Now, I was never a fan of Dubya, but fact is...he was President of the United States. And, I never could get the explanation as to why this man wasn't riddled full of bullets. The first shoe was bad enough, but that he was allowed to get off the second one without a bullet in him made no sense. There could have been any kind of chemical or biological weapon on the shoe. I know, I sound like an episode of 24, but you know these types of weapons exist.
Maybe it was because Bush's popularity was so low by that point that the seriousness of the situation didn't get the attention it deserved. Maybe I missed it, but I don't remember reading about any inquiries where the Secret Service is concerned. Maybe there was, and someone lost their job on the Presidential Detail - I hope so.
Which brings me to the ' Gate Crashers' at the State Dinner.
In case you don't know the story, two folks wound up 'CRASHING' the State Dinner. Whether they are reality show contestants or not, they were able to crash the State Dinner. This story has never been funny or amusing to me. It's dangerous.
The more benign conspiracy theory is that someone wants to make the Obama White House look incompetent. And, that someone inside the White House, who wants the same, helped them.
It's obvious that someone INSIDE HELPED THEM.
Now, you have the more sinister conspiracy theory of that this is a 'dry run' for something altogether more heinous, and there is a leak in the Secret Service.
You can choose either one, but both are disturbing.
Who was at the State Dinner, and why was this breach a threat to national security?
Here is the Presidential Line of Succession
1 Vice President -- Joe Biden
2 Speaker of the House of Representatives-- Nancy Pelosi
3 President pro tempore of the Senate -- Robert Byrd
4 Secretary of State -- Hillary Clinton
5 Secretary of the Treasury-- Timothy Geithner
6 Secretary of Defense -- Robert Gates
7 Attorney General -- Eric Holder
Outside of Senator Byrd, everyone else was at the State Dinner.
There were two of them, and if they had more sinister motives, they could have divvied up the list, and set about causing instability in the United States Executive Branch.
So now, today, we have an apology from the Secret Service.
From the NYTimes:
Secret Service Apologizes for Allowing Pair at State Dinner
By HELENE COOPER and DAVID STOUT
Published: November 27, 2009
WASHINGTON — The celebrity-seeking couple who sneaked into a state dinner this week came face-to-face with President Obama and his wife, Michelle, the White House said Friday in a disclosure that underscored the seriousness of the security breach and prompted an abject apology from the Secret Service.
A White House spokesman said the couple, Michaele and Tareq Salahi of Virginia, met the president and first lady in a receiving line at their first state dinner, honoring Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India. That disclosure coincided with a statement in which the director of the Secret Service, Mark Sullivan, said his agency was “deeply concerned and embarrassed” by the events at the dinner Tuesday night.
“The preliminary findings of our internal investigation have determined established protocols were not followed at an initial checkpoint, verifying that two individuals were on the guest list,” Mr. Sullivan said.
“Although these individuals went through magnetometers and other levels of screening, they should have been prohibited from entering the event entirely,” Mr. Sullivan said. “That failing is ours.”
You've got that right. It IS your responsibility. Yes, you're overtaxed. Yes, you're working under the pressure of having a President with more threats than any in history. Maybe there needs to be a reshuffling of responsibilities so that there is a specific unit dedicated to Presidential threats.
The thought, that they shouldn't be charged with something, is ridiculous. They BREACHED SECURITY AT THE WHITE HOUSE! I don't know which laws they broke, but if you and I had breached White House Security, you wanna bet that nobody would be listening to an 'OOOPS, my bad' from us?
Would anyone have uttered the words that 'you don't know if they broke any laws', if the Gate Crashers looked like this:
--Photo by 7x7/San Francisco
Yeah, I don't think so either.