Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pumping Celebrity, White House Publishes Dinner-Crasher Pics on Flickr: Yet, Tareq and Michaele Security Breach a Major Blow to Obama Administration

The mainstream press is right to note the major implications of Tuesday night's security breach at the White House state dinner. For example, today's Los Angeles Times reports, "State Dinner Crashers Met President Obama":

The Secret Service says it's 'deeply concerned and embarrassed.' The agency is looking into how such a security breach happened at the White House and whether Michaele and Tareq Salahi broke any laws.

And Ronald Kessler, who wrote a recent book on the Secret Service, reports, "Success of White House party crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi is disgrace for Secret Service":

The fact that Michaele and Tareq Salahi were allowed into the White House in this dangerous age is a disgrace and symptomatic of lax standards at the Secret Service ever since it was absorbed by the Homeland Security Department in 2003.

Because of a lack of adequate funding, a management culture that considers itself invincible, as well as spinelessness when it comes to standing up to demands by those under protection - including the White House - the Secret Service takes chances that would have been unthinkable years ago.

That includes not putting people through magnetometers at all or shutting them down early when an event is about to start, and staffs apply pressure because attendees are waiting outside.

Last April, despite the fact that Vice President Biden's presence was announced beforehand, the Secret Service did no magnetometer screening whatsoever when Biden threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Orioles game in Baltimore.

When Mary Cheney, Dick Cheney's daughter, insisted that the Secret Service take her friends to restaurants and the detail refused, the Secret Service acceded to her request to have her detail leader removed.

My assumption is that the same kind of spinelessness motivated the Secret Service Uniformed Division officer at the White House to allow the couple through so as not to inconvenience them by requiring that they wait for the results of a background check before gaining admittance.

To its credit, the Secret Service made it clear that the agency simply ignored the fact that the couple were not on the guest list. Thus, the White House's social secretary's office did not vouch for the couple. Even if it had, they should have gone through a background check before being admitted.

The corner-cutting goes on despite the fact that threats against President Obama have been up 400% at times compared with when George W. Bush was in office.

While Secret Service agents are brave and dedicated, and will take a bullet for the President, Secret Service management has betrayed its trust to a shocking degree. Assassinations occur because of the kind of lapses we saw at the White House on Wednesday evening.
The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee has pledged to investigate the breach.

But Doug Ross and Pamela Geller are looking at the sheer incompetence in the Oval Office itself.

See, Doug Ross @ Journal, "
Brilliant: White House Posts Party Crasher Photos to its Flickr Feed," and Atlas Shrugs, "Amateur Hour at Oblunder's House."

Plus, more commentary and related reactions:

* Astute Bloggers, "

* Big Government, "
Saturday Open Thread: Party Crashers Edition."

* Blue Crab Boulevard, "
The Reality Show Based Community."

* Booker Rising, "
The Secret Service Is Slippin' Big Time ..."

* Gateway Pundit, "
White House Party Crashers Met With Obama Too."

* Grandpa John's, "
Has Burt Prelutsky Gone Over the Edge?"

* Hot Air, "
Video: Party crashers’ entrance announced at WH state dinner; Update: Took photo with Obama."

* JammieWearingFool, "
Unprecedented Stupidity: WH Posts Party Crashers on Flickr Page."

* Jules Crittenden, "
No Dithering Around."

* Legal Insurrection, "
The Greatest Celebrity's Reality Show."

* Pace Enterprises, "
Cracks in the Road to Serfdom."

* Pat in Shreveport, "Make of This What You Will... (Obama's New Low in Public Opinion)."

* Pundit and Pundette, "
Crashers get up close and personal with Obama and Biden."

* Reaganite Republican, "
Watching Obamamania Go >Pooof<."

* Smart Girl Politics, "
Party Crashers Met Briefly With Obama...I think there is a lot more going on here."

* Stop the ACLU, "
Socialites Crash a White House State Dinner."

* TrogloPundit, "
Could it be that the Obamas just didn’t want to let “those people” into their house?"

* Weasel Zippers, "The Terribly Worded Title: 'Couple penetrates White House security to get into state dinner' (MSNBC)...Couple Sneaks Into State Dinner And Poses For Pictures With Biden, Rahm, Katie Couric UPDATE: Poses With POTUS."

* WyBlog, "Obama returns to his bedouin roots, will hold first State Dinner in a tent."


ADDED BONUS! Cassandra's "unpopular post of the day" ... "
Classy": "I love, love, love the way Michelle Obama looks in this photo ..." (Check the link to see it!)

Plus, add your link in the comments if you'd like to be added to the roundup, or drop me an e-mail!


SR said...

Here, and here,