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Presidential Assassination Syndrome


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Commission Document 1075 Justice Prison Bureau Rothstein Letter of 04 Jun 1964 with Attachments re: Threats to President

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...amp;relPageId=5

Dr. David A. Rothstein, clinnical staff psychiatrist at US Medical Center for Federal Prisoners at Springfield, Mo., wrote this original report on eleven inmates incarcerated for threatening the life of the president.

Of those cases, ten were ex-military, nine with dishcharge issues.

None of these studies consider the profile of the most prolific assassin - what I call the Operational Profile - based on the ex-military model, Lee Harvey Oswald, Michael Townley, Frank Strugis, Gerry Patrick Hemming, Brad Ayers, El Nosair, Ali Mohammed, et al., whose MO is that of the covert intelligence agent, who uses alies, PO boxes, safe house apartments, codes and ciphers, foreign language, etc.

The first meeting of the Warren Commission Allen Dulles took a copy of a book about American Assassins and how they were all lone nut cases, except, as Commissioner McCloy pointed out, Lincoln's assassination.

For a better understanding of the assassination of President Kennedy, Dulles should have brought a copy of Sun Tzu's The Art of War, and the five types of agents that compromise a network, as outlined in the chapter on the Use of Secret Agents.

Instead, we get a psychological analysis of the framed patsy.

The copy of Rothstein's study posted at Mary Ferrell is hard to read. If anyone can find a link to another version of the same report I'd like to read it.

After writing his initial study of the eleven inmates who had threatened the president,

Rothstein went on to develop a theory he called Presidential assassination syndrome, which others have used as the basis for more recent studies of assassins, such as:

Assassination in the United States: An Operational Study of Recent Assassins, Attackers, and Near-Lethal Approachers – Robert A. Fein Ph.D. Bryan Vossekuil

http://www.secretservice.gov/ntac/ntac_jfs.pdf

And The description and classification of presidential threateners

Dr. William S. Logan, M.D. 1 *, David L. Reuterfors, Ph.D. 2, Martin J. Bohn Jr., Ph.D. 2, Charles L. Clark, M.A. 3 1Staff Psychiatrist, Forensic Unit, Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, Springfield, Missouri 2Staff Psychologists, Medical Center for Federal Prisoners

3Mental Health Treatment Specialist, U.S. Probation Office, Western District of Missouri

*Correspondence to William S. Logan, 5019 S. Colonial, Springfield, MO 65807

Behavioral Sciences & the Law

Volume 2 Issue 2 Pages 151-167

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal...=1&SRETRY=0

Abstract:

Presidential threateners who received court-ordered psychiatric evaluations at the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in 1981 and 1982 were studied. Using data from psychiatric reports and other background documents, the cases were analyzed according to demographic, legal, and psychiatric variables. Cases were also classified according to a system based on the characteristics of the threatener and the context in which the threat was made.

Then there's Political Assassinations and Personality Disorder:

The Cases of Lee Harvey Oswald and Yigal Amir

http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/inter...i/vol12falk.cfm

By: Avner Falk, Ph.D., F.I.N.S. Avner Falk, Ph.D., F.I.N.S. (Jerusalem), is an Israeli clinical psychologist, political psychologist and psychohistorian. In addition to forty scholarly articles, he has published A Psychoanalytic History of the Jews and psychobiographies of Moshe Dayan, David Ben-Gurion, and Theodor Herzl. He is currently completing a psychobiography of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Abstract

This study reviews the current psychological understanding of political assassination—concluding that most political assassins are late adolescents in their middle twenties suffering from a severe narcissistic personality disorder or from an underlying borderline personality disorder with narcissistic features—and sketches the unconscious emotional dynamics of the political assassin, which involve deep murderous rage against the mother, rather than the father, even though the assassinated leader is usually a man rather than a woman. The examples of John F. Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin Yigal Amir are adduced to illustrate these dynamics. An extensive bibliography is provided.

In which Rothstein's work is heavily cited:

He had failed as a Marine, a revolutionary, a husband, a provider, and a lover .... Now he would have the chance to kill the President of the United States and be welcomed to Cuba as a hero by Fidel Castro. He would undo the humiliating rebuff in Mexico City and still any of [the Cubans’] doubts about him .... In his mind, Oswald, in one bold stroke, would undo all his past humiliations and failures. He would kill the sexual rival for Marina’s affection. He would take his revenge on the society he blamed for his mother’s failures. He would destroy the man who held the position he felt his skills entitled him to hold. Kennedy was a symbol of all Oswald envied (Thomson et al., 1997, pp. 135-136, emphasis added).

As Rothstein (1966) wrote of Oswald: “Ironically enough, despite Lee’s hostility to his mother, he may have revealed his attachment to her by acting out through the assassination his conception of her own wish to be famous” (p. 264). At the same time, Oswald’s quest for an ideal “motherland” in the USSR, Mexico, and Cuba was a desperate unconscious yearning for the good mothering that he had never experienced. Through the unconscious defense of splitting, Oswald denigrated the United States (the bad mother) and idealized the Soviet Union and Cuba (the good mothers). Through the unconscious process of “projective identification”—an unconscious process by which “parts of the self and internal objects are split off and projected into the external object, which then becomes possessed by, controlled and identified with the projected parts” (Segal, 1973, p. 27)—Oswald seems to have repeated his early-life trauma with the roles reversed: he became the injuring early mother, while assigning to the president his own role of injured infant. Thus he displaced his murderous rage at his mother to Kennedy, with whom he identified....

Bla, bla, bla,....Of course, this analysis is of the Patsy, rather than the real assassin, so it too is useless in trying to explain and identify possible future assassins.

The most recent attempt at psychiatric profile of assassins:

Assessing Presidential Stalkers and Assassins

Robert T. M. Phillips, MD, PhD

http://www.jaapl.org/cgi/content/full/34/2/154

The description and classification of presidential threateners

Dr. William S. Logan, M.D. 1 *, David L. Reuterfors, Ph.D. 2, Martin J. Bohn Jr., Ph.D. 2, Charles L. Clark, M.A. 3

Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online

Dr. Phillips is Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Maryland Schools of Medicine and Law, Baltimore, MD, and Consulting Psychiatrist, Protective Intelligence Division, United States Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC....

Abstract:

A considerable body of research on stalking has helped in our understanding of what motivates and characterizes this behavior. The stalking typologies that have evolved fall short, however, when we attempt to use them to understand persons who have pursued the President of the United States. Because of this shortcoming, the author (a consultant to the United States Secret Service) has had to develop a unique framework for understanding persons who have threatened, approached, or attacked Presidents of the United States or have appeared at the White House without invitation. The author has developed a technique that integrates psychiatric diagnosis with a conceptualization of what is known about others who have acted similarly. By codifying their actions based on motive, presence or absence of delusions, active psychosis, and intent to do harm, the author presents five descriptive categories that he suggests capture the various motivations of presidential stalkers and assassins and characterize the clinical context in which the behavior occurs....

