Holy Shit

You might want to start doing a better job of looking for these.

Holy shit. I would like to believe thatthis is just a one-time fuck up. I really would.

Security details at Barack Obama’s rally Wednesdaystopped screening people for weapons at the front gates more than an hour before the Democratic presidential candidate took the stage at Reunion Arena.

The order to put down the metal detectors and stop checking purses and laptop bags came as a surprise to several Dallas police officers who said they believed it was a lapse in security.

Dallas Deputy Police Chief T.W. Lawrence, head of the Police Department’s homeland security and special operations divisions, said the order —apparently made by the U.S. Secret Service — was meant to speed up the long lines outside and fill the arena’s vacant seats before Obama came on.

“Sure,” said Lawrence, when asked if he was concerned by the great number of people who had gotten into the building without being checked.But, he added, the turnout of more than 17,000 people seemed to be a “friendly crowd.”

The Secret Service did not return a call from the Star-Telegram seeking comment.

Doors opened to the public at 10 a.m., and for the first hour security officers scanned each person who came in and checked their belongings in a process that kept movement of the long lines at a crawl. Then, about 11 a.m., an order came down to allow the people in without being checked.

Several Dallas police officers said it worried them that the arena was packed with people who got in without even a cursory inspection.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because, they said, the order was made by federal officials who were in charge of security at the event.

“How can you not be concerned in this day and age,” said one policeman.

You know, this is some serious shit. First of all, if there’s one city in the US where you’d want presidential-level security to be extremely tight, it’s fucking Dallas. Second, I had a bad feeling at the Obama speech in Madison. Now, I know that Madison, Wisconsin is not the most gun-friendly town in the US. But it only takes one fucking nut, y’know? There weren’t any metal detectors at all in Madison, and the gate security types only did the most cursory check–they just asked you to open your coat, and, if you had a purse, they glanced inside. Keep in mind that people dressed for a Wisconsin winter have lots of places to conceal weapons on their persons. All it takes is one douchebag with a nine tucked in the back waistband of his pants in a situation where security is that lax.

That the feds weren’t concerned about a presidential candidate’s security is, at best, a fuck-up of colossal proportions.

I know it’s really difficult to provide meaningful security at large gatherings, but passing through a metal detector should be a bare minimum.

A black man is a serious contender for the Presidency of the United States. To say that this fact does not sit well with a lot of people in this country is a massive understatement. Security should be especially vigilant around Senator Obama. I wish that wasn’t the case, but I’m afraid it is. In living memory, black men and women have been killed not just for leading, but for daring to stand up. There are the well known cases, like MLK and Medgar Evers, and lesser-known incidents, including the one I’d like to share with you now.

Once upon a time near Hattiesburg, Mississippi, there lived a man named Vernon Dahmer, Sr. He owned a farm, a sawmill, and a general store. By the standards of small-town/rural Mississippi in the middle of the 20th century, he was quite well-to-do. Oh, and he was black. That detail will become very important to the story. He was active in the local NAACP, and worked diligently to get other black Mississippians registered to vote. That’s right. He wanted citizens to vote. He wanted them to vote so badly that he paid the poll tax for many local black residents out of his own pocket. Clearly, this man was a dangerous radical whose continued rabble-rousing just could not be tolerated.

So, in January of 1966, the local KKK came calling at the Dahmer house. They firebombed his house. Dahmer grabbed his shotgun and laid down covering fire (the Klan started shooting, attempting to kill his family as they escaped the blaze). He drove off the attackers, but was so badly burned that he died the next day.

That was 42 years ago. In 1998, a racist asshole named Sam Bowers was finally convicted of murder for ordering the attack, and that sorry bastard died in prison a few years later.

Think about that: Not too many years ago, a group of “concerned citizens” attacked and murdered a man (and attempted to murder his family)because he wanted black people to vote. That was his “crime.”

If you think there are no more people like Sam Bowers in this world, then I’m afraid I have to tell you you’re very, very wrong. Consider the recent episode in Jena, LA, where some white people hung a noose from a tree because a few black kids dared to sit in the shade.

So please, Secret Service. Get on the fucking ball. Oh, and that deputy police chief who said that the 17,000 people in attendance were a “friendly crowd” needs to either smarten the fuck up or shut the fuck up. You’d expect a cop to know better than that shit.

17 thoughts on “Holy Shit

  1. One question: did the Secret Service decide themselves to cancel the metal detectors? Or did the Obama campaign?
    Generally the President or, I presume, Presidential candidate is in charge of the level of security offered, and can veto what the Secret Service might want to do. I’m pretty sure Kennedy, for example, insisted on the open car in November.
    So did Obama’s campaign decide to let people in so the show could get started? Or did the Secret Service decide it was worth the risk?
    Inquiring minds want to know.

