aram Roston is a writer who has covered crime, corruption, conflicts, politics, and national security for more than 18 years. He has written for GQPlayboy, and The Nation, among others. He is the author of The Man Who Pushed America to War: The Extraordinary Life, Adventures, and Ob...

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