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Third White House gatecrasher exposes lax security

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at their first state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Singh
The Obamas' first state dinner is turning out to be a big security embarrassment.

First, celebrity climbers Tareq and Michaele Salahi talked their way into the Nov. 24 dinner for visiting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Poor guy. This is what everyone will remember about his visit.

Then Monday the Secret Service disclosed that a third gatecrasher had gained entry to the dinner by posing as a member of the Indian delegation. "This individual went through all required security measures along with the rest of the official delegation at the hotel, and boarded a bus/van with the delegation guests en route to the White House," the advisory said.

The agency did not name names, but the Washington Post cited a congressional staff member identifying him as Carlos Allen, a D.C. party promoter who, according to one acquaintance, posted photos of his tuxedo-clad appearance on his Facebook page before pulling them down. Meanwhile, Allen is telling Politico that the report is wrong, like he was never there.

"I did not attend the state dinner," Allen repeated three times. But friend Nicole Almodovar, the 2009 Miss Maryland Galaxy, told Politico she saw Allen the day after the dinner at a Thanksgiving food drive hosted by Allen's HUSH Society Magazine, and that "he told me he went and that he had a good time."

President Obama, said to be livid about the security lapses that allowed a Nigerian man to board a plane bound for Detroit on Christmas Day carrying explosives, today meets with his top advisers to drill them about what went wrong. He's expected to announce some tougher airline security measures this afternoon.

Maybe the problem is closer at hand.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: Getty Images

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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