WASHINGTON -- 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 doubtful authenticity.