SECURITY THREATS TO THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT I. Introduction A President of the United States of America always faces a range of threats. The sources of threats come both from National and International directions. Four presidents have actually died from assassination and another six were the subject of assassination. Especially today where America is recognized as the single existing world power and plays the role of the “policeman” of the world in international relations, the danger to its president’s life is great due to various enemies.
Except in Obama’s case, an extra trait is considered; he is the first black president ever to be elected in the history of the American presidency. In a time where America was and still is in a deep economic crisis and other serious international issues, Obama promised a radical change. According to PolitiFact, a service from St. Petersburg’s Times that assesses the truth behind politicians, Obama has made more than 500 promises during the course of his presidential campaign. Obama is under pressure to deliver and will be held accountable for all the “Change we can believe in” promises he has made to the American people.
This introduces another more serious security threat to president Obama. II. Assassinations of past American presidents Abraham Lincoln was the first president to be assassinated. John Wilkes Booth was a supporter of Southern America and believed that the civil war of 1861 to 1865 was needed to maintain the freedom of the south. He did not like that the North was trying to abolish slavery. On April 14, 1865, He learned that president Lincoln will be attending a play called “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater.
He fixed the president’s private box so that he would be able to get in and shot the president at around ten o’clock that evening. It is uncertain if Booth was killed or committed suicide. James Garfield was the second president assassinated on July 2nd, 1881 by Charles J. Guitau, a mentally disturbed man. In this case, the president died of blood poisoning due to the poor treatment of his wounds by his physician. Guitau was convicted of murder and hanged on June 30th, 1882. William Mckinley was the third president to be shot.
He was shot two times by anarchist Leon Czolgosz while he was visiting the Pan-American Exhibition in New York on September 6th, 1901 and died a week later. Czolgosz declared that he shot the president because he believed that President Mckinley was an enemy to working people and was electrocuted on October 29th, 1901. President John F. Kennedy was the fourth and last American president to be assassinated. Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy while he was riding in a motorcade in Dallas on November 23rd, 1963. Oswald was shot and killed by Jack Ruby before Oswald went to trial.
Many argued that Oswald had an accomplice but the FBI disagreed. III. Assassination attempts Andrew Jackson was at a funeral for Congressman Warren Davis on January 30th, 1835. Richard Lawrence tried to shoot him with two different large-caliber pistols that misfired. He went to trial for attempted assassination but was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Lawrence spent the rest of his life in the insane ward. Theodore Roosevelt was shot in the chest by John Schrank, a saloon-keeper from New York, on October 14th, 1912.
Roosevelt’s term in the white house as president had actually ended at the time but he was running for another term against William Howard Taft in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Roosevelt was not seriously wounded. Shrank was declared mentally insane and was sentenced to the Central State Mental Hospital in 1914 where he died of natural causes 29 years later. Franklin Roosevelt was giving a speech in Miami on February 15th, 1933, when Giuseppe Zangara fired six shots into the crowd. The Mayor of Chicago, Anton Cermak, was shot in the stomach but Roosevelt was not harmed.
Zangara was convicted of attempted murder and was retried for murder after Cermak’s death. Zangara was executed by electric chair in March, 1933. Two Puerto Ricans, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola, tried to kill president Harry Truman while he was staying at the Blair House with his family across the street from the White House . They tried to shoot their way into the house killing one policeman and wounding two others. Torresola died in the gunfight but Collazo was arrested and sentenced to death.
Collazo’s sentence was changed to life in prison by President Truman and was later released from prison by President Carter in 1979. Two women attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford. Lynette Fromme, who was a follower of Charles Manson, pointed a gun at President Ford but did not fire on September 5th, 1975. She was convicted of attempt murder of the president and was sentenced to life in prison. The second attempt was made by Sara Jane Moore on September 22nd, 1975. She was convicted and sentenced to life in prison as well. IV. Current Security Threat of the American President
The Obama administration is running against an unfortunate history of assassinated famous U. S. African-American leaders. These have included Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. The Southern Poverty Law Centre recently brought a report called “Terror From The Right” that detects homegrown conspiracies and racism riots in America since the Oklahoma City bombings. It lists 75 domestic terrorist activities from plans to bomb the Capitol Hill to assassinate high profile government officials. Despite all this, Barack Obama’s name shows up frequently on the report.
