Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

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Location: Georgia, United States

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Salahi Soiree

I would say, and I think this is a fair statement too, that Tariq and Michaele Salahi are the best known couple in America right now. This ballsy pair possibly crashed the White House state dinner a few nights ago. They say they didn’t do it, but their names were not on the Obamas’ guest list, and they were photographed rubbing elbows with the likes of Joe Biden and the Prez himself. That’s not a bad achievement for two people who are shooting for a part on Bravo TV’s The Real Housewives of DC. I would say they have done a fine job of bursting into the national consciousness, and with unmitigated gusto to boot.

There is now a huge controversy going on as to just how the Salahis managed to gain entrance to the White House without being invited. The story changes almost by the hour and it now appears to be a Mexican standoff between the Secret Service and the Salahis themselves. The Secret Service says it takes full responsibility for what happened, and they rightly should in my opinion, but there is also the matter of whether or not the Salahis lied about being there officially to whoever was checking in guests at the gate. There is a law on the books that makes it illegal to give false information to a government agency. The couple could very well be in hot water if they are found to be in breach of this.

The Secret Service is supposed to be planning to question the hoi polloi pair about just how they came to be at the White House on that fateful night. Mrs. Salahi’s hair stylist has been shown on CNN stating that Michaele came to have her coiffure snazzed up for the event and when asked about how she got invited she just explained that the invitation came in the mail. When the stylist wanted to see the invitation, she rummaged through her purse before declaring that it must be in her car and returning to chatter about how excited she was to be going to such a swanky gala. If in fact there is no invitation to be presented to the Feds when they show up, well that sounds like a breach of the law mentioned above to me.

How the notorious Salahis got in is really the main thing that should be looked into. I see this as a major crack in the Secret Service’s armor and a shockingly dangerous mistake to have been made. If a couple like the one in question can get into the White House on a bluffed invitation, and succeed in getting close enough to President Obama to shake his hand, then anyone might be able to do the same thing. Including a potential assassin. If the Secret Service can screw up to this degree, there is a major failing in that department which should not go unpunished.

Which is why I am not so appalled that Mr. and Mrs. Salahi allegedly crashed the party so much as I am shocked that it was allowed to happen in the first place. It will be interesting to see just how this investigation unfolds. If they in fact were not on the guest list, and if in fact they did just barge into the White House on their word alone, then I think some heads should roll in some very high places. It is a frightening thing to consider that just anybody has the chance to get inside what is supposed to be one of the most fortified compounds in the world and then proceed to do what they came to do.

Our president is right now confronting some monumental problems that have been plaguing our country for years, and he isn’t doing it without mountainous obstacles in his path either. He’s unraveling eight years of messes created by the Bush administration, not to mention facing the issue of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and let us not forget the raging clash over reforming health care that is now galvanizing the whole country. With so much opposition and dissent to what he’s trying to do, that there is a distinct possibility the Secret Service could so simply and shockingly fail him is something which should seriously alarm anyone observing the fray as it unfolds.

I am of the opinion that whether or not the Salahis broke the law is almost incidental to the real issue of this mess. I consider that to be the fact that they were allowed entrance to the White House dinner when there was evidently a question of the validity to their claim of being invited. This is more than just a question of a crashed dinner party, if that is what happened. It’s a matter of national security. The Salahis shouldn’t be the only ones held accountable if it turns out they weren’t supposed to be there. The Secret Service will have a lot to answer for and it will be a serious miscarriage of justice if they aren’t taken to task about the fracas. Instead of a state dinner, this whole escapade has quickly turned into the Salahi Soiree, and it is a damn shame that something of this magnitude ever got the chance to get off the ground.

And that is my sole focus for now…