Wednesday, January 7, 2009

George W. Bush First Modern President to Lose Secret Service Protection after 10 Years

Because of the 1995 Treasury Department Appropriations Act, presidents are now limited to a total of 10 years of Secret Service protection following their exit from office. Bill Clinton was grandfathered in and will be the last president to have lifetime protection; George W. Bush will be the first former president to which the legislation applies.

This is a bad, bad idea. It was a stupid idea when it was originally written. In a post-9/11 world, it is beyond bad. The 111th Congress needs to rewrite this law. All presidents and their immediate families, regardless of ideology, party, popularity, etc., deserve to have lifetime protection. Some will likely decline as Richard Nixon did in his post-White House years. However, the failed attempt on the life of President George H.W. Bush in 1993 while visiting Kuwait is a stark reminder that ex-presidents and their families will continue to be targets of hostile elements and the criminally insane, in perpetuity.

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