2. Michelle Obama to Secret Service: 'Just Tell Me When — Where to Run': U.S. President Barack Obama's wife, Michelle Obama, made a ghastly statement when she inferred that an Obama assassination involving the Secret Service is just around the corner. Mrs. Obama's statement clearly indicates that the White House is leaking future assassination insinuations in an attempt to prepare the American public for what is about to transpire.
3. Secret Service Less than Professional: Since Barack Obama has become the President of the United States, the once spotless Secret Service, minus their stand-down in the assassinations of JFK and RFK, has had its fair share of scandals and less than professional behavior by its members.
4. X-Obama Secret Service Agent in Congress?: Daniel Bongino, a former U.S. Secret Service agent whose recent assignments included a posting to President Obama’s protective detail, has decided to run for the U.S. Senate in Maryland as a Republican. Will Bongino be that voice in Congress stating that the Secret Service did all it could to protect Obama from assassination when they ultimately failed?
OBAMACSI.COM: Since 2007, the Secret Service's protection of Barack Obama can be defined no other way but bi-polar. From the earliest protection of a U.S. Presidential candidate to not screening patrons for weapons at Obama events, the Secret Service is either unable or unwilling to protect Obama in a responsible manner.
Date: May 3, 2007
Source: Washington Post
Abstract: Democratic Sen. Barack Obama was placed under Secret Service protection, the earliest ever for a presidential candidate, the agency said...Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told reporters Thursday night that several weeks ago he received information some of it with a racial bent that made him concerned for Obama's safety...Although there was no direct threat to Obama, several factors raised concerns, including some racist chatter on white supremacist Web sites (Washington Post, 2007).
Title: Obama Gets Beefed-Up Protection
Date: January 7, 2008
Source: Washington Times
Abstract: Secret Service presence has increased for Sen. Barack Obama...“For many black supporters, there is a lot of anxiety that he will be killed, and it is on people’s minds,” said Melissa Harris-Lacewell, a Princeton University professor of political science and contemporary black culture.
“You can’t make a prediction like this — like he has ‘a 50 percent chance of getting shot.’ But the greater his visibility and the greater his access to people, there is a danger,” she said...The Internet is rife with theories that someone may try to assassinate the senator...Anyone from Islamist terrorists to racist Americans to operatives of Halliburton and Blackwater are speculated about (Washington Times, 2008).
Title: Secret Service Order Dallas Police To Stop Screening For Weapons At Obama Rally
Date: February 22, 2008
Title: Barack Obama Faces 30 Death Threats A Day, Stretching US Secret Service
Date: August 3, 2009
Abstract: US President Barack Obama is the target of more than 30 potential death threats a day and is being protected by an increasingly over-stretched and under-resourced Secret Service.
Since Mr Obama took office, the rate of threats against the president has increased 400 per cent from the 3,000 a year or so under President George W. Bush...Some threats to Mr Obama, whose Secret Service codename is Renegade, have been publicised.
Most however, are kept under wraps because the Secret Service fears that revealing details of them would only increase the number of copycat attempts.
Intelligence officials received information that people associated with the Somalia-based Islamist group al-Shabaab might try to disrupt Mr Obama's inauguration in January , when the Secret Service co-ordinated at least 40,000 agents and officers from some 94 police, military and security agencies.
More than a dozen counter-sniper teams were stationed along the inauguration parade route and the criminal records of employees and hotel guests in nearby buildings were scrutinised (Telegraph, 2009).
Title: Double Standard For Guns At Obama And Bush Rallies
Date: September 25, 2009
Source: The Young Turks
Title: Secret Service Strained As Leaders [Obama] Face More Threats
Date: October 18, 2009
Abstract: The unprecedented number of death threats against President Obama, a rise in racist hate groups, and a new wave of anti-government fervor threaten to overwhelm the US Secret Service, according to government officials and reports, raising new questions about the 144-year-old agency’s overall mission.
The Secret Service is tracking a far broader range of possible threats to the nation’s leaders, the officials said, even as it also investigates financial crimes such as counterfeiting as part of its original mandate.
The new demands are leading some officials, both inside and outside the agency, to raise the possibility of the service curtailing or dropping its role in fighting financial crime to focus more on protecting leaders and their families from assassination attempts and thwarting terrorist plots aimed at high-profile events.
“If there were an evaluation of the service’s two missions, it might be determined that it is ineffective . . . to conduct its protection mission and investigate financial crimes,’’ according to a internal report issued in August by the Congressional Research Service.
