The Santiago Incident

Powerline notes the gravity of the recent incident in Chile in which the President was forced to go back to retrieve a member of his security detail:

Judging from your comments, I don’t think you guys realize the seriousness of what happened in Chile. Let me put it into perspective: the president has been marked for death by hundreds of terrorist groups; he is in a foreign country, one where there have been near contintuous riots against America and against him, personally, over the Iraq War; as he’s walking into a banquet hall, the local police intentionally cut him off from his security detail.

If the first thought that popped into your mind when you heard about that was not “assassination,” then your mind is still laboring in a pre-9/11 world.

It’s entirely possible that rather than “rescuing” his detained Secret Service detail, Bush in fact saved his own life. If there was a plan, if this wasn’t just a random act of rudeness by the Chilean police (why would they do that?), then Bush’s quick thinking may have forced the would-be attackers to abort the operation.

That is within the realm of possibility, although I rather doubt that’s what happened. Instead, it was probably all a misunderstanding. However, what the President did was entirely correct. It is not acceptable for him to be separated from his Secret Service detail, even if it is a diplomatic snafu. The President’s actions were correct, even if there was no threat of assassination.

Furthermore, Bush was also correct to at least ask for metal detectors for a dinner that would have involved many people. It’s a basic safety precaution to ensure that someone can’t just carry a gun into a state dinner and take out not only President Bush, but any number of Chilean dignitaries as well. The fact that the Chilleans have such lax security procedures is quite astonishing – fortunately the President and his staff have more consideration for the security of these events.

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