Assassination fears

Assuming that Obama is elected on November 4th, I have serious fears of an assassination . . . probably before he’s even inaugurated.

There are a lot of crazy people out there. Many of them are racists or white supremacists. Many of these people feel very strongly about having a black president. And many of these people own guns.

I’m not trying to make a prediction because I hope to Og that my fears are unwarranted. But those fears are nevertheless real.

Someone please convince me that I’m overreacting to a very minor threat.

Presidents are very well protected and it would be difficult for someone dangerous to get close to him, but there is no such thing as perfect security and certainly Barack Obama knows that. Let’s hope that no future presidents are assasinated.

The secret service is pretty badass and they are paid to be paranoid. I think the risk of Obama being assassinated should he win would probably be higher than for other presidents, but it’s already so low anyway that doubling it probably wouldn’t even get it over 0.1 percent.

What Rand said. The Secret Service are probably watching you right now, just for starting this thread. They’re that good.

I’m afraid I have no arguments that you are overreacting or that is remotely a minor threat.

Because Obama is black, because there have been accusations that he is islamic, because of any combination of a hundred things, my gut feeling is that the threat level against him is at least an order of magnitude greater than it ever was against Bush.

That means that for every person that ever talked about killing Bush there will be ten talking about Obama. For every one that started drawing up plans for Bush, there will be ten for Obama. For every plot against Bush that the Secret Service foiled against Bush, there will be ten for Obama. How many attempts were interdicted? Only the Secret Service knows and they’re not telling.

There have been concerns voiced in the threads in GD and the Pit about the foiled attempt against Obama.

Before inauguration? I’m going to say no. Too little time for planning and implementation. And the SS will be at their most alert. I’d say within the first year while the righteous indignation is at it’s highest.

Am I being alarmist? Maybe, but if I am it’s not by much. I won’t be surprised if we have to have a state funeral, just very disappointed.

ETA: As I stated in one of the other threads. The Secret Service has to win every time. A nutjob only has to get lucky once.

I’d put it higher than that. According to Wiki, there have been attempts on 10 of the last 12 Presidents, with 1 success.

Note that there have been assassination attempts on nearly every recent president. There was even a faux documentary made that posited the assassination of George W. Bush.

In my lifetime Kennedy was shot, Reagan was shot, and Ford would have been shot if the gun was loaded correctly. Mathematically that is a 33% rate of assassination attempts. There were plots against Carter, and the elder Bush. Clinton was attacked twice, once by air and once by a gunman who shot 29 rounds at the White House. Dubya had a gunman fire multiple shots at the White House and a live grenade thrown at him (didn’t go off).

I don’t particularly worry about Obama getting assassinated if he wins. I’d think it would take a very well planned attack to even get a shot off at any POTUS these days. Most of the type that would want to kill him for racist reasons are too stupid to pull something like that off.

Well FWIW 3 out of 4 white supremacists support Obama. I’m not joking:

http://www.esquire.com/print-this/racists-support-obama-061308

I have a co-worker who refuses to get excited about the prospect of Obama winning solely because she feels he’s not long for this world. But I personally think Obama’s detail will not let him down- would you want to be the Secret Service agent who let the first black president be assassinated? No way. Obama will have massive walls of well-armed, well-trained beef around him at all times and they will gladly take a bullet for him if they have to.

(And since this thread is probably being read by someone at the Secret Service, allow me to say hello and commend you guys and gals on doing a great job foiling all the crazies out there!)

How much has changed since Reagan?

Exactly what I was thinking.

A lot has changed. Intel, surveillance and techniques have improved exponentially I would venture to guess.

You’re just guessing. I doubt that they’ve improved much at all. What technology has changed significantly when it comes to dealing with the motiveless loner mad guy with a gun when the POTUS is near a crowd? What techniques?

Lee Harvey Oswald, Squeaky Fromme, Paul Schlesselman and Daniel Cowart… these people are losers and generally complete nitwits. The fact that one of them occasionally succeeds doesn’t change that basic fact. In the effort to murder any president, you’ve got flakes and nutjobs up against trained intelligence people. Doesn’t mean the whackos can’t succeed, but the odds are very long and the race of the president, or even the numbers of the would-be assassins, doesn’t change that.

I mean, just for example, have you read about the Cowart-Schlesselman plot? They were talking about dressing up in white suits and top hats when they tried to kill Obama. VERY inconspicuous. Somehow the cops were never going to catch them while they beheaded 14 people, and they got caught before they even got close to thinking about starting because they were stupid enough to put a Swastika on the hood of their car. That’s the level of cleverness we’re talking about here. The guys who talked about shooting him in Denver (and all they did was talk) were similar- they were meth-addicted morons.

Bush has the lowest approval rating, the highest amount of death threats, and, most importantly, he was elected in a year that ended in 0, and he’s still very much alive. I don’t believe that racist nutjobs are significantly higher in population or motivation than regular nutjobs. Obama will have the same odds of getting assassinated as any other president, which is unfortunately pretty high, but not higher.

It doesn’t matter how many complete incompetents may utterly fail. The more relevant statistic is how many delusional but functional lunatics may try, and whether they will be stopped. Past incidents suggest that assassination is entirely possible, and the only real question is whether anything has changed.

I agree completely, and I’ve always thought that 9-11 was more about 19 wackos managing to succeed against a large intelligence establishment and being very lucky, than a vast pool of competent and well armed terrorist constantly trying to attack the U.S. public. In fact, it was almost embarrassing when public school teachers in Los Angeles were sent a memo telling them to check their school mail in case it might be part of some kind of terrorist plot.:rolleyes:

I was in a Starbucks recently and a guy asked if he could share the table I was at. I said, “Sure,” and after he put his briefcase on the table I noticed it had a sticker with an Obama image with a cross hair superimposed. Then the guy started to roam about and do all kinds of strange things, indicating that he probably had some mental problems. Definitely not a potential, competent assassin.

Sure, but Obama has to deal with regular nutjobs and racist nutjobs.

It’s relevant because this is the pool from which potential assassins are drawn. They’re not all as ridiculous as the losers from this week, but it’s not exactly the deep end of the pool.

While the rate of assassinations for U.S. Presidents is high, there hasn’t been a successful attempt in 45 years. Intelligence people have had more time and technology to work on what they do, while stupid people and maniacs haven’t changed too much. I think that gives an edge to the Secret Service.

Sure, but only because the guy who shot Reagan aimed a bit low, thankfully.