The report, which was provided to the Globe, said such a review should look at how money and staff are allocated, and whether some of the agency’s functions and workers should be transferred to the Treasury Department.
“This is a discussion going on not only in some quarters in Congress, but inside the Secret Service. Should there be a re-look at the mission?’’ said a government official, who like others was not authorized to speak publicly about security matters or reveal details about the number or nature of the threats.
Already, there are signs of strain on the agency, officials said. Budget documents submitted to Congress this year said the agency lacks the necessary technology to keep up with threats.
“The network and mainframe system used today struggles to support basic operations,’’ the agency said, requesting an additional $33 million over last year for computers and other information technology.
Asked about the concerns, Special Agent Edwin Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman, said that though “there is no doubt the protection mission has grown,’’ the agency can still fulfill both its missions.
The financial crimes mission remains robust as well, he added, citing some recent large seizures of counterfeit currency.
The Secret Service, long under the Treasury Department but now part of the Department of Homeland Security, was established in 1865 to thwart counterfeiting, a focus that has expanded to include a host of electronic and financial crimes.
Its mission soon expanded to investigating the Ku Klux Klan and conducting counterespionage operations during the Spanish-American War and World War I.
The agency has been directed by Congress to guard what it describes an “unprecedented’’ number of individuals, including presidents, vice presidents, their immediate families, former presidents and vice presidents, and visiting dignitaries - as well as presidential candidates during campaigns lasting longer than ever before.
The Service currently protects 32 people - 24 full time and eight part time. It also coordinates security at high-profile events, such as meetings of world leaders and political party conventions. Between Oct. 1, 2008, and Sept. 30, the Secret Service said it protected 116 heads of state and 58 spouses.
“The service’s protection mission has increased and become more urgent, due to the increase in terrorist threats and expanded arsenal of weapons that terrorists could use in an assassination attempt or attacks on facilities,’’ according to the congressional report.
The domestic threat is also growing, fueled in part by Obama’s election as the nation’s first black president, according to specialists who study homegrown radical movements.
Obama, who was given Secret Service protection 18 months before the election - the earliest ever for a presidential candidate - has been the target of more threats since his inauguration than his predecessors.
Two days before Obama’s appearance at San Francisco fund-raisers on Thursday, a 59-year-old Northern California man was indicted on charges of sending a racist, profanity-filled e-mail threatening to kill Obama and his family. The rambling e-mail included specific references to Michelle Obama and the phrase, “do it to his children and family first in front of him,’’ according to the indictment.
The Southern Poverty Law Center says that antigovernment militias and white supremacist groups have strengthened in recent years, responding to an increasingly diverse population and what they see as an expanding government.
A center study released in August found a nearly 35 percent growth in racially based domestic hate groups since 2000 - from 602 to 926. The center concluded that opposition to Obama’s election has only increased the phenomenon.
“A key difference this time is that the federal government - the entity that almost the entire radical right views as its primary enemy - is headed by a black man,’’ the report said. “One result has been a remarkable rash of domestic terror incidents since the presidential campaign, most of them related to anger over the election of Barack Obama.’’
Threatening language has also found its way into talk radio broadcasts and social networking websites, raising fears that individuals not normally considered threats to the president could be incited to violence.
For example, the Secret Service in recent months has investigated a poll posted on Facebook about whether Obama should be killed. It has interviewed a Florida radio talk show host after a caller mentioned ammunition, target practice, and the president, and federal officials have raised concerns about several instances in which protesters carrying weapons showed up at Obama events, including a man at an August town hall in New Hampshire.
“The racist extremist fringe is exploiting themes that strike a chord in the mainstream more than we have seen in the recent past,’’ said Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University-San Bernardino, citing several elected leaders who have questioned whether Obama is a US citizen eligible to be president.
The Secret Service has been given more resources to deal with the changing environment. Its total number of employees has risen from 6,700 two years ago to a projected 7,055 in the new fiscal year that began Oct. 1, with almost all the new positions for the protection mission.
Its overall budget request has grown by several hundred million dollars a year, including a nearly a 20 percent increase since 2008 for so-called protective intelligence activities, the efforts to analyze and investigate threats, according to budget documents.
But a significant share of the agency’s budget still goes to investigating financial and other crimes, including 142 field offices nationwide and 22 overseas that also assist the search for missing and exploited children. A new proposal in Congress would allocate $20 million next year for the Secret Service to expand its role and investigate mortgage fraud.
