Archive for Saturday, November 15, 2008

Obama threats exceed all other presidents-elect

November 15, 2008


— Threats against a new president historically spike right after an election, but from Maine to Idaho law enforcement officials are seeing more against Barack Obama than ever before.

The Secret Service would not comment or provide the number of cases they are investigating. But since the Nov. 4 election, law enforcement officials have seen more potentially threatening writings, Internet postings and other activity directed at Obama than has been seen with any past president-elect, said officials aware of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because the issue of a president's security is so sensitive.

Earlier this week, the Secret Service looked into the case of a sign posted on a tree in Vay, Idaho, with Obama's name and the offer of a "free public hanging." In North Carolina, civil rights officials complained of threatening racist graffiti targeting Obama found in a tunnel near the North Carolina State University campus.

And in a Maine convenience store, an Associated Press reporter saw a sign inviting customers to join a betting pool on when Obama might fall victim to an assassin. The sign solicited $1 entries into "The Osama Obama Shotgun Pool," saying the money would go to the person picking the date closest to when Obama was attacked. "Let's hope we have a winner," said the sign, since taken down.

Element of newness

In the security world, anything "new" can trigger hostility, said Joseph Funk, a former Secret Service agent-turned security consultant who oversaw a private protection detail for Obama before the Secret Service began guarding the candidate in early 2007.

Obama, of course, will be the country's first black president, and Funk said that new element, not just race itself, is probably responsible for a spike in anti-Obama postings and activity. "Anytime you're going to have something that's new, you're going to have increased chatter," he said.

The Secret Service also has cautioned the public not to assume that any threats against Obama are due to racism.

The service investigates threats in a wide range. There are "stated threats" and equally dangerous or lesser incidents considered of "unusual interest" - such as people motivated by obsessions or infatuations or lower-level gestures such as effigies of a candidate or an elected president. The service has said it does not have the luxury of discounting anything until agents have investigated the potential danger.

Racially tinged graffiti - not necessarily directed at Obama - also has emerged in numerous reports across the nation since Election Day, prompting at least one news conference by a local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Georgia.

Vitriolic remarks

A law enforcement official who also spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly said that during the campaign there was a spike in anti-Obama rhetoric on the Internet - "a lot of ranting and raving with no capability, credibility or specificity to it."

There were two threatening cases with racial overtones:

l In Denver, a group of men with guns and bulletproof vests made racist threats against Obama and sparked fears of an assassination plot during the Democratic National Convention in August.

l Just before the election, two skinheads in Tennessee were charged with plotting to behead blacks across the country and assassinate Obama while wearing white top hats and tuxedos.

In both cases, authorities determined the men were not capable of carrying out their plots.

In Milwaukee, police officials found a poster of Obama with a bullet going toward his head - discovered on a table in a police station.

Chatter among white supremacists on the Internet has increased throughout the campaign and since Election Day.

One of the most popular white supremacist Web sites got more than 2,000 new members the day after the election, compared with 91 new members on Election Day, according to an AP count. The site,, was temporarily off-line Nov. 5 because of the overwhelming amount of activity it received after Election Day. Last Saturday, one Stormfront poster, identified as Dalderian Germanicus, of North Las Vegas, said, "I want the SOB laid out in a box to see how 'messiahs' come to rest. God has abandoned us, this country is doomed."

It is not surprising that a black president would galvanize the white supremacist movement, said Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, who studies the white supremacy movement.

"The overwhelming flavor of the white supremacist world is a mix of desperation, confusion and hoping that this will somehow turn into a good thing for them," Potok said. He said hate groups have been on the rise in the past seven years because of a common concern about immigration.


somebodynew 9 years, 7 months ago

jonas - yeah kind of figured that. Oh well, I tried.

