The US Secret Service hasn’t been doing an awesome job guarding the White House lately, so Joseph Clancy, its director, plans to ask the House Appropriations Committee for $US8 million so that the US President’s guard can build a replica White House on the Secret Service training grounds in southern Maryland.
Not the whole house, of course. The New York Times got a peek at Clancy’s prepared remarks, which detail a practice White House that “would mimic the facade of the White House residence, the East and West Wings, guard booths, and the surrounding grounds and roads.”
This is the same area that a crazy person breached last year after hopping a fence and kicking a Secret Service dog. It’s also roughly the same area where a drunk government worker crashed a drone earlier this year. And it’s certainly better than the “rudimentary, not-to-scale simulation of the north grounds of the White House, using bike barricades to act as the fencing” that the Secret Service currently uses for training.
The US government loves creating fake things. Just a few kilometres from Obama’s house, there’s an entire fake village in northern Virginia, complete with a mosque and a fake subway. The Navy SEALs have a fake city on an island in the Pacific for training purposes. So if a Secret Service thinks a fake White House will help them prevent more intruders from attacking the president, well, sure why not. Maybe the government can pick up the loose change left behind by the obscenely expensive F-35 program to pay for it.