“The establishment of
a single mission, or a distinct primary and secondary mission, for the
[Secret Service] is one option for Congress,’’ the congressional report
said. “One argument for this is that the majority of the Service’s
resources are used for its protection mission, and that Congress has
raised the issue of the Service’s competing missions of protection and
investigation.’’ (Boston.com, 2009).
Date: December 3, 2009
Abstract: Bit of a bombshell at this morning's Homeland Security Committee hearing:
U.S. Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan dismissed published reports that the level of death threats against President Obama are four times greater than typical threat levels against recent presidents — claiming the current volume of threats is comparable to that under George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
"It's not [a] 400 percent [increase]," Sullivan said during a heated exchange with Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), who suggested the service needed additional agents to protect the first African-American president.
"I'm not sure where that number comes from," he said, adding that the number of threats against Obama "are the same level as it has been [against] the last two presidents."
Sullivan said he would get more specific in a closed-door session with members of the Homeland Security Committee (Politico, 2009).
Title: Inside The World Of Obama's Secret-Service
Date: March 8, 2010
Abstract: The piece below about US presidential security and the guarding ofBarack Obama said that one reason John Kennedy was exposed to assassination was that he had asked for the bullet-proof glass bubble to be taken off the limousine that would carry him though Dallas in 1963. In fact, the removable plastic roof panels were not bullet-proof.
The Southern Poverty Law Center began life in 1971 as a tiny law firm specialising in civil rights cases. It took on the might of the Ku Klux Klan, and was duly rewarded by having its offices razed and its senior lawyers targeted for assassination. But it kept on going and grew to be one of the most respected monitoring groups of rightwing extremism in America today.
Recently it brought out a report called Terror From the Right, which identifies, in chronological order, the serious home-grown plots, conspiracies and racist rampages that have been cooked up in America since the Oklahoma City bomb in 1995. The list runs to 10 pages of closely printed type and itemises 75 domestic terrorism events, from plans to bomb government buildings to attempts to kill judges and politicians.
Each of the incidents aimed to change the political face of America through violence, courtesy of groups with such titles as Aryan People's Republic, The New Order and The Hated. But in the summer of 2008 the chronology takes on a sharp change of tack. Entries, which had been running at one or two per year, start coming faster. And instead of a variety of different targets, one name crops up time and time again: Barack Obama.
The first such entry is for 8 June 2008. Six people, linked to a militia group in rural Pennsylvania, are arrested with stockpiles of assault rifles and homemade bombs. One of the six allegedly tells the authorities that he intended to shoot black people from a rooftop and predicts civil war should Obama, who five days previously had cleared the Democratic nomination for president, be elected to the White House.
Next entry: 24 August 2008. The day before the opening of the Democratic convention in Denver at which Obama was nominated, three white supremacists are arrested in possession of high-powered rifles and camouflage clothing. They are talking about assassinating Obama.
24 October 2008: Less than two weeks before the election, two white supremacists are arrested in Tennessee over a bizarre plan to kill more than 100 black people, including Obama.
21 January 2009: The day after Obama's inauguration, a white man is arrested in Massachusetts, having allegedly killed two black immigrants and injured a third. He says he was "fighting for a dying race".
10 June 2009: James von Brunn, aged 88, walks into the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and shoots dead a security guard. Von Brunn, who died last month in jail awaiting trial, left a note that read: "Obama was created by Jews."
In the 13 months that Barack Obama has been the occupant of the Oval Office he has been the subject of an extraordinary outpouring of emotion from the American electorate. At the start it was largely adulatory, though more recently the adoration has been drowned out by a cacophony of criticism from tea party activists, birthers, global-warming deniers and viewers of Fox News. At the same time, largely hidden from view, there has been a layer of antagonism towards Obama that lies well beyond the boundaries of reasonable political debate.
That has been a fact of life for Obama and his family since long before they took the keys to the White House. On 2 May 2007, fully 18 months before election day, he was assigned a secret service detail – much earlier than any other presidential candidate in American history. The precise reasons for the move have never been disclosed, but there was certainly a mood in the air sufficiently palpable to disconcert Michelle Obama. A senior US official in the State Department has told the Guardian that before he decided to run for the presidency, Obama had actively to win Michelle over to the idea by assuaging her fears about the potential of an attack on him, her and/or their two daughters.