...Finally, the Secret Service Exceptional Case Study Project (ECSP) carried out by Fein and colleagues14 provided a behavior-based case review and analysis of "the thinking and behavior of all 83 persons known to have attacked or approached to attack a prominent pubic official or figure in the United States from 1949–1996," thereby dispelling many myths about assassination. This project operationalized how the idea of assassination developed into lethal or near-lethal action by focusing on motive, target selection, plan of attack, and communications and whether mental illness or life circumstances contributed to the assassination interest or behavior. However, no typology was offered, as the Project concluded that there is no profile of an assassin.

...Comparing and Integrating the Existing Classifications

Clarke's10 contribution of a taxonomy of American assassins and would-be assassins provided a much-needed framework to conceptualize their behavior. He suggested the following (Ref. 10, pp 14–16):

• Type I assassins view their acts as a probable sacrifice of self for a political ideal.

• Type II assassins are persons with overwhelming and aggressive egocentric needs for acceptance, recognition, and status.

• Type III assassins are psychopaths (or sociopaths) who believe that the condition of their lives is so intolerably meaningless and without purpose that destruction of society and themselves is desirable for its own sake.

• Type IV assassins are characterized by severe emotional and cognitive distortions that are expressed in hallucinations and delusion sof persecution and/or grandeur. As a rule, their acts are mystically "divinely" inspired—in a word, irrational or insane.

Eight major motives were identified by the ECSP (Ref. 14, pp 185–6):

• To achieve notoriety or fame;

• To bring attention to a personal or public problem;

• To avenge a perceived wrong; to retaliate for a perceived injury;

• To end personal pain; to be removed from society; to be killed;

• To save the country or the world; to fix a world problem;

• To develop a special relationship with the target;

• To make money;

• To bring about political change.

By drawing on the ECSP14 and integrating the Clarke10 classification with modifications, I have conceptualized five descriptive categories to try to capture the various motivations of presidential stalkers and assassins and the context in which the incidents occurred.

I have found these categories to be of great assistance in the clinical assessment of risk when consulting with the Secret Service as well as considering treatment options, case management, and prevention strategies when providing opinions to the United States Attorney, the Federal Public Defender, or private counsel. They may also be useful when developing a therapeutic plan for treatment of such persons by forensic clinicians who are responsible for their care.

The question raised by this effort is whether such a classification system may be useful to others. Would, for example, the six other psychiatrists who consult nationally for the Protective Intelligence Division of the Secret Service find this system useful when conducting their clinical assessments? Are there practical applications for this model beyond protecting the President? Are there parallels between stalking and assassinations of other public officials and celebrities?

It would be important to subject this model to empirical review. Given the low base rate of assassination and attacks coupled with the nonpublic nature of the cases in which attempts have been prevented, the adequacy of sample size will always be a concern. Although there is a greater number of White House cases, they represent a distinct group. We may be left with a descriptive methodology as the only viable alternative.

Edited by William Kelly
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Commission Document 1075 Justice Prison Bureau Rothstein Letter of 04 Jun 1964 with Attachments re: Threats to President

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...amp;relPageId=5

Dr. David A. Rothstein, clinnical staff psychiatrist at US Medical Center for Federal Prisoners at Springfield, Mo., wrote this original report on eleven inmates incarcerated for threatening the life of the president.

Of those cases, ten were ex-military, nine with dishcharge issues.

None of these studies consider the profile of the most prolific assassin - what I call the Operational Profile - based on the ex-military model, Lee Harvey Oswald, Michael Townley, Frank Strugis, Gerry Patrick Hemming, Brad Ayers, El Nosair, Ali Mohammed, et al., whose MO is that of the covert intelligence agent, who uses alies, PO boxes, safe house apartments, codes and ciphers, foreign language, etc.

The first meeting of the Warren Commission Allen Dulles took a copy of a book about American Assassins and how they were all lone nut cases, except, as Commissioner McCloy pointed out, Lincoln's assassination.

For a better understanding of the assassination of President Kennedy, Dulles should have brought a copy of Sun Tzu's The Art of War, and the five types of agents that compromise a network, as outlined in the chapter on the Use of Secret Agents.

Instead, we get a psychological analysis of the framed patsy.

The copy of Rothstein's study posted at Mary Ferrell is hard to read. If anyone can find a link to another version of the same report I'd like to read it.

After writing his initial study of the eleven inmates who had threatened the president,

Rothstein went on to develop a theory he called Presidential assassination syndrome, which others have used as the basis for more recent studies of assassins, such as:

Assassination in the United States: An Operational Study of Recent Assassins, Attackers, and Near-Lethal Approachers – Robert A. Fein Ph.D. Bryan Vossekuil

http://www.secretservice.gov/ntac/ntac_jfs.pdf

And The description and classification of presidential threateners

Dr. William S. Logan, M.D. 1 *, David L. Reuterfors, Ph.D. 2, Martin J. Bohn Jr., Ph.D. 2, Charles L. Clark, M.A. 3 1Staff Psychiatrist, Forensic Unit, Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, Springfield, Missouri 2Staff Psychologists, Medical Center for Federal Prisoners

3Mental Health Treatment Specialist, U.S. Probation Office, Western District of Missouri

*Correspondence to William S. Logan, 5019 S. Colonial, Springfield, MO 65807

Behavioral Sciences & the Law

Volume 2 Issue 2 Pages 151-167

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal...=1&SRETRY=0

Abstract:

Presidential threateners who received court-ordered psychiatric evaluations at the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in 1981 and 1982 were studied. Using data from psychiatric reports and other background documents, the cases were analyzed according to demographic, legal, and psychiatric variables. Cases were also classified according to a system based on the characteristics of the threatener and the context in which the threat was made.

Then there's Political Assassinations and Personality Disorder:

The Cases of Lee Harvey Oswald and Yigal Amir

http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/inter...i/vol12falk.cfm

By: Avner Falk, Ph.D., F.I.N.S. Avner Falk, Ph.D., F.I.N.S. (Jerusalem), is an Israeli clinical psychologist, political psychologist and psychohistorian. In addition to forty scholarly articles, he has published A Psychoanalytic History of the Jews and psychobiographies of Moshe Dayan, David Ben-Gurion, and Theodor Herzl. He is currently completing a psychobiography of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Abstract

This study reviews the current psychological understanding of political assassination—concluding that most political assassins are late adolescents in their middle twenties suffering from a severe narcissistic personality disorder or from an underlying borderline personality disorder with narcissistic features—and sketches the unconscious emotional dynamics of the political assassin, which involve deep murderous rage against the mother, rather than the father, even though the assassinated leader is usually a man rather than a woman. The examples of John F. Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin Yigal Amir are adduced to illustrate these dynamics. An extensive bibliography is provided.

In which Rothstein's work is heavily cited:

He had failed as a Marine, a revolutionary, a husband, a provider, and a lover .... Now he would have the chance to kill the President of the United States and be welcomed to Cuba as a hero by Fidel Castro. He would undo the humiliating rebuff in Mexico City and still any of [the Cubans’] doubts about him .... In his mind, Oswald, in one bold stroke, would undo all his past humiliations and failures. He would kill the sexual rival for Marina’s affection. He would take his revenge on the society he blamed for his mother’s failures. He would destroy the man who held the position he felt his skills entitled him to hold. Kennedy was a symbol of all Oswald envied (Thomson et al., 1997, pp. 135-136, emphasis added).

