Commentary: White House staffer should testify about party-crashers

The incident involving uninvited guests at a White House state dinner is not about faux celebrities, reality TV or the antics of party-crashers. It's about the failure to provide adequate protection for the president of the United States and the need to avoid a repetition of this disturbing security lapse.

Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan tried to have it both ways Thursday in testimony before Congress. He said his agency must have a "100 percent" performance record in safeguarding the physical security of the president and conceded that errors were made (agreed!). But then he claimed that the president was never at risk from the uninvited guests.

That qualifies for a pants-on-fire award.

This was an unmitigated security failure that could have ended horribly. It began when unvetted guests were allowed onto the White House grounds. Then they were allowed to mingle freely with everyone else, including the vice president. Then, they got into the receiving line to meet Mr. and Mrs. Obama!

To read the complete editorial, visit The Miami Herald.