AjiDeGallina 9 years, 7 months ago

Marion, I forgive your ignorance, you have so many problems to deal with, you will never be able to solve them all, and your ignorance is the least of your problems.I am an American, born and raised in Lawrence currently living legally working in Peru.I do NOT plan on returning to my country anytime soon, even though my loyalty and love is to my native USA, but as long as my partner is not allowed in the country, I will not abandon him and leave him alone in Peru. Until I have equal rights, and my family is allowed to be united, I will stay with my family.but bless your heart for trying, it was really..much better use of time than quoting your favorite author who keeps saying the Holocaust was blown out of proportion.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 7 months ago

Was this guy heading for DC to join the O'dude's transition team?"KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- A senior al Qaeda leader in Afghanistan who escaped last year from Bagram prison has been captured, U.S. military sources said Monday.Abu Nasir al-Qahtani was among six people arrested last Monday during a raid by coalition and Afghan forces in Khost province, the sources said."

jaywalker 9 years, 7 months ago

Of course there are plenty of psychos out there that will be threatening Obama, noone should be surprised. After BO took the nomination from Clinton the leader of the Aryan Nation 'endorsed' Obama because he said their organization had a huge, nationwide recruiting surge. Personally, I say that's a good thing, get 'em out in the open, let 'em expose themselves for the ignoramuses they are. What bothers me most about this article is the furtherance of 'anonymous' sources. Either there are an awful lot of people blabbing about things they shouldn't, or there's a lot of reporters just making crap up. I'm not saying that this report is bull, but honestly, how could we possibly know if not one credible, named source is cited?

jonas_opines 9 years, 7 months ago

jaywalker: Then, what's the point? To be sure we can find idiots willing to say hateful, hurtful things, no matter how we decide to divide our selected demographic.

Corey Williams 9 years, 7 months ago

Tom Shewmon (Tom Shewmon) says:"...all the hate speech directed at Bush/Cheney/Rove, calling for Cheney to die-stuff like that?"You mean all the criticism? Yeah, I'm fairly certain that the bush administration kept tabs on who was saying what. They had the wiretaps to do it.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 7 months ago

"So if anything happens to Obama..."Does that include federal charges for election fraud?

AjiDeGallina 9 years, 7 months ago

I dont understand why everyone is arguing with prune and tom, They are known liars who will say whatever they want and ignore any facts.

Mixolydian 9 years, 7 months ago

Whackjobs? Wingnuts?Can we please get some new pejoratives pronto?All these armchair Faulkner's are giving anonymous rambling newpaper comment section contributors a bad image.

footballguy49 9 years, 7 months ago

Some people need to grow up, hell the new president cannot screw up our economy anymore than it is now, so why would people so worried so about what color his skin is.

jonas_opines 9 years, 7 months ago

It's a shame that we can't just leave Right-thinker's silly statements about liberals as the only commentary on articles. It would be a nice effect, a lone voice talking to himself about the evils of an ill-defined and all-encompassing faceless group. Unfortunately, if we were to avoid threads with his anti-liberal hogwash, there wouldn't be any threads left that we could comment on except sports threads, and that wouldn't last very long either.

Calliope877 9 years, 7 months ago

AjiDeGallina,I think people argue with them for entertainment purposes, or perhaps out of sheer boredom. Take your pick.:)Cool username, btw.

Doug Fisher 9 years, 7 months ago

This kind of crap will only solidfy the Democrats come 2012. So if anything happens to Obama expect more hardship for the GOP, the party of hate and racism.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years, 7 months ago

America... as pathetically bigoted as you think.Kudos to Barack Obama for stepping up to stem the evil tide.

BigPrune 9 years, 7 months ago

I'll never forget going into a bar restroom in Lawrence and someone had written "Where is Lee Harvey Oswald when your country needs you the most?" during the Reagan administration. It was also there for years.Tom is right, watch what you write, especially when Obama and his Congress takes over and impliments the "fairness doctrine." We will no longer be anonymous posters since it will apply to bloggers. I will have to find a new hobby. Especially since this is liberal "do as I say, not as I do" Lawrence, KS. Freedom of Speech will be no more, imposed by the liberal fascists. If you think I am full of it, last year the Democrat District Attorney tried to get the names and ISP's of every poster on this website.