Michelle would have been aware of the backstory here: that Colin Powell had declined to run for the 1996 Republican nomination partly because his wife Alma feared his assassination at the hands of white supremacists. Over the course of the long presidential race, Michelle spoke openly about her anxieties and how she had determined to overcome them, telling 60 Minutes that she had decided to fling herself into the race because "I am tired of being afraid".
According to John Heilemann and Mark Halperin's new account of the 2008 election, Game Change [UK title, Race of a Lifetime], she eventually felt relaxed enough to crack sardonic jokes about the subject. "I've already gone out and increased our life insurance on [Barack]," she quipped. "You just can't be too careful!" But as the Southern Poverty Law Center survey shows, the issue of safety and the 44th president remains anything but a laughing matter. "Virtually every domestic terrorist event we have identified since June 2008 – when it became obvious that Obama was going to win – has been directly related to him," says the author of the report, Mark Potok.
Apart from the Obamas themselves, the burden of such a threat falls primarily on the shoulders of the US secret service, and as Joseph Petro, head of global security for Citigroup, puts it, the challenges facing the service today are unlike any period that has gone before. On top of all the usual risks associated with guarding the world's most powerful politician, there is now the added, explosive ingredient of his race. "As the first black president he creates a whole other set of issues for the secret service to deal with," he says.
Petro can claim to be something of an expert in this area: he spent 23 years as a special agent in the service, four of them, from 1982 to 1986, as the man who stood beside Ronald Reagan. He knows what it's like to be the last line of protection, how it feels to be in a milling crowd in which you are surrounded by thousands of potential assailants, what it is to live with the constant knowledge that any mistake – a split second taking your eye off the ball – could be fatal.
Petro has a formula for measuring the potential dangers for any particular incumbent of the White House. You take the general atmosphere of the times in which they are in office and combine it with the specific personality that the president brings to the job. In both regards, he says, Obama presents a huge task.
"In Obama, we have a president with a very unique personality who likes to be out with the people. Put that together with the political atmosphere of these times that is highly partisan and vitriolic, then include race, and we've got a big challenge. There's no margin for error."
Petro's point about the role the president's personality plays in his own safety is ably illustrated by the single most disastrous failure in the secret service's history – the event that every incoming trainee agent spends hours and hours studying until it is drilled into his or her bone marrow. Judged by modern security standards, the shooting of John F Kennedy in Dallas on 22 November 1963 should for several reasons never have happened. The parade route Kennedy took was publicised in advance – a cardinal sin by the rule book of today. Lee Harvey Oswald had a relatively easy line of fire from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, which would these days have been thoroughly swept and sealed off. But it was the orders given by Kennedy himself that did for him – the president asked for the bullet-proof glass bubble to be taken off his limousine and for agents not to ride on the back of the car, thus leaving himself utterly exposed.
In the last analysis, as Kennedy proved at his own cost, a president can only be as safe as he allows himself to be. Agents can advise the commander-in-chief what is best for his security, but they cannot give him orders. "The secret service would want to take the president to Camp David straight after the inauguration and keep him there out of any contact with the public for the next four years. But they know that's not possible," Petro says.
During his presidential campaign, Obama would regularly mingle among crowds of astonishing size. But since his inauguration he has clearly responded to the guidance of his protecting agents, detaching himself considerably from direct public engagement. To some extent, that is only normal – he is no longer running in an election. But for a president who promised to break down barriers between politicians and people, it is noticeable how sparingly he is seen in public these days, and how the events he does appear at are almost invariably staged indoors.
Over the years, the secret service has developed a range of technological devices for improving security. Petro recalls asking Reagan on several occasions to wear a bulletproof vest. (Reagan would grumble and groan but usually comply.) Over the last decade, such innovations have come thick and fast. A whole new array of gadgetry has been added to the service's armoury, from face-recognition technology to a new generation of armoured vehicles. Obama rides in a Cadillac with military grade eight-inch thick doors; on election night in November 2008 he gave his victory speech to a crowd of almost a quarter of a million people from behind bullet-proof glass walls designed to foil sniper attacks.
But gadgetry is only as effective as the people who use it. In the last analysis, the human factor remains supreme, as was illustrated last November when two reality show hopefuls gatecrashed a White House function, penetrating the inner core of the building and shaking Obama's hand. As it happened, they had no malice towards the president. But in the mindset of the mortified secret service that didn't matter; they could have done.