As Rothstein (1966) wrote of Oswald: “Ironically enough, despite Lee’s hostility to his mother, he may have revealed his attachment to her by acting out through the assassination his conception of her own wish to be famous” (p. 264). At the same time, Oswald’s quest for an ideal “motherland” in the USSR, Mexico, and Cuba was a desperate unconscious yearning for the good mothering that he had never experienced. Through the unconscious defense of splitting, Oswald denigrated the United States (the bad mother) and idealized the Soviet Union and Cuba (the good mothers). Through the unconscious process of “projective identification”—an unconscious process by which “parts of the self and internal objects are split off and projected into the external object, which then becomes possessed by, controlled and identified with the projected parts” (Segal, 1973, p. 27)—Oswald seems to have repeated his early-life trauma with the roles reversed: he became the injuring early mother, while assigning to the president his own role of injured infant. Thus he displaced his murderous rage at his mother to Kennedy, with whom he identified....

Bla, bla, bla,....Of course, this analysis is of the Patsy, rather than the real assassin, so it too is useless in trying to explain and identify possible future assassins.

The most recent attempt at psychiatric profile of assassins:

Assessing Presidential Stalkers and Assassins

Robert T. M. Phillips, MD, PhD

http://www.jaapl.org/cgi/content/full/34/2/154

The description and classification of presidential threateners

Dr. William S. Logan, M.D. 1 *, David L. Reuterfors, Ph.D. 2, Martin J. Bohn Jr., Ph.D. 2, Charles L. Clark, M.A. 3

Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online

Dr. Phillips is Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Maryland Schools of Medicine and Law, Baltimore, MD, and Consulting Psychiatrist, Protective Intelligence Division, United States Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC....

Abstract:

A considerable body of research on stalking has helped in our understanding of what motivates and characterizes this behavior. The stalking typologies that have evolved fall short, however, when we attempt to use them to understand persons who have pursued the President of the United States. Because of this shortcoming, the author (a consultant to the United States Secret Service) has had to develop a unique framework for understanding persons who have threatened, approached, or attacked Presidents of the United States or have appeared at the White House without invitation. The author has developed a technique that integrates psychiatric diagnosis with a conceptualization of what is known about others who have acted similarly. By codifying their actions based on motive, presence or absence of delusions, active psychosis, and intent to do harm, the author presents five descriptive categories that he suggests capture the various motivations of presidential stalkers and assassins and characterize the clinical context in which the behavior occurs....

...Finally, the Secret Service Exceptional Case Study Project (ECSP) carried out by Fein and colleagues14 provided a behavior-based case review and analysis of "the thinking and behavior of all 83 persons known to have attacked or approached to attack a prominent pubic official or figure in the United States from 1949–1996," thereby dispelling many myths about assassination. This project operationalized how the idea of assassination developed into lethal or near-lethal action by focusing on motive, target selection, plan of attack, and communications and whether mental illness or life circumstances contributed to the assassination interest or behavior. However, no typology was offered, as the Project concluded that there is no profile of an assassin.

...Comparing and Integrating the Existing Classifications

Clarke's10 contribution of a taxonomy of American assassins and would-be assassins provided a much-needed framework to conceptualize their behavior. He suggested the following (Ref. 10, pp 14–16):

• Type I assassins view their acts as a probable sacrifice of self for a political ideal.

• Type II assassins are persons with overwhelming and aggressive egocentric needs for acceptance, recognition, and status.

• Type III assassins are psychopaths (or sociopaths) who believe that the condition of their lives is so intolerably meaningless and without purpose that destruction of society and themselves is desirable for its own sake.

• Type IV assassins are characterized by severe emotional and cognitive distortions that are expressed in hallucinations and delusion sof persecution and/or grandeur. As a rule, their acts are mystically "divinely" inspired—in a word, irrational or insane.

Eight major motives were identified by the ECSP (Ref. 14, pp 185–6):

• To achieve notoriety or fame;

• To bring attention to a personal or public problem;

• To avenge a perceived wrong; to retaliate for a perceived injury;

• To end personal pain; to be removed from society; to be killed;

• To save the country or the world; to fix a world problem;

• To develop a special relationship with the target;

• To make money;

• To bring about political change.

By drawing on the ECSP14 and integrating the Clarke10 classification with modifications, I have conceptualized five descriptive categories to try to capture the various motivations of presidential stalkers and assassins and the context in which the incidents occurred.

I have found these categories to be of great assistance in the clinical assessment of risk when consulting with the Secret Service as well as considering treatment options, case management, and prevention strategies when providing opinions to the United States Attorney, the Federal Public Defender, or private counsel. They may also be useful when developing a therapeutic plan for treatment of such persons by forensic clinicians who are responsible for their care.

The question raised by this effort is whether such a classification system may be useful to others. Would, for example, the six other psychiatrists who consult nationally for the Protective Intelligence Division of the Secret Service find this system useful when conducting their clinical assessments? Are there practical applications for this model beyond protecting the President? Are there parallels between stalking and assassinations of other public officials and celebrities?

It would be important to subject this model to empirical review. Given the low base rate of assassination and attacks coupled with the nonpublic nature of the cases in which attempts have been prevented, the adequacy of sample size will always be a concern. Although there is a greater number of White House cases, they represent a distinct group. We may be left with a descriptive methodology as the only viable alternative.

See My post on the Tim Russert Dead thread, it correlates a bit on the same topic you have posted here

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Does this report (or another) list who those 83 people are and the people they targeted?

-Stu

Commission Document 1075 Justice Prison Bureau Rothstein Letter of 04 Jun 1964 with Attachments re: Threats to President

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...amp;relPageId=5

Dr. David A. Rothstein, clinnical staff psychiatrist at US Medical Center for Federal Prisoners at Springfield, Mo., wrote this original report on eleven inmates incarcerated for threatening the life of the president.

Of those cases, ten were ex-military, nine with dishcharge issues.

None of these studies consider the profile of the most prolific assassin - what I call the Operational Profile - based on the ex-military model, Lee Harvey Oswald, Michael Townley, Frank Strugis, Gerry Patrick Hemming, Brad Ayers, El Nosair, Ali Mohammed, et al., whose MO is that of the covert intelligence agent, who uses alies, PO boxes, safe house apartments, codes and ciphers, foreign language, etc.

The first meeting of the Warren Commission Allen Dulles took a copy of a book about American Assassins and how they were all lone nut cases, except, as Commissioner McCloy pointed out, Lincoln's assassination.

For a better understanding of the assassination of President Kennedy, Dulles should have brought a copy of Sun Tzu's The Art of War, and the five types of agents that compromise a network, as outlined in the chapter on the Use of Secret Agents.

Instead, we get a psychological analysis of the framed patsy.

The copy of Rothstein's study posted at Mary Ferrell is hard to read. If anyone can find a link to another version of the same report I'd like to read it.

