SECRET SERVICE: Obama Assassination Threat Count Down To Disturbing But Acceptable Level


NEW YORK TIMES: The young Marine’s rogue mission, laid out with maps and photographs, was as straightforward as it was chilling. He called it Operation Patriot. The Marine, Kody Brittingham, a 20-year-old lance corporal, wrote that he had taken an oath to “protect against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.” In a signed “letter of intent,” tucked away in his barracks at Camp Lejeune, he identified a “domestic enemy” he planned to eliminate last winter: President Obama. The details of this threat, which were revealed at his arraignment hearing in North Carolina, have not previously been reported. Mr. Brittingham pleaded guilty in August and awaits sentencing on charges of threatening to kill the president and attempted armed robbery. It is one of the cases in a spike of threats against Mr. Obama before his inauguration and in the early months of his presidency, raising deep concerns inside the Secret Service and at the White House. The threats have leveled off in recent months, officials said, and Mr. Obama now receives about the same as his two most recent predecessors. But several officials said they took no solace that the volume of reports had receded because it was the nature of the threats that concern them and because the factors behind the increase remain — Mr. Obama’s race prime among them. MORE


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MARINE CORPS TIMES: However unlikely it may be that such threats would be carried out, they conjure up an unfortunate historical connection coming from Marines. The alleged shooter in President John F. Kennedy’s assassination Nov. 22, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald, enlisted in the Corps in 1957. MORE

RELATED: Evidence gathered from a 2006 Department of Defense investigation found an “online network of jkfoswald.jpg57 neo-Nazis who are active duty Army and Marines personnel spread across five military installations in five states.” This recipe for disaster came to a boil during the Bush administration’s war on terror. By 2006, the US was already into a three-year military operation in two countries, much of which had since been outsourced to the private sector while the domestic economy dwindled, increasing unemployment. This scenario pressured recruiters to grab anyone willing to enlist, be they from black or Latino gangs in southern California, or violent, convicted felons (felon numbers doubled during this period) to militant extremists in white nationalist organizations. MORE

WASHINGTON POST: Long before a pair of gate-crashers penetrated a White House state dinner, the Secret Service had detailed for its internal use a lengthy list of security breaches dating to the Carter administration — including significant failures in the agency’s protection of the president. A summary of a secret 2003 report obtained by The Washington Post, along with descriptions of more recent incidents by federal homeland security officials, places Tareq and Michaele Salahi squarely in a rogues’ gallery of autograph hounds, publicity seekers, unstable personalities and others identified by the Secret Service as defeating its checkpoints at least 91 times since 1980. MORE

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