Who’s Responsible For Crashergate? Leave Desiree Rogers Alone!
There were several disappointments at Thursday’s Crasher-gate hearing, but chief among them were Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan‘s continued insistence that the now-famous security breach posed no threat to the President, and the committee’s focus on Social Secretary Desiree Rogers‘ role in said breach.
Taken together with the media’s initial narrative on the Social Secretary’s Office, the right’s targeting of her, and a heated broadside from the White House press corps, it seems some are taking the Secret Service’s failure as an opportunity to settle scores with Desiree Rogers.
Initially, I shared the House Committee on Homeland Security’s consternation at Rogers’ absence from the hearing, but after further consideration, I’m not so sure. The committee members’ interest in Rogers seemed to involve spreading some of the blame for the Secret Service’s failure to turn away Michaele and Tareq Salahi, as they repeatedly questioned Sullivan as to whether the presence of a Social Office staffer would have prevented the breach. This is absurd on two counts.
First of all, this is the year 2009. You no longer have to actually be standing next to someone in order to communicate with them. The officers at that first checkpoint had an entire world of confirmation at their fingertips. The committee focused on the fact that there usually is a staffer present for state dinners, but they seemed ignorant of the fact that 99.99% of White House visitors are checked in by the Secret Service alone.
More absurd is the notion that the Secret Service needs backup from the White House social staff. If that’s true, Sullivan should just hang it up. This would be akin to Batman blaming a defeat on the absence of Alfred, the butler.
Since Rogers’ name first came up, however, there seems to have been a cauldron of resentment simmering just below the surface. A disgruntled former staffer came forward to complain about Rogers, and the right jumped at the chance to show how Rogers was yet another example of how Barack Obama is everything that’s wrong with the world.
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