After writing his initial study of the eleven inmates who had threatened the president,

Rothstein went on to develop a theory he called Presidential assassination syndrome, which others have used as the basis for more recent studies of assassins, such as:

Assassination in the United States: An Operational Study of Recent Assassins, Attackers, and Near-Lethal Approachers – Robert A. Fein Ph.D. Bryan Vossekuil

http://www.secretservice.gov/ntac/ntac_jfs.pdf

And The description and classification of presidential threateners

Dr. William S. Logan, M.D. 1 *, David L. Reuterfors, Ph.D. 2, Martin J. Bohn Jr., Ph.D. 2, Charles L. Clark, M.A. 3 1Staff Psychiatrist, Forensic Unit, Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, Springfield, Missouri 2Staff Psychologists, Medical Center for Federal Prisoners

3Mental Health Treatment Specialist, U.S. Probation Office, Western District of Missouri

*Correspondence to William S. Logan, 5019 S. Colonial, Springfield, MO 65807

Behavioral Sciences & the Law

Volume 2 Issue 2 Pages 151-167

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal...=1&SRETRY=0

Abstract:

Presidential threateners who received court-ordered psychiatric evaluations at the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in 1981 and 1982 were studied. Using data from psychiatric reports and other background documents, the cases were analyzed according to demographic, legal, and psychiatric variables. Cases were also classified according to a system based on the characteristics of the threatener and the context in which the threat was made.

Then there's Political Assassinations and Personality Disorder:

The Cases of Lee Harvey Oswald and Yigal Amir

http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/inter...i/vol12falk.cfm

By: Avner Falk, Ph.D., F.I.N.S. Avner Falk, Ph.D., F.I.N.S. (Jerusalem), is an Israeli clinical psychologist, political psychologist and psychohistorian. In addition to forty scholarly articles, he has published A Psychoanalytic History of the Jews and psychobiographies of Moshe Dayan, David Ben-Gurion, and Theodor Herzl. He is currently completing a psychobiography of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Abstract

This study reviews the current psychological understanding of political assassination—concluding that most political assassins are late adolescents in their middle twenties suffering from a severe narcissistic personality disorder or from an underlying borderline personality disorder with narcissistic features—and sketches the unconscious emotional dynamics of the political assassin, which involve deep murderous rage against the mother, rather than the father, even though the assassinated leader is usually a man rather than a woman. The examples of John F. Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin Yigal Amir are adduced to illustrate these dynamics. An extensive bibliography is provided.

In which Rothstein's work is heavily cited:

He had failed as a Marine, a revolutionary, a husband, a provider, and a lover .... Now he would have the chance to kill the President of the United States and be welcomed to Cuba as a hero by Fidel Castro. He would undo the humiliating rebuff in Mexico City and still any of [the Cubans’] doubts about him .... In his mind, Oswald, in one bold stroke, would undo all his past humiliations and failures. He would kill the sexual rival for Marina’s affection. He would take his revenge on the society he blamed for his mother’s failures. He would destroy the man who held the position he felt his skills entitled him to hold. Kennedy was a symbol of all Oswald envied (Thomson et al., 1997, pp. 135-136, emphasis added).

As Rothstein (1966) wrote of Oswald: “Ironically enough, despite Lee’s hostility to his mother, he may have revealed his attachment to her by acting out through the assassination his conception of her own wish to be famous” (p. 264). At the same time, Oswald’s quest for an ideal “motherland” in the USSR, Mexico, and Cuba was a desperate unconscious yearning for the good mothering that he had never experienced. Through the unconscious defense of splitting, Oswald denigrated the United States (the bad mother) and idealized the Soviet Union and Cuba (the good mothers). Through the unconscious process of “projective identification”—an unconscious process by which “parts of the self and internal objects are split off and projected into the external object, which then becomes possessed by, controlled and identified with the projected parts” (Segal, 1973, p. 27)—Oswald seems to have repeated his early-life trauma with the roles reversed: he became the injuring early mother, while assigning to the president his own role of injured infant. Thus he displaced his murderous rage at his mother to Kennedy, with whom he identified....

Bla, bla, bla,....Of course, this analysis is of the Patsy, rather than the real assassin, so it too is useless in trying to explain and identify possible future assassins.

The most recent attempt at psychiatric profile of assassins:

Assessing Presidential Stalkers and Assassins

Robert T. M. Phillips, MD, PhD

http://www.jaapl.org/cgi/content/full/34/2/154

The description and classification of presidential threateners

Dr. William S. Logan, M.D. 1 *, David L. Reuterfors, Ph.D. 2, Martin J. Bohn Jr., Ph.D. 2, Charles L. Clark, M.A. 3

Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online

Dr. Phillips is Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Maryland Schools of Medicine and Law, Baltimore, MD, and Consulting Psychiatrist, Protective Intelligence Division, United States Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC....

Abstract:

A considerable body of research on stalking has helped in our understanding of what motivates and characterizes this behavior. The stalking typologies that have evolved fall short, however, when we attempt to use them to understand persons who have pursued the President of the United States. Because of this shortcoming, the author (a consultant to the United States Secret Service) has had to develop a unique framework for understanding persons who have threatened, approached, or attacked Presidents of the United States or have appeared at the White House without invitation. The author has developed a technique that integrates psychiatric diagnosis with a conceptualization of what is known about others who have acted similarly. By codifying their actions based on motive, presence or absence of delusions, active psychosis, and intent to do harm, the author presents five descriptive categories that he suggests capture the various motivations of presidential stalkers and assassins and characterize the clinical context in which the behavior occurs....

...Finally, the Secret Service Exceptional Case Study Project (ECSP) carried out by Fein and colleagues14 provided a behavior-based case review and analysis of "the thinking and behavior of all 83 persons known to have attacked or approached to attack a prominent pubic official or figure in the United States from 1949–1996," thereby dispelling many myths about assassination. This project operationalized how the idea of assassination developed into lethal or near-lethal action by focusing on motive, target selection, plan of attack, and communications and whether mental illness or life circumstances contributed to the assassination interest or behavior. However, no typology was offered, as the Project concluded that there is no profile of an assassin.

...Comparing and Integrating the Existing Classifications

Clarke's10 contribution of a taxonomy of American assassins and would-be assassins provided a much-needed framework to conceptualize their behavior. He suggested the following (Ref. 10, pp 14–16):

• Type I assassins view their acts as a probable sacrifice of self for a political ideal.

• Type II assassins are persons with overwhelming and aggressive egocentric needs for acceptance, recognition, and status.

• Type III assassins are psychopaths (or sociopaths) who believe that the condition of their lives is so intolerably meaningless and without purpose that destruction of society and themselves is desirable for its own sake.

• Type IV assassins are characterized by severe emotional and cognitive distortions that are expressed in hallucinations and delusion sof persecution and/or grandeur. As a rule, their acts are mystically "divinely" inspired—in a word, irrational or insane.

Eight major motives were identified by the ECSP (Ref. 14, pp 185–6):

• To achieve notoriety or fame;

• To bring attention to a personal or public problem;

• To avenge a perceived wrong; to retaliate for a perceived injury;

• To end personal pain; to be removed from society; to be killed;

• To save the country or the world; to fix a world problem;

• To develop a special relationship with the target;

• To make money;

• To bring about political change.

By drawing on the ECSP14 and integrating the Clarke10 classification with modifications, I have conceptualized five descriptive categories to try to capture the various motivations of presidential stalkers and assassins and the context in which the incidents occurred.

I have found these categories to be of great assistance in the clinical assessment of risk when consulting with the Secret Service as well as considering treatment options, case management, and prevention strategies when providing opinions to the United States Attorney, the Federal Public Defender, or private counsel. They may also be useful when developing a therapeutic plan for treatment of such persons by forensic clinicians who are responsible for their care.

