George Graham

Threats Against the President Cannot be Taken Lightly

The assassination of President Lincoln: at Ford's Theatre, Washington, D.C., April 14th, 1865.

You might think that the cascade of threats against President Obama’s life are just so much hot air, that with the internet and the  proliferation of social media, the threats are coming from anonymous trolls harmlessly letting off steam. But remember what happened in Dallas 50 years ago. Remember what happened at Ford’s Theater in Washington DC 148 years ago.

America is among the world’s most violent countries. People shoot each other here – frequently. And heads of state are not immune. History has shown that despite the intense security surrounding them, they are vulnerable targets.

Four American presidents have been assassinated so far. John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln are the most memorable, but there are two others –  James A. Garfield and William McKinley. Two others were injured in attempted assassinations – Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.

I have read that as America’s first black president, Barack Obama gets four times as many death threats as previous heads of state. And his vulnerability is expanded by his two school-age daughters. As an active, young family, the Obamas are out and about, not secluded in some fortress-like facility.

So you can appreciate my horror at reading this in the Daily Kos this morning:

So now, Right-Wing ‘Christian’ extremists are making death threats against President Obama, and on Facebook. The administrator, ‘Everest,’ for the Facebook group Christian American Patriots Militia begins his post on November 19th, with:

“We now have the authority to shoot Obama, i.e., to kill him.”

Well, it’s a federal crime, i.e. a felony to make threats against any president.

A large number of people on Facebook have claimed they reported the post and site. Some folks even say they contacted the FBI and Secret Service. Apparently, the authorities are fully aware, watching, and waiting. The penalty for a someone making a threat is far less, than if someone attempts to make good on that threat. And the authorities will be right there waiting for them, ready to snap them up.  

I wish I shared the confidence that Daily Kos has in those “authorities” who will be “right there” to “snap up” the assassins. But I’ve been reminded by the endless 50th anniversary rebroadcasts how easy it was for a demented dolt like Lee Harvey Oswald to take JFK from us.

I don’t think it’s enough for the Secret Service to be “watching and waiting.” These militia maniacs are dangerous. The people charged with protecting the President have an obligation to root them out and make sure they can no longer be a threat to him or his family.

Here’s the militia’s Facebook posting, as reproduced in Daily Kos:

Click for the Daily Kos story.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for