by Roger Aronoff - [producer, media analyst]
While the major media have bought the official storyline about the so called White House gatecrashers, could there be more to this scandal? The mainstream media have ignored obvious holes in the story and important facts about the alleged gatecrashers. Not only did they pose for a previous photo with Barack Obama, one of them, Tareq Salahi, has ties to some of the same radical Arab interests that backed Obama.
WorldNetDaily reports that Tareq Salahi served on the board of the American Task Force for Palestine (ATFP), where Columbia University Professor Rashid Khalidi served as vice president. Khalidi was a close friend and associate of Obama. Judi McLeod of the Canada Free Press has a Google cache identifying Tareq Salahi as a member of the ATFP.
Amid all the questions about the actions of the Salahis, it must also be asked if they were waved into the event by a White House staffer aware of their connections to Obama.
The last big stunt by reality-show wannabes was the “Balloon Boy” episode, a prank pulled by the Heene family to get national publicity and parlay it into a reality show. With no confirmation that it was true, the cable networks spent more than an hour following the shots of the balloon on unverified claims that a six-year-old boy was trapped inside, and then weeks of hand-wringing and covering all angles of the story, until the father, Richard Heene pleaded guilty to a felony charge and finally admitted the story was a hoax.
One would think that maybe the media should avoid jumping to conclusions this time, until more is known.
In this case, almost as soon as it was reported that there had been a security breach at the White House state dinner for the Indian Prime Minister, the media concluded that the White House and Secret Service version of this story was true. ABC News reported that “a secret service agent at the first of two checkpoints at the White House that night waved the couple in, assuming their names would be checked down the line.” The official statement put out by the Secret Service said, “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.”
But the scenario we are being asked to believe is that somehow Michaele and Tareq Salahi arrived at the White House, initially with the Bravo cable TV network in tow, with cameras. They were turned away, creating something of a traffic jam that delayed the entrance of Brian Williams of NBC News, among others. Williams observed this, and noted that “Actually the first ring of Secret Service security had worked.”
Then, as the narrative goes, the Salahis got out of the car, walked back to the White House entrance, approached a Secret Service checkpoint, were found to not be on the guest list, but somehow convinced the agent to let them through without any White House approval. And then they were announced as they made their entrance. Who provided the announcer with their names?
When Shaquille O’Neal tried to get into the White House unannounced last July, he was turned away. And no doubt they recognized Shaq.
Perhaps the Salahis are telling the truth when they said through their attorney, Paul W. Gardner, that they did not “crash” the party. “My clients were cleared by the White House to be there,” said Gardner in an email to Bloomberg News. This claim may be legitimate if a White House staffer was aware of their connections to Obama and waved them in.
Of paramount interest is the possible connection of Tareq Salahi to Khalidi-a connection that could have been a factor in his entry into the White House.
According to the article in World Net Daily, titled “White House Gatecrashers tied to terror sympathizers,” Khalidi “has called Israel an ‘apartheid system in creation’ and a destructive ‘racist’ state. He has multiple times expressed support for Palestinian terror, calling suicide bombings a response to ‘Israeli aggression.’ The article further states that “Khalidi said he supported Obama for president ‘because he is the only candidate who has expressed sympathy for the Palestinian cause.’”
So while the Salahis, according to CNN, are named in 16 civil lawsuits, and are clearly guilty of seeking their 15 minutes of fame, perhaps to help get out from under their legal and financial problems, it seems premature to convict them of this security breach. Could there have been a phone call made from the checkpoint to someone close to President Obama, who then authorized the Salahi’s entrance? When Obama greeted Mrs. Salahi in the greeting line, did he recognize her and wonder what she was doing there? Might someone at the White House have asked the Secret Service to take the blame for this rather than having to explain why they went against protocol and allowed people in who hadn’t received advance clearance?
If this was a breach of security protocols by a Secret Service agent, strictly based on the Salahis assuring him that they were supposed to be on the list, then that agent is the one who should be the primary subject of this investigation. But if the Secret Service was pressured to let the couple in, based on statements made by someone in the White House, those facts should be investigated and publicized.
Where does this trail lead? And when will the mainstream media go beyond the official line? ExileStreet