Wednesday, April 13, 2011

White House visitor logs mysteriously leave out thousands

A foot of snow couldn’t keep Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Jennifer Hudson and other celebrities away from a star-studded celebration of civil-rights-era music, hosted by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at the White House in February 2010.

Dylan’s haunting rendition of “The Times They Are a-Changin’” was a highlight of the dazzling evening. The digitally friendly White House even posted the video of his performance on its website.

But you won’t find Dylan (or Robert Zimmerman, his birth name) listed in the White House visitor logs — the official record of who comes to call at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., which is maintained by the Secret Service.

Ditto Joan Baez.

Similarly, the logs are missing the names of thousands of other visitors to the White House, including lobbyists, government employees, campaign donors, policy experts and friends of the first family, according to an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity. (read more)