President Obama’s selfies weren’t the only controversy to arise from Nelson Mandela’s memorial service on Tuesday. Yesterday, the world learned the sign language interpreter standing just three feet from President Obama and other world leaders was actually not signing coherently. According to a new AP report, Thamsanqa Jantjie saw “angels” at the event, has been violent in the past, and suffers from schizophrenia.
“I really don't understand and [it] really concerns me [that] we are accepting what I think is a new kind of Secret Service, I guess. I don't know,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “We have Dan Bongino on. He wrote the book Life Inside the Bubble, and I wanted to call him real quick just to get his read on what happened in South Africa.”
Dan is a former Secret Service agent who served under both the Bush and Obama Administrations, and he was able to provide some inside knowledge as to why someone with a violent past was allowed to be in such close proximity to the President.
“Glenn, we have to start seriously reevaluating our approach to presidential security overseas… [President Obama] was in a lot of danger, I think, and I didn't say that until I heard this story about his violent tendencies, which came out today,” Dan explained. “I think the Secret Service here was put in a really bad spot for a couple of reasons – the first being this event was put together last minute. [But it] didn't have to be. You know, it was not a secret that Mandela was going to die at some point. The plan should have been put together. And it wasn't [put together in advance] like we did for the Reagan funeral here.”
“Secondly, whenever you're dealing with overseas events like this and there are political sensitivities… on this one they were legions, I think in my opinion, we sell out to political interests a little too easily,” he continued. “I think we should have put our foot down on this one and I think the ramifications of a poor decision here were clear.”
It doesn’t take a security background to understand that when it comes to keeping someone safe, distance is key. In this particular situation, it looks like an individual who suffers from mental illness and has a history of violence was given access to world leaders without adequate research into his background.
“When you look at security, you have to look at it like a ring structure. Remember, Glenn, distance buys you time,” Dan said. “If someone breaches an outer perimeter, you still have time to react. If they reach a middle perimeter, you still have time to react. If they breach not only the inner sanctum, but the arm's reach of the president, that's a pretty serious reach. You have no time. Time is not your friend. And how this guy got up on stage, I think the South Africans are going to have a lot of questions to answer.”
Watch the entire interview below: