Monday, November 10, 2008

Secret Service, FBI on High Alert After Spike in Racist Death Threats Against Obama


Threats by White Supremacists to Assassinate President-Elect Have Increased Sharply in the Past Month, Law-Enforcement Sources Say; Dramatic Post-Election Increase in Sales of High-Powered Assault Weapons Is Also a Cause for Concern



The front page of the Roswell Beacon of Roswell, Georgia bore this dramatic headline and image of Barack Obama last May as it reported that local law enforcement agencies were investigating threats by white supremacist groups to assassinate the then-candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Since then, at least three alleged plots to kill the now-president-elect by white supremacists -- including the arrests of two neo-Nazi skinheads two weeks ago -- have been thwarted, but the Secret Service and other federal law-enforcement agencies fear that there will likely be many more and are on high alert to head off a possible assassination attempt before Inauguration Day. (Image courtesy Gawker.com)


(Posted 5:00 a.m. EST Monday, November 10, 2008)

By SKEETER SANDERS


Barack Obama's history-making election last Tuesday as the first African-American president of the United States brought an emotional outpouring of euphoria, pride and hope for the future by millions across the country and around the world.

Unfortunately, Obama's election has also sent radical white supremacists and other far-right extremists into apoplectic fury -- and already has put the Secret Service on heightened alert in the face of a dramatic spike in death threats against the president-elect.

The Secret Service, FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and other federal agencies are keeping a close watch on numerous white-supremacist groups -- infiltrating some -- in a coordinated effort to prevent any attempt to assassinate the president-elect, especially in the weeks leading up to his January 20 inauguration, federal law-enforcement sources have told The 'Skeeter Bites Report.

Adding to the concern of the Secret Service, the principal agency responsible for protecting the nation's chief executive and his family, is an equally dramatic surge in sales of firearms since Obama's election -- not of ordinary handguns, but of high-powered, military-grade assault weapons favored by extremist groups.

As the nation's first black commander-in-chief, the 47-year-old Obama -- who's been under full-time Secret Service protection since May of last year, longer than any other presidential candidate in history -- will likely face an unprecedented number of threats against his life, including one thwarted two weeks ago when two neo-Nazi "skinheads" were arrested in Tennessee for plotting to kill Obama.

You might have noticed, if you watched Obama's victory speech at Chicago's Grant Park Tuesday night, that the lectern from which the president-elect spoke was shielded by bulletproof plexiglass -- the first sign that the Secret Service had significantly ramped up its security cordon around him.

"It's going to be a unique and challenging environment" for Obama's security detail, said Fred Burton, vice president of counter-terrorism at the geopolitical intelligence analysis firm Stratfor, in an interview with Agence France-Presse. "The protective security threat and the challenges surrounding the protection for him is extremely difficult. It's going to take a lot of resources and a tremendous amount of protective and tactical analysis to stay ahead of the bad guys," he added.

SPIKE IN THREATS TO OBAMA AFTER PALIN ATTACKS ON HIS PATRIOTISM

The Secret Service disclosed last week that it had warned the Obama family in mid- October that its agents had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, triggered by attacks on the Illinois senator's patriotism by Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin at several of her campaign rallies.

The Alaska governor drew criticism -- including a blistering denunciation of her as "a dangerous, fearmongering demagogue" by The 'Skeeter Bites Report in a rare editorial -- for accusing Obama of "palling around with terrorists," citing his association with former 1960s radical William Ayers.

Palin's attacks sent many of her supporters into a lynch mob-like frenzy, yelling "Terrorist!" and "Kill him!" even as the Republican presidential nominee John McCain -- confronted with open bigotry against Obama by at his own town hall-style campaign events -- told his supporters to be "more respectful" of his opponent and ordered Palin to tone down her rhetoric.

But the Secret Service now fears that Palin's demagoguery has -- however unintentionally -- inflamed white supremacists to issue death threats against the now-president-elect and his family, much to the alarm of Michelle Obama, the future first lady, who reportedly asked her friend and campaign adviser Valerie Jarrett, "Why would they try to make people hate us?"

FEDS IN RACE TO PREVENT ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT BEFORE INAUGURATION

Inauguration Day itself -- which ironically will fall on the day after the national holiday honoring what would have been the 80th birthday of the slain civil rights hero Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. -- will find security agencies on maximum alert.

Racist extremists have long been blamed for the murders of King, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers and other prominent African-American civil rights leaders in the 1960s. The thought of white supremacists attempting to kill the nation's first black president on the day he's sworn in, 24 hours after the King holiday is indeed a very scary thought.