The question raised by this effort is whether such a classification system may be useful to others. Would, for example, the six other psychiatrists who consult nationally for the Protective Intelligence Division of the Secret Service find this system useful when conducting their clinical assessments? Are there practical applications for this model beyond protecting the President? Are there parallels between stalking and assassinations of other public officials and celebrities?

It would be important to subject this model to empirical review. Given the low base rate of assassination and attacks coupled with the nonpublic nature of the cases in which attempts have been prevented, the adequacy of sample size will always be a concern. Although there is a greater number of White House cases, they represent a distinct group. We may be left with a descriptive methodology as the only viable alternative.

See My post on the Tim Russert Dead thread, it correlates a bit on the same topic you have posted here

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Secret Service Is Putting the President at Risk

http://www.newsmax.com/kessler/

Thanks to Ed Tree Frog from the heads up on this story.

Monday, August 10, 2009 10:00 AM

By: Ronald Kessler

The nation has not endured a presidential assassination since John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas in 1963. That is largely because of the dedication of Secret Service agents. But since the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) took over the Secret Service in 2003, the agency has been cutting corners to the point where the lives of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and other protectees are endangered.

That is the opinion of a number of current Secret Service agents who have told me for my book, “In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents,” that it is a miracle an assassination has not taken place. But you do not have to be a Secret Service agent to recognize that the agency has been taking foolhardy risks.

After the attempt on Ronald Reagan’s life on March 30, 1981, the U.S. Secret Service learned to use metal-detecting magnetometers to screen those who have access to the president. But in recent years, when pressured by staffs of presidential candidates like Barack Obama or by the White House, agents have shut down magnetometers at major events when stragglers are still arriving and a speech is about to begin.

Only one such incident was publicized. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that an hour before a rally for then-presidential candidate Obama was to start at Reunion Arena in Dallas on Feb. 20, 2008, the Secret Service stopped magnetometer screening.

As if shutting down magnetometers at an event is about to start is not shocking enough, when Vice President Biden threw the opening pitch at the first Baltimore Orioles game of the season at Camden Yards on April 6, 2009, the Secret Service skipped any magnetometer screening of the more than 40,000 fans. Moreover, even though Biden’s scheduled attendance at the game was announced beforehand, the vice president was not wearing a bullet-proof vest under his navy sport shirt as he stood on the pitcher’s mound.

“A gunman or gunmen from anywhere in the stands could have gotten off multiple rounds before we could have gotten in the line of fire,” says a current agent who is outraged that the Secret Service would be so reckless.

Before the Baltimore event, senior management on Biden’s detail decided “we don’t need magnetometers,” overruling stunned agents on Biden’s detail and the agency’s own Baltimore field office.

Ironically, when I interviewed Nicholas Trotta, who heads the Secret Service’s Office of Protective Operations, for my book — the first book about the Secret Service the agency has cooperated on — he cited the use of magnetometers as a key to protecting presidents.

“Now,” he said, “Everyone goes through the magnetometer.” Indeed, the Secret Service official said, often just seeing a magnetometer in use may deter an assassin. But when I mentioned that the Secret Service shuts down magnetometers under pressure, Trotta contradicted himself and changed his tune.

“When we have a crowd of 70,000 people, we may or may not need to put all those people through magnetometers,” Trotta said. “Because some of those people in certain areas might not have a line-of-sight threat that can harm the protectee.”

What if an assassination occurred because someone was not screened? Trotta looked uncomfortable. Still, he plowed on ahead, saying it may be safe to forgo screening of crowds sitting further away from the president.

Has Trotta never heard of a gunman leaving his seat to zip off a shot or throw a grenade at the president? In fact, it was a decision to stop magnetometer screening that almost led to the assassination of President Bush on May 10, 2005, when a man threw a grenade at him as he spoke at a rally in a public square in Tbilisi, Georgia. Because local security services shut down magnetometer screening, the man was able to take a grenade into the event where Bush was to speak.

Failing to screen everyone who attends an event where the president or vice president is speaking makes as much sense as letting passengers board an airplane without passing them through metal detectors. When told of Trotta’s rationale for stopping magnetometer screening, Secret Service agents cannot believe he said what he did indeed say.

“I was in absolute shock regarding his comment about the mags closing down and potential attackers being too far away to cause any problems,” says an agent on one of the two major protective details. Imagine, the agent says, if three or four suicide assassins came in, with guns blazing. “I cannot believe the head of our protective operations actually said that,” he says. “Yeah, let’s drop those magnetometers. Thank God you have it on record, because he would be one of the first people to be called to testify before a congressional committee if such an incident happened.”

Since the book came out, law enforcement sources admitted to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the Secret Service did not screen crowds at the Orioles game and defended the decision by saying Biden’s presence had not been announced beforehand. But as I pointed out in a CNN interview with Blitzer, a simple Google search turns up dozens of stories that reported the day before the game that Biden would be throwing the first pitch. Nexis lists more than 50 such stories.

Agents trace the corner-cutting to the Secret Service’s absorption into DHS. Being submerged in what many view as a dysfunctional agency and having to compete for funds with a range of other national security agencies led to a lowering of standards. The fact that the Bush White House itself periodically asked the Secret Service to skip magnetometer screening undoubtedly contributed to an indulgent attitude.

Michael Chertoff, when secretary of DHS, contributed to that laxness in a very personal way. Because of objections by his wife, the Secret Service stopped performing checks on workers cleaning the Chertoffs’ home, even though agents knew that many of the workers were illegal immigrants, according to agents. Ironically, in October 2008, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within DHS fined James D. Reid $22,880 for allegedly employing illegal immigrants when his Maryland cleaning company worked at Chertoff’s home and at other Washington homes.

When asked for comment, William R. Knocke, a DHS spokesman, said, “These are baseless and sensational allegations that I’m not going to dignify with a response.”

Retired agents who served before the Secret Service began cutting corners say they have never heard of stopping magnetometer screening. When told of the practice, they assert that the Secret Service would never do such a thing.

“The [political] staff sometimes would propose stopping the magnetometers when an event was about to start,” says former agent William Albracht, who retired in 2001 and was an instructor at the Secret Service’s training facility in Laurel, Md. “I don’t know of any agent that has ever done that. That’s just not what we do. It doesn’t matter to us how your person looks in the media or to the crowds. It’s not really our concern. Our concern is that person’s safety.”

“You face pressure from political staffs all the time, but you don’t stop magnetometer screening,” says Norm Jarvis, who taught new agents, was on Bill Clinton’s protective detail, and left the Secret Service in 2005 as a special agent in charge. “Sometimes things happen and the flow rate is a little slow. But nobody in the Secret Service would allow the staff to impair security and jeopardize the life of the president by stopping magnetometer screening.”

“Requests were made by staff to expedite or stop magnetometer screening,” says Danny Spriggs, who headed protection and retired as deputy director of the Secret Service in 2004. “I would never have acquiesced to that.”

