Obama White House visitor logs riddled with holes? Surely they jest! 

Center for Public Integrity investigators completed a rigorous assessment of the visitor logs made public by the Obama White House and concluded - can you believe it? - that the logs were being managed first and foremost to protect the First Family.

In a kind of good news/bad news summary of its findings, the center said:

* Obama White House is the first to ever release visitor logs but the records are riddled with weaknesses.

* Of 50,000 visitors logged in to see President Obama, most were attending 600-plus social events that drew hundreds or thousands of people.

* Two-thirds of the visitors in the database were on White House group tours.

* Junior aides often escorted VIP visitors, masking the real White House visitee.

In other words, protecting the First Family means making sure the taxpayers have maximum difficulty in determining who is visiting the president and senior officials of his administration as they conduct the public's business on a daily basis.

But the center's analysis did disclose a number of damaging facts about visitor's log has been manipulated, including:

* The “event” description in the logs is blank for more than 205,000 visits, including many that involved small meetings with the president and his key aides.

* Five junior staff aides together received more than 4,440 visits. By contrast, then chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, famed for his workaholic schedule, is listed for less than 500 visits.

* Less than 1 percent of the estimated 500,000 visits to the White House in Obama’s first eight months — a time when the new administration was bustling with activity — have been disclosed, according to the Center’s analysis.

* The logs include names of people cleared by the Secret Service for White House entry who never showed up. The Center analysis found more than 200,000 visits with no time of arrival, an indication the person didn’t enter the White House though there is no way to know for certain. For instance, actor Ryan Gosling is listed at a West Wing event with members of his band, Dead Man’s Bones, in October 2009. But Gosling’s representative, Carolyn Govers, said the actor did not go.

* Two-thirds of the more than 1 million names listed are people who passed through parts of the White House on guided group tours.

Nobody should be surprised by these revelations, however, especially not anybody who has followed the ups and down encountered by Judicial Watch, which literally had to take the Obama administration to federal court to force release of what documents it has made public concerning the visitors' logs.

For information on the Judicial Watch battle to get those logs, go herehere and here. For more on the center's investigation, go here.

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Mark Tapscott

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