No word yet if tourists will have to take off their shoes while walking by the White House:
From the Times:
The Secret Service is considering screening tourists and other visitors at checkpoints before they enter the public areas in front of the White House in response to the episode Friday in which a man with a knife managed to get through the front door of the president’s home after jumping over the fence on Pennsylvania Avenue, according to law enforcement officials.
As part of the screening, the Secret Service would establish several checkpoints a few blocks from the White House, the officials said. The screening would likely be limited to bag checks and not include measures taken at airports by the Transportation Security Administration, which include metal detectors and body scans.
Along with giving Secret Service agents and uniformed Secret Service officers a chance to check for explosives and weapons in bags, the screening would allow them to interact with the visitors and try to identify those who may pose a problem, the officials said.
Some spot-on observations from Garance Franke-Ruta of Yahoo! News:
What’s next? The NSA gets to monitor any mobile phone in D.C. if it comes near a protected building?
We get that the goal here is to give security inside the fence at the White House a sense that anybody who does jump over the fence isn’t armed or carrying explosives, but we need more details, because it’s not clear that TSA-style anything will accomplish what they want.
And as Ms. Franke-Ruta pointed out, security on the grounds of the White House could do a better job without inconveniencing the thousands of tourists who visit D.C. every day.