Ex WH Staffer and Glenn Beck Fan: I Would Have Stopped WH Gate-Crashers

November 30, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The political fall out continues over the lapse in Secret Service security that allowed two celebrity hounds to crash a White House state dinner. And Republicans are working overtime to try and blame President Obama for the incident. Cathy Hargraves, a former Bush appointee and Glenn Beck fan, who was responsible for the guest list for state dinners, told Newsweek that if she were still on the job, the party crashing incident would never have occurred. Hargraves, says she was unhappy with a change in her job function, she blamed on Obama’s White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers and she quit her position in June.

Hargraves blames Rogers for downgrading her position to what she referred to, as a “data-entry clerk.” Hargraves claims that her duties were reduced, because Rogers told her, “In these economic times, I don’t think we’re going to have very many lavish expensive dinners. It wouldn’t look very good.” Unhappy with her new role, Hargraves quit and moved to Houston with her husband.

Hargraves’ Facebook page reveals that she is a fan of Glenn Beck, the Barbara Bush Foundation, an anti-Obama Facebook site named, Barack Obama’s TelePrompter and a right-wing group, named WeThePeople.ORG. A look at the WeThePeople.ORG site shows radical and paranoid rhetoric referring to the Obama administration, as “Marxist thugs from Chicago.”

“We are the Sons of Liberty, founders of WeThePeople.ORG. We use pseudonyms because we fear the power that is now in the hands of Marxist thugs from Chicago, people who stated that they were never proud of our nation and all it has done to lift humanity up, to give humanity aspiration for a better life.”

“Our hope is that Americans will come to their senses, see what they have elected, and make Obama a lame duck within a year, put a conservative Congress in place within two years, and send him packing to Cuba within four. Knowing that the economy will heal itself before 2012, our argument and goal is a difficult one.”

Hargraves had originally been hired as a White House political appointee of the Bush administration in 2001. But in 2006, she “burrowed in” and was given a position on the White House residence staff, as “assistant for arrangements,” tasked with overseeing the invitations for guests at state dinners and keeping track of RSVPs.

Hargraves said, the current Social Secretary Desiree Rogers’ absence at the East Gate portico entrance might have contributed to the gate-crashing couple, Michaele and Tareq Salahi gaining admittance to the state dinner for the Indian Prime Minister.

Hargraves said, she used to personally stand at the East Gate during state dinners, to ensure no one not on the guest list was allowed inside:

“If she had been on the job at the White House last Tuesday night, the Salahis “would not have made it past the East Gate portico,” she says. Once she had ascertained that they had not been invited, she says, she would have called in the Secret Service officer who let them through in the first place, and “they would have been escorted out.”‘

Hargraves denies that she harbors political motives, anti-Obama views or loyalties to the Bush administration:

‘”For me, it was all about the house,” she says. “For me, [state dinners] are magical moments, and you have to be so organized. A state dinner requires a lot of work, and maybe they didn’t realize this going into it.”‘

To be sure, Hargraves’ after-the-fact criticisms are petty and portray her as a woman with an ax to grind. And her Facebook page reveals a woman with conservative right-wing and anti-Obama views.

Whether having an employee from the social secretary’s office stationed at the East Gate, would have prevented the gate-crashing incident is hard to say. But what is known is that the Secret Service experienced a complete breakdown in security.

Michaele and Tareq Salahi were not on the guest list and worse; their names were not entered into the Secret Service’s computer system, which should be done for anyone entering the White House. “There is no question this was a huge mistake on our part,” said an unnamed Secret Service official.

The White House is dismissing Hargraves’ claims as moot, because the lapse in security is attributed to the Secret Service. Additionally, the Secret Service was provided with contacts for a social-office employee, if any questions arose about any of the guests. And both a White House aide and the Secret Service confirm that the employee wasn’t contacted.

Nicholas Shapiro, a White House spokesman said, “The Secret Service said they made a mistake and they are taking action to identify exactly what happened, and they will take the appropriate measures pending the results of their investigation.”


One Response to “Ex WH Staffer and Glenn Beck Fan: I Would Have Stopped WH Gate-Crashers”

  1. State Dinner Crashers Waved E-Mails From Pentagon Official at Checkpoint | ChattahBox News Blog on December 1st, 2009 8:24 am

    […] a White House state dinner, without being on the guest list. Former White House staffers are taking carefully aimed pot shots at Obama’s social secretary Desiree Rogers and conservative Republican Rep. Peter King (R-NY) […]

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