I was right-they're using the WH gatecrash to go after Obama
Edited on Wed Dec-02-09 09:34 AM by EffieBlack
House Republicans are trying to haul Desiree Rogers up to the Hill to testify about the incident, even though this was a Secret Service error that the White House Social Office had nothing to do with.
To their credit, the White House is refusing to play along and Rogers has declined to appear.
But it's clear that the minority, desperate to find some foothold in their crusade against President Obama, is willing to turn a serious security breach committed by the Secret Service into a political weapon against the man the Secret Service is sworn to protect.
there always has been someone from the Social Office at the gate who is familiar with the invitee list in case there is a problem with names and this office should have had someone there, too. I hate these Congressional windbags "investigating" to give themselves tv facetime, but Rogers is in charge of the office and should go and defend her policy of not having someone there. (Should have gone herself so no one would have seen that grotesque designer dress she had on.)
3. The person with the clipboard at the gate is there as a convenience to the guests
not to as an adjunct to the Secret Service.
Even if someone is on the list, if they aren't in the Secret Service's computer, they're not supposed to be admitted, no matter what the kid with the clipboard says.
The reason someone is there with the list is so that if a guest shows up and isn't in the computer but is on the list, the staffer can contact the Social Office and have them call in the person's vitals to the Secret Service ID division (not the uniformed guy at the gate), who runs a check. Once their background checks out, their names are entered into the system and the computer at the gate shows that they have been cleared to enter. Then and only then are they to be admitted. That apparently was the procedure followed for several guests that night, including Sen. John Kerry.
The procedure is the same if the person is neither on the list nor in the computer, but insists they were invited.
If there's no one at the gate with the list (which, contrary to what some now claim, does sometimes happen), it is the responsibility of the people who are trying to get in to contact the Social Office - or whatever office invited them - to arrange for their names to be cleared. Occasionally, if he/she isn't busy, the guard at the gate will call up there for them and let them talk to someone.
But unless and until their names show up as cleared in that computer at the gate, they are NOT to be admitted.
This really has nothing to do with the Social Office. This is all about a Secret Service uniformed officer letting people into the White House whom the Secret Service ID division had not cleared to enter.
15. I'm not sure I agree. I think the Secret Service is EXTREMELY competent
One of the UD guys made a mistake but, despite what people are saying, this was not some kind of total breakdown in security. It was an embarrassing error but it did not put the President in any immediate danger.
25. The Secret Service Director testified that the threat level against the President has been greatly
exaggerated and is no higher than that against Bush and Clinton at similar points in their terms.
The supposed 400% number came from Ron Kessler's book on the Secret Service and has never been sourced or authenticated. I found a number of other problems with Kessler's book, which is full of conjecture and unsubstantiated allegations by anonymous sources, so it does not surprise me that this number may be incorrect, as well.
Regardless whether the number of threats is greater, less or the same, however, any level of threat is of concern and I am so glad the Secret Service is on the case!
22. Obviously the Republicans are going to try and make hay with this
but Rodgers has some questions to answer and her not appearing before congress just ends up making her look bad. Even though she is claiming not to have invited them or give them the okay to attend, why was she trying to get them in in the first place. From everything I have read about these people they seem to be high class phonies and had no business at a state dinner.
23. I've seen no evidence that Rogers did anything to try to get them in
Perhaps you're thinking of the Pentagon employee?
Nevertheless, she has raised some questions by playing the role of a guest rather than a staffer the other night. They don't rise to Congressional testimony level, but they don't help her public image.
Certainly, no one expects the WH Social Secretary to stand out at the gate playing bouncer and ordinarily, I wouldn't have a problem from a security standpoint that a staffer wasn't at each gate since admission is a Secret Service issue. However, one of the fundamental rules of event planning is for there to be greeters posted as many places as possible to help direct guests and make them more comfortable. The fact that this wasn't done isn't a big deal on its own - but the fact that this wasn't done AND there was a snafu AND the Social Secretary appeared to be more of a guest than a working employee raises a serious optics problem. I think THAT'S why the WH is back-pedalling a little and saying they could have done more to assist the Secret Service.
4. If you can, check out the clip of the exchange between April Ryan and Gibbs....
Edited on Wed Dec-02-09 02:10 PM by Clio the Leo
.... she CLEARLY has a chip on her shoulder over the whole thing. She got REAL snippy with Robert Gibbs at today's briefing demanding an answer as to whether or not the First Family thought that Desiree Rogers was "too much of a social butterfly who was trying to upstage the First Lady." Said that it had been "bantered around DC for quite some time." (Desiree works at Michelle Obama's behest and they've been friends LONG before April Ryan was on the scene.)
