Desiree Rogers, Executive Privilege, and Obama’s New Government “Transparency”

December 4, 2009

“Let me say it as simply as I can: transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency,”

“Democracy requires accountability, and accountability requires transparency.”

Barack Obama, January 2009

Hah! Now that Barack Obama has embraced George Bush’s policy on fighting undeclared wars and conducting warrantless searches,  he has also adopted ole’ W’s take on executive privilege.  The White House announced yesterday that Social Secretary Desirée Rogers would not be testifying to Congress about Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the now famous couple who got by the Secret Service at a recent state dinner.

It looks like we won’t be getting to the bottom of this security breach anytime soon, since the happy couple is also refusing to testify.   The White House might be on solid constitutional grounds here in invoking separation of powers, but why do it,  from a public relations standpoint? It just leaves everyone wondering what there is to hide. has a nice quote from an expert on these matters:

“I’d completely fall out of my chair if they invoked Executive privilege with regards to a social secretary arranging a party,” said Mark J. Rozell, a public-policy professor at George Mason who recently wrote a book on Executive privilege. “There is no prohibition under separation of powers against White House staff going to Capitol Hill to talk about what they know.”

Desiree Rogers is under attack and her reputation will take a hit.  It looks like Congress may also be serving subpoenas on Tareq and Michaele Salahi. These two were looking for publicity, but probably not this kind. I can’t see the story ending well for the Salahis or Ms. Rogers.


admin December 4, 2009 at 6:44 am

Yes. Let me know when mine is up, and I’ll include you in my blogroll.

Hargrove January 7, 2010 at 5:56 am

In our life time, the White House has not seen an event to rival the State Dinner that Desiree Rogers conceived and produced on behalf of the Obama Administration. But the press was mum on that, waiting to pounce on something that would deny the genius of Desiree Rogers’ achievements. And so when the Secret Service made a mistake, DC’s major media teamed up to blame it on Desiree Rogers, issuing a crescendo of criticism that faulted Desiree Rogers for everything from sitting in the front row at a fashion show, sitting down to dinner at the White House (which a Kennedy Social Secretary said happens all of the time), obtaining high paying jobs, having powerful friends and a former husband who is rich; being rich herself, and waving from a float during a Mardi Gras parade . . . They are so mad at Desiree Rogers for being sooo . . . . good. And they are intent on punishing her, for exceeding their expectations. At last we get to see, on public display, how things work when race and gender combine. Unlike Katie Couric and Carly Fiorina, who collected millions for jobs they failed at, reputations intact, Desiree Rogers keeps on succeeding, and the socialites of Washington DC can stand it. Where were these pundits during the 91 breaches of White House security over the past 31 years. Where was their interest when there was no Desiree Rogers to blame?

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