  2. Exactly – it was most likely the Obama campaign and, presumably, only Obama himself could give the order for the SS to stand down … still think this guy’s ready for primetime?

  3. Ready for primetime?
    The campaign staffis not in charge of security.
    The Secret Service is. The campaign can’t tell them what to do. Sheesh.

  4. i see i am gonna be a worry wart for at least 5 years. and of course georgie will be safe til he fucking dies.
    one reason not to start out as a obama fan i guess.
    i’ll be praying.

  5. The President has absolutely no say in his security detail. They control him, not the other way around. That’s why he hopscotched around the country on Sept 11. Even if the little chicken shit chicken hawk had wanted to return to DC, he could not.
    Reading this yestrday scared the hell out of me. Sporting events have better security. Don’t you think, given the recent history of this country, that an African-American with a huge chance to become President must have the most security possible?
    Has no one wondered if Barack gets assassinated how Bush would respond? Declare martial law, adjorn Congress (invoking I think Article 2),and that Presidential order he signed last year, then cancels the elections until such a time as civil order has been restored. But since soooooo many National Guard troops are in Iraq he has to pay Blackwater and the other brownshirts of the US SS to protect us.
    Yes, I’m paranoid. But yea, I have good reason to be.
    And add Memphis and L.A. to the list of “of all places to allow lax security.”

  6. Check out this article at Pandagon: http://pandagon.blogsome.com/2008/02/22/secret-service-responds-to-charges-of-lax-screening-at-dallas-obama-rally/
    Apparently it wasn’t just Dallas – this has been happening all over the country.
    I tried to see Obama’s speech in New Orleans a few weeks ago and they were making everyone who got into the auditorium walk through metal detectors. But there also was an outdoor overflow area for several hundred+ people who couldn’t get in to the auditorium. These people weren’t searched at all, and he dropped by for a meet-and-greet on his way to the auditorium.

  7. I don’t think I have the answer to the security question, but I think it’s important to remember how much of security is about making you feel safer rather than actually making you really safer. Reagan was shot while he was surrounded by armed secret service agents. If someone puts their mind to something, there’s not a heck of a lot that can actually be done to stop them. You can’t put metal detectors everywhere, can you? Or would you want to? I’d hate to see any of our presidents have to use that popemobile, especially in our country.

  8. Would the reason be latecomers are situated in the back too far to do damage?
    The emphasis on security for Obama implies any black politician getting above his “place” will risk being shot. I think maybe the frenzy is not serving the candidate well. I know your intention is well meant, but think. The place to express concern is to the relevant authorities.

  9. In the absence of any story relating that this was Obama’s decision, and given the fact that the story quoted above specifically states that this was the decision of the Secret Service, I think it’s wildly premature (at *best*) to suggest that this incident in any way reflects badly on Obama.
    Whatever you may think of the candidates, that sort of comment is inappropriate. And I would say the same if this situation were about McCain or Huckabee, too.
    The Secret Service owes all of our candidates better protection than that. If anything, anything at all, happens to Barack Obama, or any other candidate for that matter, from here on out, I’ll be the first one calling for an independent investigation of the Secret Service.
    Hell, we should be having one right now.

  10. The comment that the cop should either smarten up or shut up helps nobody.
    The cop’s doing his bit for positive p.r., which is fine; that he’s awful at it explains why he’s a cop, not an ad writer.
    I doubt seriously the Secret Service is as interested in line flow and crowd dynamics as the Obama campaign is.
    But if the screening quickened up so the candidate wouldn’t see any empty seats on arrival, that bothers me.
    It’s like all those events in the last eight years where The President mustn’t see, hear, or know of the existence of dissenters. Having said all that — security for any campaign event like this is a nightmare anyhow and nobody sane would volunteer to ramrod it. That Obama is a serving Senator (and thus likely has a detail of his own, as probably do his immediate family) should surprise nobody, but a campaign swing is so finely timed it’s got to be coordinated between the pilot, the driver, the guy doing hat/bag checks on the incoming audience, and the candidate’s handlers — don’t think anybody who’s one of the final pair of major-party presidential candidates isn’t at the mercy of handlers — down to the eighteenth of the nth degree. Do I think the Secret Service blew off Obama’s protection? No.
    But why doesn’t anybody seem to care how tight the protection is on Hillary?

  11. The betrayals of the Secret Service in the last seven years (much less forty years ago) have been epic.
    To relate to the SS as if they were still loyal to the United States is a GREAT hysterical laugh.
    They work for the rightwing, and the rightwing has a murderous intent toward anyone who opposes them–count on it.

  12. “you certainly can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you!” moments before JFK was shot. Friendly crowd, indeed.
    This is obviously intentional by the GOP and Rove. Get Obama killed so the eminently defeatable Hillary is the candidate. They will stop at nothing, and we need to be prepared for that.

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