Lol, Gibbs dismissed April as acting like his five year old son and moved on to "more weighter matters like 98,000 men and women fighting in Afghanistan."
I think someone is JEALOUS.
(She's the sameone who had a winger over what she perceived as the WH not being properly mourful after MJ's death)
You are so right. I can't stand HER. She was outrageous on Monday about this as well. Has been all week really. Don't know what her problem is but she does have one that is for sure. She practically insisted that Gibbs shut up and let her speak on Monday.
Do you remember her from the Bush regime's W.H. briefings at all? What I hope is that she was equally tough on them but I doubt it. Maybe you remember.
Also, I think she may be from a relatively minor tabloid publication as well. Not sure about that. Maybe that is her chip.
14. I remember April from the Bush admin alright. She's the one who practically genuflected to him...
... asking about how he prayed over the decision to invade Iraq.
Honestly I can't remember if it was a Bush press conference or just a regular one with the Press Secretary, but I do remember her behavior vividly. As she leaned out of her seat into the aisle to better see and be seen from the podium, she gave the appearance of genuflection. It was totally reinforced for me by the reverential way she asked about Dubya's prayer habits. I thought I would gag.
7. Not surprising-probably the next worst thing to these people than a black President and First Lady
is a black White House Social Secretary - given that the Social Secretary has always been considered to be the pinnacle, the queen of Washington - indeed, American - society. I have no doubt some of these folks are looking for any excuse they can find to knock Ms. Rogers from that perch.
I don't recall this man uttering a peep when his own constituents - the Fox News crowd -encouraged insurrection or when people showed up at the President's events carrying weapons. Yet a couple of harmless wannabees, who went through metal detectors and bogarted their way into a room full of Secret Service agents and miltary aides, King has an absolute fit over his "concern" for the President's safety.
But, of course, this isn't about the President's safety. This is about trying to embarrass and undermine him by denigrating his staff.
They said they didn't do everything they could to help the Secret Service. That's very different than "accepting the blame" since it's the Secret Service's job to control access to the White House, not the Social Secretary.
The White House is trying to diffuse criticism of Desiree Rogers, who is now starting to get piled on in the media. But if you read their statement carefully, they are not saying the incident was their fault. And it's not since, as Empowerer explained in great detail, the Secret Service doesn't need to have a staffer with a clipboard to tell them whether someone should be admitted or not. The Secret Service already had the list, the same list that was on the staffer's clipboard. The Salahi's weren't on it. Therefore Secret Service guard should not have let them in. Period.
21. They need to decide Desiree Rogers' role at events
She is an employee of the government. She had ultimate responsibility for the social success of this event, the first State Dinner of the Obama Administration. Yet she herself was a GUEST at the event like all the other guests, did the photo-op walk, was interviewed by reporters like other guests and was not acting in any way as the person responsible for its success. So what is she- a guest of the Obamas or a government employee who should have been working that night. Can't be both.
27. The media and the GOP have managed to morph the two
But you are exactly right. Secret Service is responsible for controlling access into the White House, not the Social Secretary.
It's interesting to hear so many people insist that someone from the Social Secretary's office should have been at the gate with the list. Why? It's not like Desiree Rogers had the only copy of the list tucked away in her evening bag, leaving the Secret Service guards helpless at the gate.
The Social Secretary's office had done its job. They made a list, invited only the people on the list, got clearance for the people on the list and provided the list to Secret Service so that they would know who was supposed to be there. The Salahis were not on the list and, therefore, the Secret Service officers should not have let them in.
Folks are behaving as if the Secret Service officers couldn't read and they needed "the kid with the clipboard" there with them to tell them who was and wasn't on the list that they had right there in front of them!
31. Being a greeter at the door and handling security are two different things.
The secret service had the ultimate responsibility here and failed. Putting the blame on a social secretary is the easy way out for not accepting the blame that the President and VP were put in danger. You are totally correct.
28. They're just so "worried" about Obama's "safety", dontchaknow?
anf of course NO ONE from our party dares to remind them of their silence when their minions were toting guns to Obama events or hollering "Kill Him"..or "TRAITOR", or sending around racist photoshops or "jokes"..
What's needed is a few brave congresspeople..preferably white ones, to stand up..and call them on their blatant nonsense..and to do it on the record..
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