Home-bred terrorist are creating the biggest threat for this American president. The entries are as follows: – The first entry in this report concerning Barack Obama is on June 8th, 2008. Six people, linked to a militia group in rural Pennsylvania, were arrested with a mass of assault rifles and homemade bombs. One of the six allegedly told the authorities that they had intended to shoot black people from a rooftop and predict a civil war should Obama be elected to the White House. – The second entry was on August 24th, 2008.
Three supremacists were arrested in Denver the day before the opening of the Democratic convention where Obama was nominated. They were in possession of high-powered rifles and camouflage clothing. They intended to assassinate Obama. – The next entry was October 24th, 2008. Two supremacists were arrested in Tennessee of a strange plan to murder 100 black people including Obama. This was two weeks before the election. – On January 21st, 2009, the day after Obama’s inauguration, a white man was arrested in Massachusetts after having allegedly killed two immigrants and injuring a third.
He said he was fighting for a “dying race”. – On June 10th, 2009, James von Brunn walked into the Holocaust Memorial in Washington and shot dead a security guard. When Brunn died in jail awaiting his trial, he left a note that read “Obama was created by Jews”. These are just the few potential threats. According to the center’s report, the number of militant right wing group have increased from 149 in 2008 to 512 in 2009. These extremist anti-government groups see the Obama administration as a plot to impose a “one world government” to America. V. Theoretical views. The U. S. resident could be a target from many different directions. Using the realism theory is telling it like it actually is and the reality of this issue is that the president can only be as safe as he allows himself to be. The general atmosphere of the country along with the personality of the president is usually measured by the secret service to figure out the security levels needed. Obama is a president with a rare personality that likes to be out with the people. The role of the president’s personality is shown in the single most disastrous failure existing in the secret service’s history.
According to the security standards today, the assassination of President Kennedy should have never happened for a number of reasons. The road Kennedy took was publicized before his arrival which is a key offence in the secret service’s book. Lee Harvey Oswald had an easy and clear shot from the Texas School Book Depositors which these days would have been thoroughly searched and cleared by the secret service. But it was the order of President Kennedy himself that has stamped his fate. Kennedy had asked for the removable plastic roof section of the limousine to be taken off and for his agents not to ride behind him.
This left him fully exposed to any security breach which consequently got Kennedy shot in the head and throat. Since the start of his campaign, Obama has said that he will personally negotiate with the leaders of states who have been denied face-to-face meetings with U. S. presidents such as Iran. Some believe that he is stamped as Muslim at conception because of his father and also because of his middle name, Hussein. Hussein is a name that is given in honor of Islam’s most respected saints. In such countries like Iran, Obama’s security could be severely under threat.
To assassinate him would please the al-Qaeda. The secret service can only advise him the best they can, but the decision lies on Obama. Power is crucial in the realist theory. Obama is in office when America is presently the super power of the world. His election has outraged white supremacists. His domestic and international policies are offensive to some hard core groups. The terrorists who act alone are harder to track than extremist groups because they usually remain isolated and do not tell anyone about their intentions. Groups are surfacing in rural parts of America.
These groups have dead giveaways as far as their movement and how every member of this group should keep silent and keep their plot clandestine. Therefore, the security people have to use all the power in their hands to safeguard their president from every threat coming from any direction. They should give their president their utmost care and protection no matter what. The liberal theory emphasizes on what ought to be rather than how it actually is. Value of order, liberty, justice and toleration should be crucial in international relations. War is unnecessary and an utdated way of settling disputes between states. The Obama wants to talk to Iran without preconditions if Iran cooperates. This is a change from the Bush administration that had direct talks with Iran with condition that Iran suspends its uranium enrichment programme. Despite four UN sanctions, Iran has resisted to cooperate so far. The Obama administration is also different in their push for a nuclear free world. On April 8th, 2010, Obama will sign an arms-control treaty that will set limit on numbers of warheads and launchers that is lower than any previously agreed.