Evers was gunned down in 1963 by a member of the Ku Klux Klan, the granddaddy of white-supremacist groups, whose Web site this week carried a video clip warning against an Obama administration.

"I don't want to sound like a doomsday prophet," said Thomas Robb, co-host of the KKK's Internet TV show, "This Is the Klan" on its online White Pride Media Network. "But what will happen to this nation?

"A lot of people are concerned if Barack Obama becomes president of the United States. There may be a backlash, there may be many white people throughout this country who will become awakened," Robb said.

A SUDDEN RUN ON HIGH-POWERED WEAPONS AFTER OBAMA'S ELECTION

Adding to the sense of urgency for Obama's safety is a dramatic upsurge in gun sales across the country -- not of handguns, but rather of high-powered, military-grade assault weapons of the kind sought after by white supremacist and other far right-wing extremist groups.

This blogger has noticed that, based on anecdotal evidence provided by television news footage, the buyers of these high-powered weapons are exclusively white males. Whether any of the purchasers in the current buying spree have ties to white supremacist groups is not known, although federal law requires all gun buyers to undergo background checks prior to purchase.

Gun-store owners have reported a particularly high demand for AK-47 rifles -- originally designed for use by the Soviet Red Army -- in the weeks since it became apparent that Obama would win the election.

Gun enthusiasts fear that Obama, backed by a more firmly Democratic-controlled Congress, will reinstate the assault weapons ban of the 1990s, which the previously Republican-controlled Congress -- under heavy lobbying pressure by the National Rifle Association -- allowed to expire in 2002.

While Obama strongly supports the Second Amendment right of Americans to possess firearms, he draws the line at assault weapons, making it clear that the military-grade firearms "belong on a battlefield abroad, not on our streets at home."

Even as the U.S. Supreme Court, in striking down a Washington, D.C. handgun ban, affirmed the basic principle of Americans' right to bear arms under the Second Amendment last June, the justices also made it clear that the right to bear arms is not absolute -- leaving open the possibility for restrictions on military-grade weapons.

DESPITE WORRIES BY OTHERS, OBAMA DOWNPLAYS THREATS

As early as January, while Obama battled it out with fellow Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in the South carolina Democratic primary, concerns for Obama's safety had risen to the point where Representative Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi), in a letter to Secret Service officials, wrote that Obama's high profile "gives rise to unique challenges that merit special concern.

"As an African-American who was witness to some of this nation's most shameful days during the civil rights movement, I know personally that the hatred of some of our fellow citizens can lead to heinous acts of violence," Thompson wrote.

Obama himself has tried to downplay concerns about his safety that have been on the minds of many African-Americans for months. In an interview in February with The New York Times, Obama expressed confidence in the security cocoon that the Secret Service has in place around him. "I've got the best protection in the world," repeating a line he tells concerned supporters. "So stop worrying."

A Secret Service spokesman told Agence France-Presse that since the election, his agency has significantly increased its security shield around the president-elect and his family. "Changes in presidential administrations necessitate a lot of operational planning and implementation in terms of our protective mission," spokesman Ed Donovan said.

Although he declined to provide specifics on the new security regime, Donovan did say that the Secret Service has "planned for every contingency."

# # #

Volume III, Number 73
Copyright 2008, Skeeter Sanders. All rights reserved.







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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm completely unworried. The "White Power" movement is chock full of dolts, losers and the just plain lazy. Any competent people in the ranks are FBI/ADL moles.

Joe said...

I really hope the new president survives. Check you facts, though..."High Powered Assault Weapons" like the AK-47 have less power than a single-shot 308 hunting rifle you used to get from K-Mart. Really. AR's can shoot smaller bullets quicker, and hold more ammo in a magazine. The hunting rifle, with a scope, is what an assassin would use at long range. And the world is awash with those already. The Handgun might be used at short range. Both of these are freely available in every state, unlike Assault rifles, which historically, have no place in assasinations. Assault rifles are useful in open firefights and infantry style combat. That's about all. Nobody robs convenience stores or banks with assault rifles. However, many have defended against tyranny with them!

One big reason people are stocking up on weapons is because of the looming 'crisis' the media is pushing at us 24/7.

The only people (other than the brainwashed) who are afraid of assault rifles are tyrannical repressive governments.

Anonymous said...

If I was going to shoot someone I would advertise it first, yeah, sure, that's what I would do.