somebodynew 9 years, 7 months ago

"If you think I am full of it, last year the Democrat District Attorney tried to get the names and ISP's of every poster on this website."Well, OK, I do think you are full of it BigPrune. Unless you have some really secret information that none of the rest of us has. I think what you are refering to is a search warrant that was issued in a particular case for a blogger who had information about a death investigation. That to me is NOT trying to "get the names and ISP's of every poster on this website." But that is OK, just throw out twisted and false information so that people can rant and rave some more. I guess you can't be worried with truth and facts just like good old Tom.

jaywalker 9 years, 7 months ago

jonas, Forgive me, not sure what you're asking. The 'point' to what? I completely agree with your 'To be sure..' point, which was mine as well. There are jackasses everywhere, both sides of any aisle, and many I'd loathe to assign a poitical affilitation because they're just idiots without borders, if you know what I mean.

jonas_opines 9 years, 7 months ago

Sorry, the point in question was caring about or taking note of commentators on threads. While the original blogger might, ya'know, be an issue, particularly with some sponsorship, thinking about the posters on blog sites as having opinions that can be taken -- at surface value -- as legitimate, that's even a stretch for me. To be worried about it is even more pointless.

BigPrune 9 years, 7 months ago

somebodynew, you are mistaken. They went for the whole enchilada even though they were after one person. I know it is a liberal thing to do, but please don't try to rewrite history here.

Mike Blur 9 years, 7 months ago

Google results:"plot to assassinate bush"--1,670 hits"plot to assassinate cheney"--5 (five) hits"plot to assassinate obama"--145,000 hits

AjiDeGallina 9 years, 7 months ago

Calliope,I am an expat in Peru and it is my favorite dish here.Thanks

Jennifer Forth 9 years, 7 months ago

Not surprisingly Tom, the white supremacists had no problem with Cheney. Show us the betting pool on his assassination. Show us the tree designated for his lynching. Oh wait, you can't. People were asking for Cheney's head just as they did for Marie Antoinette's. When a regime has gone beyond its authority, people get P-Od. The difference of course is that no one actually acted on these threats. The only shootings were done by Cheney himself. What exactly has Obama done other than win an election? I guess being black really does make a difference.

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 7 months ago

You know, I was seriously contemplating asking Aji if his/her name relates to the Peruvian dish. Nice! I actually brought some red and orange aji peppers seeds back to the states with me. Several people tried growing them this summer, but they need an equatorial growing season or just need to be grown indoors. They're just really long-season peppers.And Marion, 'expat,' as I understand it, is short for 'expatriate,' which is a person from one country claiming residence and/or citizenship in a foreign country. I'm not sure where Aji is from originally, but if I were to guess, they are probably an American expatriate living in Peru.And Aji, I love Peru. I need to go back. I think I like my life here in the US better, but I wouldn't mind visiting Peru as often as possible. By the way, where are you in Peru? Good luck down there, gringo/gringa/gringita. You are American, right?

somebodynew 9 years, 7 months ago

If I am rewriting history I am not trying to. I am going on info I have from people involved in that case. Yes, they asked in an improper manner, which would have given them info on posters from that story (as I understand it). That to me is not the same as getting the name of every poster on this website.I am not claiming to have all the facts (apparently you think you do), and maybe I am mincing words, but I don't agree with the way you presented you information.And If my info is correct, the actual DA had nothing to do with it, until it became an issue. An Assistant DA is the one who signed off on taking the warrant to the judge (who by the way issued it). While I am not neccessarily a Branson supporter, I don't like to see mis-information as portrayed as Gospel either.

Mike Blur 9 years, 7 months ago

Marion, if an expat lives in Peru, by definition that person must hail from a nation not of their own residence. Ipso facto, it's quite possible, and probable that ADG is a US citizen.