Shutting down magnetometers is just one example of how the Secret Service has been cutting corners. In some cases, its weapons are outmoded and leave agents open to being outgunned by well-armed assassins. Contrary to announced policy, agents on major protective details are not allotted time for physical training or firearms requalification. Instead, agents are asked to cover up the lack of training by filling out their own physical training test forms for themselves. Counterassault teams, which are trained as units of five to six members, have been slashed to two agents, rendering them virtually impotent in the face of an attack.

While Secret Service agents are often heroic, the agency uses subterfuge to make them seem more so. When members of Congress and other VIPs visit the Secret Service training facility in Laurel, Md., the agency presents scenarios where agents respond to a threat. While the demonstration is billed as spontaneous, it is secretly rehearsed.

Asked about this, Ed Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman, did not respond.

When one considers how important preventing an assassination is to our democracy, the amount spent on the Secret Service — $1.4 billion a year, nearly two-thirds of it for protection — seems like a misprint. Indeed, while the agency’s budget increased substantially after 9/11, since then its budget has actually decreased when inflation is taken into account.

That does not include supplemental appropriations to cover incremental costs for coverage of campaign events and so-called national security events such as presidential nominating conventions.

This penny-pinching approach comes at a time when well-funded terrorists have replaced the lone deranged gunman as the greatest threat to American elected officials and when threats against the president are up 400 percent as compared with when Bush was president. Yet rather than ask for substantially more funds from Congress, the Secret Service assures members that the agency is fulfilling its job with the modest increases it requests, even as it takes on more duties, and sleep-deprived agents work almost around the clock.

Neither the DHS inspector general nor Congress has penetrated the agency’s invincible veneer to uncover the shortcomings.

Since an assassination jeopardizes democracy itself, few agencies are as important as the Secret Service. Agents who are concerned that the Secret Service is on the brink of a disaster say that only a director appointed from the outside can make the wholesale changes that are needed in the agency’s management and culture.

Without those changes, an assassination of Barack Obama or a future president is a real possibility. If that happens, a new Warren Commission will be appointed to study the tragedy. It will find that the Secret Service was shockingly derelict in its duty to the American people and to its own elite corps of brave and dedicated agents.

Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com.

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http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/...,861574,00.html

TIME

At commencement time last year, a husky Secret Service man wiggled under a stage at an East Coast college, where the President of the United States was to receive an honorary degree. In the shadows he spotted a tin can, lifted it gingerly out and raised the top. Inside was a note: "This could have been a bomb." But the Secret Service did not need a college prank to remind them of the danger. This June, when Ike is on the road 15 days out of 30, the Secret Service will be on the move 30 days out of 30.

The Advance Men. Before the President flies to San Francisco to speak at the U.N. tenth anniversary ceremonies (June 20), or arrives five days later at Parmachenee Lake in Maine to catch some salmon and trout, teams of Secret Service men from the 35-man White House Detail will fan out to anticipate every danger. Back in Washington, other agents will comb the central files for names and photographs of crackpots and suspicious characters in the areas that Ike will visit

Any time the President moves, the Secret Service moves first. They examine his routes for likely vantage spots for gunmen, and assign local police to those spots. Hotel personnel, with emphasis on food handlers, are checked. Local police are asked for pictures of mental cases and other possible assassins, and the agents commit the photographed faces to memory. Some dangerous persons are held on vagrancy charges until the President leaves.

The President's regular traveling companion is a burly Irishman from The Bronx, James Rowley. 46, the special agent in charge of the White House Detail. In crowded reception halls, he moves at the President's elbow; when the President makes an address, Rowley is a pace behind him, impassive and alert; when the President rides in a car, Rowley sits in the front seat. Rowley went to work as a bank investigator at 18, but continued to go to school nights, nine years later earned his law degree from Brooklyn's St. John's University. In 1938 Rowley joined the Secret Service, went to the White House in a year, and became the agent in charge in 1946. His toughest assignment was Ike's trip to Korea but this month Rowley is thinking ahead to the Big Four conference. Plans already call for an Air Force fighter and air-sea rescue escort for the Columbine, and Rowley will never be far from the President until he returns to U.S. soil.

The Assassins.

Like his predecessors, President Eisenhower has been irritated by the surveillance of the Secret Service, until recently, when he read The Assassins, a chilling account of the seven attempts on the lives of Presidents, by the New York Herald Tribune's White House Reporter Robert J. Donovan. Shocked, Ike made some inquiries of his own, discovered some disturbing statistics.

From the time he took office until this April, he learned, the Secret Service has investigated 3,912 threatening letters and other contacts, and the figure is running abnormally high (401 threats in the first four months of 1955—well above the average). Last year 84 persons were arrested as dangerous to the President, 80 were convicted and sent to prisons or insane asylums. In the same period guards picked up 118 mentally disturbed persons at the White House gates (one pleasant-faced young man recently told a guard that he was assuming the presidency and would review the troops on the White House lawn in 15 minutes).

Impressed by the danger, Ike stopped complaining about the Secret Service. When the service insisted on closing a tourist observation tower atop Cemetery Ridge on the Gettysburg Battlefield whenever he is at the farm, he made no objection. A marksman, standing on the tower with a high-powered rifle, could shoot anyone on the Eisenhower farm.

No mention of Donovan having wrote The Assassins in his obit.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/10/us/rober...-of-pt-109.html

Robert J. Donovan, 90, the Author of 'PT-109'

By ANTHONY RAMIREZ

Published: Sunday, August 10, 2003

Robert J. Donovan, a ''shoe leather'' newspaper reporter without a college education who became a Washington correspondent, best-selling author and presidential historian, died on Friday at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Fla. A longtime resident of Washington, he moved to Florida in 2001. He was 90.

Best known for ''PT-109'' (McGraw-Hill, 1961), his stirring account of John F. Kennedy's war experiences, Mr. Donovan traveled 30,000 miles while doing research for the book and brought back a piece of coral from the South Pacific, which Kennedy kept on his desk after he became president. Mr. Donovan interviewed all 10 natives of the Solomon Islands involved in rescuing Kennedy and his crew after a Japanese destroyer sank their patrol torpedo boat in 1943. A 1963 movie based on the book starred Cliff Robertson as Kennedy.

Mr. Donovan wrote 14 books, many about Washington politics, and was instrumental in the revival of Harry S. Truman's flagging reputation with a two-volume biography, ''Conflict and Crisis: The Presidency of Harry S. Truman, 1945-48'' (Norton, 1977) and ''Tumultuous Years: The Presidency of Harry S. Truman, 1949-53'' (Norton, 1982).

Born in Buffalo in 1912, Mr. Donovan began his career in journalism at The Courier-Express there, earning $6 a week as a copy boy. He could not afford college in the Depression years, a career-killing drawback, it would seem, for the big-time newspaper Mr. Donovan had his heart set on, The New York Herald Tribune. But Mr. Donovan got to know an editor who was tired of hiring Yale University graduates. ''When I told him I hadn't been to college, a light came into his eyes,'' Mr. Donovan once told an interviewer.

A 26-year career with The Herald Tribune followed. He became its Washington bureau chief in 1957. The consummate insider, he could nonetheless needle Washington officials.