Which on some level is the nature of the beast: being president of theUnited States is a high-risk enterprise, as Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley and John Kennedy all found out the hard way. Danger can come at a president from any number of directions. It can come from the lone deranged gunman. It can come too, theoretically, from international terrorism of the Islamist variety. But al-Qaida experts point out that the closest the group has come to a direct attack on the president was 9/11 itself. "From al-Qaida's view, to assassinate the president would be very desirable," says Yehudit Barsky, a terrorism specialist at the American Jewish Committee. "But it would be difficult for them to go after him not because they don't want to but because their capacity is so impaired."
Which is why in the overall assessment of risk to Obama, so much attention is settling on rightwing extremist groups who are already operating inside America, are armed and ideologically motivated, and in some cases potentially capable of desperate acts. This brings us back to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has been tracking the activity of potentially violent militia groups since the last great wave in the 1990s when the so-called Patriot movement ballooned in proportion to rising rightwing anger towards Bill Clinton and fears of impending gun control. That wave of opprobrium culminated in the Oklahoma bombing in which 168 died and 680 more were injured.
The centre's latest report, released last week, records an astonishing mushrooming in extremist anti-government Patriot groups who see the Obama administration as a plot to impose "one-world government" on liberty-loving Americans. The numbers leapt from 149 groups in 2008 to 512 groups in 2009, of which 127 were classed as paramilitary groups.
"We know there has been a spike in activity across a broad range of things, particularly with regard to the notion that this government is illegitimate," says Brian Levin, a criminologist who heads the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University. Levin says the phenomenon is evident in rural areas around the Appalachian mountains and Great Lakes and into the west and Pacific north-west, where new armed militia groups are spontaneously emerging; and he has no doubt about why this is happening right now: "We've always had people who hate the president, we've always had conspiracies, but the fact that we have a black president at a time of economic tumult makes these conspiracies much more volatile among a far wider group of people."
Chip Berlet, an analyst of rightwing extremism at the Massachusetts-based group Political Research Associates, estimates that there have been nine murders by individuals who have white supremacist, xenophobic or antisemitic leanings since the inauguration of Obama. Berlet sees similarities in the current foment to the militia agitation of the 1990s. "Anger is spilling over from people who believe Obama is coming to remove their liberties, seize their guns, enslave the white American nation. What's new is that they can now recruit and communicate online, and that makes it very much more dangerous for the president."
Montana is one of the rural states where resurgent extreme rightwing activity can be detected. Travis McAdam has been tracking such activity for the last two decades on behalf of the Montana Human Rights Network, so has a unique vantage point for what is going on today. "The hatred that's there is very real. It's more than a gut-level hatred of having an African-American as president, it's also ideological – these people see black people as sub-human. Groups are popping up that have a new message and are using Obama to recruit new members."
White supremacist forums that provide closed talking shops for members only have been abuzz with anti-Obama rhetoric since the presidential election. In one such talkboard, monitored by a watchdog group, a correspondent writes: "if we want to see the overthrow or the cleansing of society then we should support Obama being where he is! I believe in the coming war. With this Nig as President he will just speed up the process. He's a catylist! Is'nt this what we want?" Another says: "Our backs are really against the wall now. We need progressive activism and we need to be solution orientated. For a Whiter future for our children." A third says: "I never thought I'd ever see the day when a monkey ran my country & I'm 34. I weep for our children."
For McAdam, the crucial question is how to sort this body of vitriol into its constituent parts – to separate out those individuals and groups who may be offensive and repulsive in their choice of words but are essentially harmless, from those that have the potential to be truly violent. He likes to think of it as a funnel, at the top of which are many people drawn to radical right groups for all sorts of reasons – gun rights, taxation, Obama-as-alien, or whatever. Most never go further than that level, but some do. "As they dig into the subject, going down into the funnel, they start to lose connection with the social networks around them that keep them tied to normality. Down, down they go, and eventually out the other end of the funnel emerges the Oklahoma bomber, Timothy McVeigh, who says, 'Our country is under attack, I must do something about it.'"
It's the thought that some may be emerging from the end of the funnel at this politically charged moment, McAdam says, that bothers him so, and makes him think that "violence against President Obama is a real concern".
