Threats to Obama deserve serious attention

The (Raleigh) News & ObserverNovember 3, 2008 

Our sermon for today comes from the Book of Puzo - Mario Puzo, that is - where it says, "If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it's that you can kill anyone." Amen.

That secular proverb, spoken by Michael Corleone in Puzo's "The Godfather," makes federal law enforcement's public responses to assassination plots against Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama seem puzzling.

Sure, the alleged masterminds in the latest plot appear to be minor minds, but that doesn't mean the skinhead white supremacists allegedly involved might not have pulled off their plot if the ATF hadn't interceded.

Not only were they supposedly planning to kill Obama: His death would have been the violent culmination of a nationwide death tour in which they'd target and decapitate 102 blacks.

Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tenn., and Paul Schlesselman, 18, of West Helena, Ark., are in custody, charged with possession of a sawed-off shotgun, conspiracy to rob a federal firearms licensee and making threats against a major candidate for president. Both admitted to Haywood County, Tenn., deputies that they had indeed made the nefarious plans that were foiled when Cowart's girlfriend ratted them out.

According to Sheriff Melvin Bond, when told that they wouldn't have been able to get close enough to Obama to kill him, the men said knew that but were willing to die trying.

Yet federal law enforcement officials, quoted on NPR, said the men were not a "credible threat" to Obama.

Say what?

To read the complete column, visit The News & Observer.

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