His journalism career was interrupted by World War II, when against the strenuous advice of a colleague at The Courier-Express, Mr. Donovan submitted to being drafted by the Army, though he had a young wife, Martha Fisher, and a small daughter, Patricia. Mr. Donovan survived the Battle of the Bulge, he noted in a laconic retelling, but the colleague did not survive the war. He died in 1945 when a B-25 bomber hit the Empire State Building.

The Chandler family, intent on strengthening the journalism reputation of The Los Angeles Times, which it controlled, wooed Mr. Donovan from The Herald Tribune and made him the newspaper's Washington bureau chief in 1963. He narrowly missed becoming the top editor of the paper in 1970. According to ''The Life and Times of Los Angeles,'' (Atheneum, 1984) by Marshall Berges, Mr. Donovan was puzzled by the newspaper's culture, where editorial meetings were conducted in ''elliptical code.'' Otis Chandler, the publisher, got wind of Mr. Donovan's candid self-assessment to colleagues: ''I shouldn't be editor of this paper; I don't know what they're talking about.''

Mr. Donovan is survived by his second wife, Gerry Van Der Heuvel, whom he married in 1978, and his stepchildren, Claudia, of Amherst, Mass., and Heidi, of Ottawa, Kan. His first wife, Martha Fisher, died in 1974. Their children, who also survive, are Patricia, Amy, and Peter Donovan, all of Washington.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/10/us/rober...-of-pt-109.html

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  • 2 weeks later...

Barack Obama faces 30 death threats a day,

stretching US Secret Service

According to a new book.

By Toby Harnden in Washington

Published: 8:34PM BST 03 Aug 2009

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/...et-Service.html

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, according to Ronald Kessler, author of In the President's Secret Service.

Some threats to Mr Obama, whose Secret Service codename is Renegade, have been publicised, including an alleged plot by white supremacists in Tennessee late last year to rob a gun store, shoot 88 black people, decapitate another 14 and then assassinate the first black president in American history.

Obama the 'Zombie-killer'

Most however, are kept under wraps because the Secret Service fears that revealing details of them would only increase the number of copycat attempts. Although most threats are not credible, each one has to be investigated meticulously.

According to the book, 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.

Despite all this, there were glaring loopholes in the security. Kessler describes how more than 100 VIPs and major campaign donors were screened by metal detectors but then walked along a public pavement before boarding "secure" buses and were not checked again.

It could have been relatively simple for an assassin to have mingled with them in order to get close enough to shoot the new president.

After Mr Obama was elected president, his two children Malia, 11, codenamed Radiance, and Sasha, eight, codenamed Rosebud, began receiving Secret Service protection. Mr Obama's wife Michelle is codenamed Renaissance. The Secret Service also started to protect Vice-President Joe Biden's children, grandchildren, and mother.

Instead of bringing in more agents - instantly identifiable because of their bulky suits, worn over bullet-proof jackets, and earpieces - the Secret Service directed agents to work longer hours to cover the extra load and to miss firearms training, physical fitness sessions and tests.

"We have half the number of agents we need, but requests for more agents have fallen on deaf ears at headquarters," a Secret Service agent told Kessler. "Headquarters' mentality has always been, 'You can complete the mission with what you have. You're a U.S.S.S. agent'."

Mr Biden's constant travel, including back to his home state of Delaware-the burden has meant that all agents on his team have ceased training. According to Kessler, however, they fill in forms stating they have "taken and passed all tests, when they have not, creating a dishonest culture".

The Secret Service has increasingly cut corners after it was absorbed by the new Homeland Security Department under Mr Bush. Kessler said that when Mr Biden threw the first pitch at the first Baltimore Orioles game of the 2009 season, the Secret Service did not screen any of the more than 40,000 fans, stunning his agents and the local Secret Service field office.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Barack Obama is coming to town.

http://www.opednews.com/populum/linkframe.php?linkid=96358

CNN: Death Threats Against Obama Increase By 400 Percent

Tempe Arizona Pastor Says “Obama Should Die”

http://www.opednews.com/populum/linkframe....inkid=96358RICK SANCHEZ, CNN

ANCHOR: I’m going to be telling you about a story that we just learned about. This is amazing, this e-mail I received moments ago. It is an e-mail that came from a pastor who recently in a sermon said that he wants Sasha and Malia to be fatherless and that he wants Michelle Obama to be a widow.

That’s just the beginning of what you are about to hear. I will take you through it.

SANCHEZ: All right. Hello again, everybody. I’m Rick Sanchez with the next generation of news. This is a conversation. It is not a speech. And it is your turn to get involved.

It is my duty as a journalist to make you aware of a deeply disturbing trend taking that is taking place in our country and how it ironically folds into yet another story that I shared with you just last week.

A CNN source with very close to the U.S. Secret Service confirmed to me today that threats on the life of the president of the United States have now risen by as much as 400 percent since his inauguration, 400 percent death threats against Barack Obama — quote — “in this environment” go far beyond anything the Secret Service has seen with any other president.

Now, I need to have you keep in mind today as we add details to this story of what we’re going to share with you here. I want to take you back 11 days ago, when Mr. Obama visited Phoenix, Arizona. Do you remember this man? He’s one of a dozen or so people who carried guns to that presidential event that we have been checking on.

You may remember that we heard him say on camera that he is prepared to resort to forceful resistance against the Obama administration. Now, today, I want to tell you about the church that that man attends. And, in particular, I am going to play for you parts of the sermon that were delivered from the pulpit on the very day before the president arrived in Phoenix, Arizona.

This is important. This, my friends, I believe you will agree, is chilling.

PASTOR STEVEN ANDERSON, FAITHFUL WORD BAPTIST CHURCH: Tonight, I want to preach this sermon. And you have probably never heard a sermon like this before. Actually, you probably have if you have been coming to church here for a while. But you know what? Here is my sermon, why I hate Barack Obama. That’s my sermon tonight, because Barack Obama is coming to town tomorrow morning.

Barack Obama is coming to town. And he is going to be here tomorrow morning. Who knew that he was coming to town? I didn’t know. I just found out recently with his health care and everything like this.

And I’m going to tell you something. I hate Barack Obama. You say, well, you just mean you don’t like what he stands for. No, I hate the person. Oh, you mean you just don’t like his policies. No, I hate him.

SANCHEZ: There is more and it is much worse. First, I want you to know the voice you heard there was that of Pastor Steven Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona. On the day before the president’s visit, Mr. Anderson told his parishioners that he hates Barack Obama and wants him dead. This was Anderson from the pulpit saying the president deserves to die for supporting abortion rights. That is what he means when he uses the word violence. All right. Here is some more.

ANDERSON: What goes around comes around. You love violence. You hate that which is right. You love to harm others. You love to hurt or kill the unborn or the innocent or the righteous. He is saying, God is going to bring that upon your own head, because whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Now, turn back to Psalm 58 and let me ask you this question. Why should Barack Obama melt like a snail? Why should Barack Obama die like the untimely birth of a woman? Why should his children be fatherless and his wife a widow, as we read in this passage?

Well, I will tell you why. Because, since Barack Obama thinks it is OK to use a salty solution, right, to abort the unborn, because that’s how abortions are done, my friend, using salt — and I would like to see Barack Obama melt like a snail tonight.

SANCHEZ: Joining me from New York, a man who used to work for the U.S. Secret Service. He is Scott Alswang. He personally guarded Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush.