McVeigh, executed in June 2001, is a name that crops up frequently among the extremism monitors. It comes up again when Mark Potok gives his last word on the threat to Barack Obama. The white supremacists and anti-government militia who are out to get the president should not be underestimated, he says. "These groups aren't al-Qaida. Most of them look vastly more bumbling than effective." But then he adds: "It only takes one to get through. Timothy McVeigh taught us that" (Guardian, 2010).Title: Secret Service: Threats Against Obama Declining
Date: March 24, 2010
Source: U.S. News & World Report
Abstract: When it comes to death threats, well, Barack Obama is finally just a regular old president. Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan reports that the surge in threats against Obama, peaking on Inauguration Day, has plummeted. "It's now at a level where it was with other presidents, and that's a good thing," Sullivan tells Whispers. He credits the public for helping keep Obama safe during the election by calling in threats spouted by nutty neighbors. "It was an historic election, and there was a lot of sensitivity out there. I think one of the best partners we have is the public, and the public does bring this to our attention" (U.S. News & World Report, 2010).
Title: Secret Service: Fewer Protected Under Obama than Bush
Date: July 27, 2010
Abstract: Agency responds to conservative grumbling that agents are used as chauffeurs, says Bush designated more protectees.
Despite the public perception of a heightened level of threats against the Obama administration, the Secret Service in fact protects "significantly fewer" Obama officials than it did Bush administration officials, the agency tells Salon.
By law, the Secret Service protects certain people -- the president, his family, former presidents, visiting heads of state, etc. But the agency also protects other executive branch officials designated by the president, for example, the national security advisor, Secret Service spokesman Malcolm Wiley said.
President Obama has designated fewer of these so-called non-traditional protectees than did President Bush, according to Wiley -- though the Secret Service won't say who they are, or even how many there are.
One former longtime Secret Service agent told Salon that after Sept. 11, the number of Bush officials getting protection soared. "You had a post-9/11 country at war, so each person was looked at carefully to see if there was a legitimate threat against them, or to see if there was any threat intelligence," the former agent said.
The White House referred all questions to the Secret Service.
The new disclosure came after Salon asked the Secret Service for a response to a Newsmax.com report by conservative journalist Ronald Kessler that the agency "has been spinelessly acceding to requests of the Obama administration officials for Secret Service protection in instances where there are no threats against them." Kessler, who is promoting the paperbook edition of his book on the Secret Service, went on:
As a result, 40 Obama administration officials and White House aides are under Secret Service protection, compared with 32 under George W. Bush. No one outside of the government has heard of most of these officials, but they have one thing in common: They enjoy being chauffeured free of charge by the Secret Service.
Secret Service spokesman Wiley called those numbers false -- and emphasized that the trend is toward fewer officials getting protection.
The former agent said that Kessler is probably hearing from agents who resent being used by executive branch officials as a "taxi service" -- but he warns that "sometimes the people grumbling don't have all the background intelligence."
Wiley, the Secret Service spokesman, also denied Kessler's claim that a "secret Presidential Threat Task Force" has been created in partnership with the FBI to monitor assassination threats against Obama. The closest thing to such a task force, he said, was a Presidential Campaign Threat Working Group during the 2008 campaign "that allowed members of federal law enforcement and the intelligence community to share information, which has always been shared, but in this case in a more formal way."
Kessler did not respond to a request for comment.UPDATE: Kessler emailed Salon to say he stands by his story, but declined to give any sourcing for his story. "The book cites a number of instances of the Secret Service misleading the public or Congress, so I am not surprised that they are not being forthright on these issues," he wrote (Salon, 2010).
2. MICHELLE OBAMA TO SECRET SERVICE: "JUST TELL ME WHEN - WHERE TO RUN"
OBAMACSI.COM: U.S. President Barack Obama's wife, Michelle Obama, made a ghastly statement when she inferred that an Obama assassination involving the Secret Service is just around the corner. Mrs. Obama's statement clearly indicates that the White House is leaking future assassination insinuations in an attempt to prepare the American public for what is about to transpire.
Title: Michelle Obama Tells Secret Service: 'Just Tell Me When — Where To Run'
Date: October 5, 2011
Abstract: First lady Michelle Obama made a rare trip to Secret Service headquarters Wednesday, where she glimpsed the intricate work that goes into protecting her family — and the potential danger of that mission.
After an hourlong tour of the agency’s protective intelligence division and the joint operations center, Obama called the daily tasks performed by the Secret Service “pretty scary.”3. PRESIDENTIAL THREAT TASK FORCE
OBAMACSI.COM: Threats against President Obama allegedly became so disturbing that a secret Presidential Threat Task Force was created on July 26, 2010, within the FBI to gather, track, and evaluate assassination threats that might be related to domestic or international terrorism. The task force operates within the FBI’s National Security Branch. It consists of 20 representatives from pertinent agencies, including agents from the FBI and Secret Service and operatives from the CIA, the NSA, and the Defense Department, as well as analysts.