Weezy_Jefferson 9 years, 7 months ago

Ah, conservatives. Why does this not surprise me?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 years, 7 months ago

This deplorable situation has existed for many years as the article points out. The real point is missed, I think. These people, mostly the uneducated, ignorant, bigoted, "great unwashed" billy-bobs of our society, are the result of certain segments of our painfully inadequate education system that fails miserable to educate people about how our culture must exist and that it is a crime to make terrorist threats. It is most disturbing that they coagulate together in Idaho and other havens for these mentally-ill individuals and that they can spew their hate and venom on the internet. But I guess that progress has it's dark side, and that these slime-balls, having no shread of intellect or usefulness, will find a way to make themselves visible. Hopefully.

Jennifer Forth 9 years, 7 months ago

Marion goes by names alone to know if someone is American or not. White English names are American. Kind of like how he judges the president-elect.

BigPrune 9 years, 7 months ago

somebodynew, the judge who signed off on it was a democrat as well, he's now our attorney general.

jonas_opines 9 years, 7 months ago

"Why are you anonymous?Are you a coward?Whatup?"Maybe the rest of us simply don't need the forums for personal aggrandizement, and don't feel that our names and identities are terribly important. Personally, I find the use of real names on this site to generally be driven not by courage but by ego.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 7 months ago

& only half of that is from the GLBT community in CA that is feeling betrayed....

jonas_opines 9 years, 7 months ago

"This was not the case when the far-left blogs said Tony Snow and Cheney deserved to die."Or when the far right said that Kennedy deserves to die?

Jennifer Forth 9 years, 7 months ago

Since this article appeared, I have had the Old Mother Reagan song running through my head. Basically, the lyrics from the Violent Femmes (who of course were neither) basically lamented - Old Mother Reagan, and her crew, took away, from me and you. She'd better go far away. She'd better go far away. You know it ain't right, when it's all wrong, the Old Mother Reagan, protest song. Old Mother Reagan, she's so dumb, she's so dangerous. How come she don't go far away? She'd better go far away. She'd better go far away. Old Mother Reagan went to heaven and the Pearly Gates will stop.Perhaps "the left" is too busy singing their protests of the government and singing to help Tibet or wherever to make it on the Secret Service's radar. Of course we're less likely to be gun owners too. Is there a connection?

verity 9 years, 7 months ago

"idiots without borders"My favorite line of the day.Oh, darn, I just heard "she knew what was right like a mosquito knows how to buzz" on Masterpiece Theatre.Now I can't make up my mind.

somebodynew 9 years, 7 months ago

Well, I am aware of that, but somehow I don't see political parties having an influence - especially where judges are concerned. Judges locally at least, tend to not let themselves be that influenced. Especially since this was a death investigation and not some "hot button" type issue. I still say it is a stretch.

jonas_opines 9 years, 7 months ago

"Well, I am aware of that, but somehow I don't see political parties having an influence - especially where judges are concerned."BigPrune won't be able to comprehend this, just to warn you.

jaywalker 9 years, 7 months ago

Duped,Do your own homework. The offenders were just posters, though, not 'official bloggers', at least the ones I read and heard about.

Phil Minkin 9 years, 7 months ago

Tom, Were you in such a hurry to post your racist, parnoid rant that you missed the words: "more against Barack Obama than ever before" or "law enforcement officials have seen more potentially threatening writings, Internet postings and other activity directed at Obama than has been seen with any past president-elect". The hate fillled invecive from Rush, Hannity and the other Fox wingnuts as well and lunatic bloggers and posters could be just the thing to incite some deranged whackjob. You did stumble on one piece of good advice "Word to the wise, watch what you say".

jaywalker 9 years, 7 months ago

I don't know about Cheney, but there were numerous bloggers on the LA Times site, Huffington Post, and one other that made such remarks about Tony Snow after he passed away. Pathetic and sick, but I think it's foolish to place the blame on ideologies for the disgusting behavior of a few. Just because some jackass blogged something like that on a liberal web site does not blanket all those on the left. And it's similarly ignorant, as some above have proven, to correlate threats made on Obama with 'conservatives'. Some might say that kind of correlation is intellectually dishonest. I'd say that proves an intellectual void.

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