Thank you, sir, for being with us.

SCOTT ALSWANG, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT: Thank you, Rick.

SANCHEZ: We are also going to be joined by Mike Brooks, who is standing right here next to me who has been digging down on this story. Mike, thank you for being here.

MIKE BROOKS, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: Sure.

SANCHEZ: This looks serious. This almost looks like this is coming to the point where we are even beyond maybe where this nation was on November 22 of 1963, when JFK was assassinated, when there was also an environment of hate in this country. When you hear that, what are your thoughts?

ALSWANG: Well, I’m confident that my former organization, the Secret Service, is doing everything they can to keep the president and his family safe. There are a lot of people that like attention in these cases.

SANCHEZ: What about this case? Do you know if the Secret Service has knocked on this pastor’s door? Should they be knocking on this pastor’s door?

ALSWANG: I am confident that they have already knocked on his door, that through counterpart means in local and state and federal authorities, that this has come to be explained to. And for the media to bring it out, I definitely think that it has come to their attention.

SANCHEZ: Mike, were you going to add something to that?

BROOKS: No, no, I have been talking to some folks. And he has been interviewed by the U.S. Secret Service.

But, boy, he walks the fine line. And, Scott, you will agree with me. I was with the Metropolitan Police who worked on the presidential and vice presidential details when I was there for 26 years. And I can tell you, we used to run into people like this all the time, who knew how to walk that fine line without making a direct threat. And that’s what he did…

SANCHEZ: Well, hold on a minute. Here is Statute 18, U.S. Code, Section 871. We looked it up today, about threatening the president of the United States.

It is against the law to do so, as I’m sure you both know and I am just recently becoming expert on.

SANCHEZ: Let me read you the quote: “Whoever knowingly and willfully threatening to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the president of the United States.” That’s the way we were able to decipher those words.

It sounds like both of you are saying that this man directly is not doing that. Is that right, Mr. Alswang?

ALSWANG: He is walking a fine line. The problem I have with it is that he seems to be inciting his congregation to go and act in a direction toward the president. And that, at least on a local level, would seem to me to be an inciting charge. And if someone in that congregation had mental disabilities or were prone toward violence or had a direction of interest toward the president or his family, there could be grave consequences.

SANCHEZ: Well, that’s interesting. Let me show the viewers something.

Do we have that shot of Chris? Chris is the guy, Chris Broughton. It’s taken us a long time to dig down and find out who this guy is. Chris Broughton is that gentleman who had an AR-14, right, Mike?

BROOKS: AR-15 type weapon.

SANCHEZ: AR-15, sorry. There he is right there.

He is outside where the president was speaking. We have found out that Chris was actually in attendance when that sermon was given on the eve of the president’s arrival. Now, let’s listen to just a little bit more of that sermon, as we consider that chilling thought.

ANDERSON: You are going to tell me that I’m supposed to pray for the socialist devil, murderer, infanticide who wants to see young children and he wants to see babies killed through abortion and partial-birth (INAUDIBLE) everything? You are going to tell me I am supposed to pray for God to give him a good lunch tomorrow while he’s in Phoenix, Arizona?

No. I am not going to pray for his good. I am going to pray that he dies and goes to hell.

SANCHEZ: And, by the way, I should add once again that I have reached out to the pastor today. He has agreed that he will join us, he will talk to me on this show, most likely over either the weekend or Monday, was not able to do so today, because we want to reach out to him.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/opinion/30friedman.html

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

Published: September 29, 2009

I hate to write about this, but I have actually been to this play before and it is really disturbing.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Thomas L. Friedman

I was in Israel interviewing Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin just before he was assassinated in 1995. We had a beer in his office. He needed one. I remember the ugly mood in Israel then — a mood in which extreme right-wing settlers and politicians were doing all they could to delegitimize Rabin, who was committed to trading land for peace as part of the Oslo accords. They questioned his authority. They accused him of treason. They created pictures depicting him as a Nazi SS officer, and they shouted death threats at rallies. His political opponents winked at it all.

And in so doing they created a poisonous political environment that was interpreted by one right-wing Jewish nationalist as a license to kill Rabin — he must have heard, “God will be on your side” — and so he did.

Others have already remarked on this analogy, but I want to add my voice because the parallels to Israel then and America today turn my stomach: I have no problem with any of the substantive criticism of President Obama from the right or left. But something very dangerous is happening. Criticism from the far right has begun tipping over into delegitimation and creating the same kind of climate here that existed in Israel on the eve of the Rabin assassination.

What kind of madness is it that someone would create a poll on Facebook asking respondents, “Should Obama be killed?” The choices were: “No, Maybe, Yes, and Yes if he cuts my health care.” The Secret Service is now investigating. I hope they put the jerk in jail and throw away the key because this is exactly what was being done to Rabin.

Even if you are not worried that someone might draw from these vitriolic attacks a license to try to hurt the president, you have to be worried about what is happening to American politics more broadly.

Our leaders, even the president, can no longer utter the word “we” with a straight face. There is no more “we” in American politics at a time when “we” have these huge problems — the deficit, the recession, health care, climate change and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — that “we” can only manage, let alone fix, if there is a collective “we” at work.

Sometimes I wonder whether George H.W. Bush, president “41,” will be remembered as our last “legitimate” president. The right impeached Bill Clinton and hounded him from Day 1 with the bogus Whitewater “scandal.” George W. Bush was elected under a cloud because of the Florida voting mess, and his critics on the left never let him forget it.

And Mr. Obama is now having his legitimacy attacked by a concerted campaign from the right fringe. They are using everything from smears that he is a closet “socialist” to calling him a “xxxx” in the middle of a joint session of Congress to fabricating doubts about his birth in America and whether he is even a citizen. And these attacks are not just coming from the fringe. Now they come from Lou Dobbs on CNN and from members of the House of Representatives.

Again, hack away at the man’s policies and even his character all you want. I know politics is a tough business. But if we destroy the legitimacy of another president to lead or to pull the country together for what most Americans want most right now — nation-building at home — we are in serious trouble. We can’t go 24 years without a legitimate president — not without being swamped by the problems that we will end up postponing because we can’t address them rationally.

The American political system was, as the saying goes, “designed by geniuses so it could be run by idiots.” But a cocktail of political and technological trends have converged in the last decade that are making it possible for the idiots of all political stripes to overwhelm and paralyze the genius of our system.

Those factors are: the wild excess of money in politics; the gerrymandering of political districts, making them permanently Republican or Democratic and erasing the political middle; a 24/7 cable news cycle that makes all politics a daily battle of tactics that overwhelm strategic thinking; and a blogosphere that at its best enriches our debates, adding new checks on the establishment, and at its worst coarsens our debates to a whole new level, giving a new power to anonymous slanderers to send lies around the world. Finally, on top of it all, we now have a permanent presidential campaign that encourages all partisanship, all the time among our leading politicians.

I would argue that together these changes add up to a difference of degree that is a difference in kind — a different kind of American political scene that makes me wonder whether we can seriously discuss serious issues any longer and make decisions on the basis of the national interest.

We can’t change this overnight, but what we can change, and must change, is people crossing the line between criticizing the president and tacitly encouraging the unthinkable and the unforgivable.

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