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Jewish World Review
Nov. 27, 2009
/ 10 Kislev 5770
White House gate crashers
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Now here's a suggestion for Osama bin Laden. Shave your beard, get a good haircut, rent a tux and show up at a White House State Dinner with a tall, elegant blonde in a very chi-chi evening gown. Make believe your names should be on the official guest list, slip past remarkably dumb security guards, be formally announced by a US Marine, enter the banquet tent, pose for pictures with Vice President Joe Biden and Rahm Emmanuel. Then surreptitiously pick up a dinner fork or knife from a table, sidle up to the President of the United States or even a Marine Guard and ...
If anybody included that scene in a Hollywood B-movie script, reviewers would reject it as ridiculously impossible and downright stupid. Yet not only did a social climbing horsey Virginia couple manage the other night to sneak past the supposedly toughest protective crew in the United States and slip into the State Dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, they mingled freely for some time with the crowd surrounding President and Mrs. Obama, not to mention our state guests, Prime Minister and Mrs. Singh.
To add insult to potential real injury, the gate crashing couple that sneaked into the White House is named Salahi - a decidedly Middle Eastern sounding family name. I know, I know - I'm profiling. OK, so what? How many terrorists who threaten to strike America of late have Italian or Kenyan names, how many of those imprisoned in Guantanamo are Bhuddists, Mormons or Hasidic Jews? Certainly "a Middle Eastern sounding name" should be a prime consideration when double checking on a guest whose name is not on the White House list -- even if it turns out the phony guests are Episcopalians.
We don't know very much about the smiling Mrs Michele Salahi - except that she used to be a cheerleader and is being considered for a part in a new reality show about Washington area housewives (oh Lord, another one?). Tariq has a log of dough, is involved with the US Polo Team (as well as a bitter family battle over a Virginia vineyard). There is also a Virgina-based Tariq Salahi who is a member of the board of the American Task Force on Palestine - a pro-Palestine lobby group. His picture looks amazingly like the Tariq Salahi who sneaked into the White House the other night.
More to come.
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JWR contributor and veteran journalist Richard Z. Chesnoff was Senior Correspondent at US News & World Report, and is now a columnist at the NY Daily News and the Huffington Post. A two-time winner of the Overseas Press Club Award and a recipient of the National Press Club Award, he was formerly executive editor of Newsweek International. The paperback edition of his critically acclaimed book, "Pack of Thieves: How Hitler & Europe Plundered the Jews & Committed the Greatest Theft in History" is now on sale. (Click on cover above to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.
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© 2009, Richard Z. Chesnoff