03 October 2014

“Three Times as Many Threats as His Predecessors”

Earlier this week the Washington Post published an exposé of how an intruder got further into the White House than the Secret Service had previously disclosed.

Buried inside that article was a national index of OIP Derangement Syndrome:
President Obama has faced three times as many threats as his predecessors, according to people briefed on the Secret Service’s threat assessment.
That shouldn’t be a surprise. Back in 2010, I noted reports of a big spike in threats against this President, and an attempt by the Secret Service at that time to tamp down that concern, at least publicly.

This week also brought a report from a former Mitt Romney campaign communications director that in 2012 a married but flirtatious Secret Service agent leaked President Obama’s schedule while trying to impress another Romney aide. The campaign actually ignored the confidential information, not trusting it, but then found it was accurate.

Understandably, that sort of behavior has left African-American citizens wondering how committed all Secret Service personnel are to protecting this President. Meanwhile, Obama’s political enemies are doing their best to blame the victim of these failures.

Ironically, some of the recent incidents making headlines now, such as a security guard in Atlanta and a fake Congressman at a speech, appear to involve overeager fans of President Obama. There have been assassination conspiracies, but most seem to involve incompetent people.

Protecting officials who want to remain in contact with the people who elected them is not an easy job, especially in a country with more guns than people and a sizable majority suffering from an irrational resentment toward the President.


kidlitnavigator said...

Did you see this from The New Yorker yesterday:

These murmurs were so consistent that Steve Kroft asked Michelle Obama about them directly, during an interview on “60 Minutes” in early 2007. “This is a hard question to ask,” Kroft said. “But, a number of years ago, Colin Powell was thinking about running for President, and his wife, Alma, really did not want him to run. She was worried about some crazy person with a gun.” Michelle replied that the dangers of the Presidency were not novel. “I don’t lose sleep about it,” she said. “Because the realities are, as a black man, you know, Barack can get shot going to the gas station”—certainly the first time that this particular demographic truth has been enlisted as a reason to be optimistic about a black man’s prospects.

The URL is http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/barack-obamas-safety

J. L. Bell said...

I haven't gotten to that issue yet, but thanks for the link.

The worry about extra danger to an African-American politician is longstanding, of course. What's disturbingly new is all this evidence of holes in the normal Presidential protection at the same time that threats are significantly higher. And with problems seeming to come from within the Secret Service, not just from outside, there's even more concern.