What a global warming's worth of hot air.
As a public house, the President, the cabinet, the secret service and the other elected officials have only so much control in restricting access. Unlike your private home, the White House is technically open to the public.
But there are a lot of bad people out there. Ever present was the barrel-rod fence on all four sides, which you aren't supposed to grab (the police tell kids that the fence is electric). There was always a security tent with magnetometers, and eventually Penn. Ave was closed to general auto traffic.
For the past few years, Congress has sided with Mr. Bush in limiting access by the public (something that seems to be constitutional). But back in the '90's, you didn't need to give a social security number for visiting, nor schedule well in advance. Indeed, there were free range tours.
Naturally, I was never on a guest list when I visited. Of course it's rude to crash a high-power party, but criminal investigations for harmless celebrities? Sounds like a show trial.