Pro Tip: If You're Out to Kill the President of the United States, Don't Tell Anybody What You're Up To
(h/t Huffington Post) The Secret Service has arrested one Daniel James Murray near Laughlin, Nevada. Authorities have been on the lookout for Murray after he cleaned out his bank account (small bills only) and, while prattling on to the bank teller about impending social disorder and spewing forth about a popular uprising that I imagine would be led by armed Tea-Baggers on crack, he happened to drop this nugget: "We are on a mission to kill the president of the United States."
People who know Murray describe him as mentally ill, but not dangerous. He has been known to walk about his neighborhood wearing a cape and talking to himself. Interestingly, this guy is a registered owner of eight guns.
In this instance, it appears that Murray was simply a lone lunatic. Who knows if he had the actual intent, or even the wherewithall, to carry out some sort of assasination attempt on President Obama.
This should not detract from the very real threats posed by organized and determined anti-American Right Wing zealots. Of course, it helps to actually acknowledge that such threats exist to begin with.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a report this spring entitled Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment. Oddly, I found that document at the Federation of American Scientists website, and not at the DHS site, where my search produced a letter from DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano that basically apologized to the whining sensitive Right for stating the truth, but not the document itself. Perhaps DHS took it down under pressure from Right wing political figures. It was national security expert Newt Gingrich, after all, who opined that, "The person who drafted the outrageous homeland security memo smearing veterans and conservatives should be fired." Yes, Newt, you fucking traitor, we should dismiss threats out-of-hand simply because we find them politically inconvenient. It's not like wayward veterans would ever think of doing something like shooting a President from a book depository window or installing a bomb in a truck so as to destroy a federal office building.
I don't know which is worse, the fact that the gutless Right refuses to acknowledge its radical elements (either deliberately or as a product of ignorance/denial) or the fact that the DHS felt compelled to apologize for doing its job and telling the truth.
But take heart! As ABC's Jake Tapper reported, no less an authority on national security than James Dobson said, "there are no Timothy McVeighs out there right now. They're making a big deal out of something that hasn't happened and may not happen." Boy, I feel better.