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Jewish World Review
Jan. 7, 2010
/ 21 Teves 5770
Obama's 2nd Systemic Failure
When a very stern President Barack Obama addressed the
American people a week ago about what he termed the "systemic failure"
of our security services, he could have been referring to his amusing
Nov. 24 state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Actually,
Mr. Obama had in mind a more serious event, to wit, the failure to
prevent 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from flying into the
country on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 with a bomb in his underpants
that could have killed 300 people.
It now appears that a "systemic failure" also took place Nov. 24. That
absurdly extravagant state dinner for some 400 guests in a huge tent on
the White House lawn was not only crashed by the clownish Tareq and
Michaele Salahi. This week, we have been informed that there was a third
gate-crasher, one Carlos Allen, a 39-year-old hustler from what he calls
Hush Galleria, identified on his Web site as "an exclusive and luxurious
private social club whose members enjoy unparalleled access to elite
movers and shakers." I suppose the same claim could be made by the
Council on Foreign Relations.
At this writing, it is not exactly clear what Hush Galleria is. Carlos'
lawyer, a specialist in white-collar crime by the name of A. Scott
Bolden, claims that his client is also the publisher of Hush Society
Magazine, an online effort that reports on the philanthropies of "the
rich and powerful." But The Washington Post reports that on Carlos' Web
site, he also announces such events as "Hush Magazine Happy Hour
Friday's." An April 3, 2009, event promised "cocktails and eats,"
"plenty of eye candy for the guys and the girls" and "networking
contacts" at its "Carlos Allen's Hush Galleria Mansion," located in the
district. Incidentally, Carlos is no fool. He explains that "Hush" is an
acronym for "Help Us Support Humanity." The Salahis also claim
humanitarian pursuits, their agency being a polo organization of
Lest you think Carlos is a deadbeat rastaquouere on the order of the
Salahis who have a long-standing record of not paying their bills
lawyer Bolden hastens to add that Carlos was invited to the state
dinner, unlike the Salahis, who left the dinner before it was discovered
that there was no place for them to sit. "He participated in the
reception. He participated in the dinner," Bolden affirmed to
journalists. Yet how did he get in without an invitation? Apparently,
Carlos entered the White House with a delegation of Indian businessmen
who, at the behest of the Indian Embassy, were added to the guest list
at the last minute. Somehow Carlos properly attired in tuxedo
linked up with the hastily added Indian delegation at the Willard Hotel,
from whence they were conveyed to the White House in a van a State
Thus, it looks at this point as if there was what the president would
call a "systemic failure" extending from the State Department to the
Secret Service to the White House social office. Possibly it even
included the White House chef, who must have added a last-minute extra
meal. Remember, lawyer Bolden insists that Carlos surpassed the Salahis.
He partook of what Carlos calls the "cocktails and eats." All of this
took place despite the Secret Service's announcement this week that
Carlos was "not on the White House guest list." Fortunately, he did not
have a bomb in his underpants.
This week, while learning on the job, our president spoke out very
firmly against U.S. intelligence agencies that "failed to connect the
dots." He went on to say, "In other words, this was not a failure to
collect intelligence; it was a failure to integrate and understand the
intelligence that we already had." Well, Mr. President, that is the kind
of failure our intelligence community has suffered since Pearl Harbor,
when we had an abundance of information that the Japanese were planning
an attack but no central agency into which the intelligence could be
jointly pooled and effectively analyzed.
The reforms of our intelligence agencies in recent years have merely
added bureaucracies and damaged the efficient collation and analysis of
intelligence. They have failed to achieve what our military began
achieving back in the 1980s, "jointness." That is to say, having all
branches operate in a way that integrates resources, planning,
communications and everything else that composes a method to dominate
any battlefield. Jointness needs to be adopted by our intelligence
agencies, from CIA to NSA to Homeland Security, including all the
agencies in between, say, FBI and TSA. It is a huge challenge that since
9/11 has eluded us. Let us get on with it and, for now, put the state
dinners on the back burner. There are just too many hucksters on the
make around the White House.
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JWR contributor Bob Tyrrell is editor in chief of The American Spectator. Comment by clicking here.
© 2008, Creators Syndicate