Title: Threats Against Obama Prompt Secret Task Force
Date: July 26, 2010
Abstract: Threats against President Obama have become so disturbing that a secret Presidential Threat Task Force has been created within the FBI to gather, track, and evaluate assassination threats that might be related to domestic or international terrorism.
The task force operates within the FBI’s National Security Branch. It consists of 20 representatives from pertinent agencies, including agents from the FBI and Secret Service and operatives from the CIA, the NSA, and the Defense Department, as well as analysts.
The disclosure appears in a new chapter to the paperback edition of my book “In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes With Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect,” which hits bookstores Aug. 3.
The hardcover edition reported that threats against Obama rose by as much as 400 percent compared with when President Bush was in office. Although threats fluctuate, the level continues to be at high enough levels to call for the threat task force. Many of the threats are from racists who have no connection with politics.
At the same time, the Secret Service, which let party crashers into the White House in November, has been spinelessly acceding to requests of the Obama administration officials for Secret Service protection in instances where there are no threats against them.
As a result, 40 Obama administration officials and White House aides are under Secret Service protection, compared with 32 under George W. Bush. No one outside of the government has heard of most of these officials, but they have one thing in common: They enjoy being chauffeured free of charge by the Secret Service.
The expansion in protection has occurred while the Secret Service is jeopardizing the president’s safety by cutting corners because of understaffing and a management culture that is indifferent to the potential risks, as detailed in the book.
The Secret Service’s deficiencies led to the intrusion by Michaele and Tareq Salahi at the White House state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. As it turned out, they weren’t the only party crashers, as revealed in the Newsmax story "Secret Service Let Third Intruder into White House."
The Secret Service knew about the third intruder for weeks and had identified him, but mortified Secret Service officials failed to inform the House Homeland Security Committee, which was investigating the original breach at the White House.
After I asked the Secret Service for comment, I wrote a story for Newsmax.com revealing that a third intruder had crashed the state dinner. Having failed to respond to my request for comment, the Secret Service issued a statement within two hours confirming that “a third individual, who was not on the White House guest list, entered the state dinner.”
The breach was a deliberate, conscious decision by uniformed officers to ignore the fact that the Salahis and Carlos Allen, the third intruder, were not on the guest list. Those decisions are an expected consequence of the agency’s practice of cutting corners.
The Corner-Cutting Includes:
- Not passing crowds through magnetometers, or shutting down the devices early, at presidential events.
- Cutting back on the size of counter-assault teams and bowing to demands of staff that the teams remain at a great distance from protectees.
- Not keeping up to date with the latest, most powerful firearms used by the FBI and the military.
- Not allowing agents time for regular firearms requalification or physical training. The Secret Service covers that up by asking agents to fill out their own test scores.
In addition, the agency bows to political pressure. When agents refused to drive friends of Dick Cheney’s daughter Mary to restaurants, she got her detail leader removed. The fact that Secret Service management does not back personnel when they are just doing their jobs had to contribute to the uniformed officers’ reluctance to turn away guests at the state dinner and face possible repercussions.
“To this date, not one high-level person has been held accountable for these failures and corner cutting,” a Secret Service official, who declined to be named, tells me. “Secretary Janet Napolitano has failed to hold this director accountable. He [Mark Sullivan] doesn’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers. He doesn’t want to ask for more money. He is more concerned about appeasing the administration.”
The official adds, “A large majority at headquarters has lost faith in him. Everybody’s waiting for the day he leaves. This agency has some very talented people, and that is clearly lacking in the case of the director.”
Despite the breaches and corner-cutting, Obama has said he has complete confidence in the Secret Service, signaling that he sees no need for a change in management. Given the clear warning signs, that is just as reckless as Abraham Lincoln’s and John F. Kennedy’s disregard for security.
Lincoln resisted efforts of his friends, the police, and the military to safeguard him. Finally, late in the Civil War, he agreed to allow four Washington police officers to act as his bodyguards. But on the night of his assassination, only one D.C. patrolman, John F. Parker, was guarding him.
Instead of remaining on guard outside the president’s box at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865, Parker went to a nearby saloon for a drink. As a result of Parker’s negligence, just after 10 p.m., John Wilkes Booth made his way to Lincoln’s box, sneaked in, and shot him in the back of the head. The president died the next morning.
