Secret Service "Cutting Corners"?

The apparent security breach by a pair of Washington socialites at Tuesday night's White House state dinner did not come as much of a surprise to the author of a recent book on the Secret Service.

Since the agency was taken over by the Department of Homeland Security after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, "the Secret Service has been cutting corners to a shocking degree," Ronald Kessler, author of "Inside the President's Secret Service," told CBS' "The Early Show" Thursday.

Kessler, a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, blamed the Service's management for allowing Michaele and Tareq Salahi to attend the dinner and even take photos with Vice President Joe Biden.

U.S. Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told CBS News that initial findings suggest a Secret Service checkpoint at the party "did not follow proper procedures" and may have permitted them admission to the dinner.

Donovan said the Secret Service Office of Professional Responsibility has been directed to conduct "a comprehensive review" of the incident.

But he was emphatic in stating that the Salahis, "went through magnetometers and other levels of security, as did all guests attending the dinner."

Despite these measures, Kessler said of the Salahis: "They could have brought anthrax," adding, "this is the way assassinations occur.

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