WASHINGTON (AP) — The security risks that surfaced at Nelson Mandela's memorial underscore how the Secret Service is often at the mercy of foreign governments when it comes to President Barack Obama's travels overseas.
In the hours before Obama spoke, White House staff was in the dark on key details, such as where he was supposed to sit and who else would be on stage.
While there were metal detectors and x-ray machines, they were not used on the initial crowds streaming in for the ceremony, according to Associated Press reporters on scene.
And when Obama made his way to the stage to deliver his speech, a South African sign language interpreter who stood an arm's length away was a schizophrenic prone to violence. The interpreter has since been derided as a fraud.