This is one of the methods the Obama administration aims to reduce the risk of proliferation by increasing international confidence so that nations can be sure their rivals are not secretly arming themselves. America needs to move and work in unity with all peace loving countries. In a speech in Prague last year, Obama has said “I’m not naive. This goal will not be reached quickly—perhaps not in my lifetime” and also added that “As long as these weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure, and effective arsenal to deter any adversary, and guarantee that defense to our allies. The multilateral forums like the United Nations and the European Union are very important. It is only then that America could give its president better security coverage. Class plays a role in Marxist analysis. Contrary to Liberals, who believe that there is essential harmony of interest between various social groups, Marxists embrace that society is systematically prone to conflict. Marxists argue that those with power and control will exploit the ones with little power control. Whites will typically resist any social policies that they believe as redistributing power and privilege to rival (e. . Blacks). Obama’s election has outraged the white supremacists group because they see blacks has sub-human. They believe that Obama has come to their freedom, their guns, and enslave the white-American nation. On the internet, white supremacist forums are held for members only. Comments such as “We need progressive activism and we need to be solution oriented for a whiter future” and another comment reading “I never thought I’d see the day when a monkey ran my country & I’m 34. I weep for our children” surface on these forums.
This clearly shows a deep hatred from right-wing supremacists for having an African-American as president. The true challenge is in differentiating the individuals who are often offensive in the way they portray their opinions and from those that can truly be violent. The Marxist theory gives the approach of handling the security problem from the perspective of its sources. It will question why this security problem is happening. It suggests that for the security problem to go away, the causes need to be eliminated. For this to happen, America should examine its foreign policies.
It should stop making enemies by allying itself with some forces like Israel and antagonizing the Arabs and Palestinians and interfering in other countries internal affairs which is considered imperialistic. Conclusion There is no margin for error concerning the safety of President Obama and his family If Obama was to be assassinated; it would cause great instability in America and the rest of world because of Obama’s race and unique personality. Russia and Middle-Eastern countries fear that danger on the commander-in-chief could threaten U. S. foreign policy and also have a great impact on world politics.
During Obama’s campaign, he ambitiously promised a nuclear-free world. Obama did not make a big political change by expressing his wish for a nuclear- free world. Reagan has first mentioned about the abolition of nuclear weapons. This aspiration may not materialize in America anytime soon. Banning and threatening others from nuclear weapons would be contradictory if America keeps its own nuclear forces. Other countries need to be confident that America will not be working on their nuclear activities behind their backs to solve any kind of dispute.
Domestically, the white-supremacists and other hate groups in America are not to be underestimated. Any threat on the current leader could bring unwanted hostility amongst the different races. The international threats coupled with the hate group working inside of America could bring similar disastrous events such as September 11th, 2001 unfortunate incident. . CITATIONS 1. Sidanius, Jim, and Pratto Felicia. Social Dominance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. 2. Baylis, John, Smith Steve, and Owens Patricia. The Globalization of World Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Fourth edition, 2008. 3.
Barry, John. “The Doomsday Dilemma”. Newsweek 04/03/2010: 4. “American History”. About. com. . 5. Jones, Brent. “Scope of Obama’s Secret Service protection proves daunting”. USA Today. . 6. “The Obama meter: Tracking Obama’s Campaign Promises”. PolitiFact, St. Petersburg Times. . 7. “Barack Obama: Administration willing to talk to Iran ‘without preconditions'”. The Guardian. . ———————–  Nation newspaper ( Saturday 13th,2010)  John Baylis et al, The Globalization of World Politics, 2008  Jim Sidanius, Felicia Pratto, Social dominance: an intergroup theory of social hierarchy and oppression.