Kennedy told Secret Service agents he did not want them to ride on the small running boards at the rear of his limousine in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.
“If agents had been allowed on the rear running boards, they would have pushed the president down and jumped on him to protect him before the fatal shot,” Charles “Chuck” Taylor, who was an agent on the Kennedy detail, tells me.
Confirming that, Secret Service Director Lewis Merletti later said, “An analysis of the ensuing assassination, including the trajectory of the bullets which struck the president, indicates that it might have been thwarted had agents been stationed on the car’s running boards.”
In the case of Obama, in the view of many current Secret Service agents interviewed for “In the President’s Secret Service,” the result of the Secret Service’s corner-cutting could be a security breach with deadly consequences.
Although Secret Service agents are brave and dedicated, the agency’s management needs to be replaced. On the night of Obama’s state dinner, it was a pretty blonde. Tomorrow, it could be an assassin (Newsmax, 2010).
4. SECRET SERVICE LESS THAN PROFESSIONAL
OBAMACSI.COM: Since Barack Obama has become the President of the United States, the once spotless Secret Service, minus their standdown in the assassinations of JFK and RFK, has had its fair share of scandles and less than profesional behavior by its members.
Title: Secret Service Agent Busted For DUI While Touring With President Obama Last Week In Iowa!
Date: August 18, 2011
Source: Fox News
5. X-OBAMA SECRET SERVICE AGENT IN CONGRESS?
OBAMACSI.COM: Daniel Bongino, a former U.S. Secret Service agent whose recent assignments included a posting to President Obama’s protective detail, has decided to run for the U.S. Senate in Maryland as a Republican. Will Bongino be that voice in Congress stating that the Secret Service did all it could to protect Obama from assassination when they ultimately failed?
Title: Former Obama Secret Service Agent Running For Senate In Maryland
Date: May 31, 2011
Source: National Journal
Abstract: Daniel Bongino, a former U.S. Secret Service agent whose recent assignments included a posting to President Obama’s protective detail, has decided to run for the U.S. Senate in Maryland as a Republican.
At an agency that stresses the silence and political neutrality of its agents, Bongino’s announcement is raising eyebrows. It’s not unusual for federal law-enforcement agents to run for office after they retire, but the Secret Service frowns upon former agents who make sudden turns to politics. The agency has fought to give presidential protective division agents legal standing to keep them from testifying about high-level conversations they overhear, lest they lose the trust of the commander in chief.
Bongino is seeking the Republican nomination to take on freshman Sen.Ben Cardin, D-Md. Bongino's Twitter account calls him a “Conservative Republican Candidate for the U.S. Senate” and directs visitors to a campaign website that is offline.
In a press release announcing his candidacy, Bongino said that he left law enforcement "because of political leaders making decisions which are making America a follower and not a leader in the global economy."
His campaign chair will be Brian Murphy, who unsuccessfully sought Maryland's Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2010 and was endorsed by the tea party and Sarah Palin. On Murphy’s Facebook page, he writes that Bongino “saw firsthand the impact of well intentioned but fatally flawed government programs” as a “child in New York City."
Bongino has spent most of his career in government. He was a New York City police officer for four years before joining the Secret Service. He spent 12 years protecting presidents, candidates, and world leaders, advancing overseas trips, standing post, and investigating financial fraud. He transferred off Obama’s detail six months ago and spent the past five months working out of the agency’s Baltimore field office. He resigned earlier this month and started his own security consulting company. While an agent, he cofounded a mixed martial arts accessory company called Friction MMA.
"In my career, I've seen the effects of failed policies on citizens in our inner cities. I've had the honor of traveling to 27 countries with the Secret Service. And the common theme in every country is a line around the block at the US Embassy," Bongino is quoted in his campaign release. "America is an extraordinary place. But our citizens must be given a chance to compete in the world economy. It is an ideas economy, and we know what works and what doesn't. This is an 'open-book' test, but politicians insist on trying systems that either have already failed in other countries, or are in the process of failing."
Americans "are being held back by our government," he says.
Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb is a former Secret Service agent, but he spent five years as an aide to then-Gov. Frank Keating (R), himself a former special agent for the FBI, before joining the agency, and several years elapsed between his official Secret Service duties and his first successful run for office.
The Secret Service declined to comment on Bongino's planned candidacy.
CORRECTION: The original version of this report gave an incorrect
name for Daniel Bongino's campaign chairman and for Bongino's mixed
martial arts accessory company (National Journal, 2011).