Why Obama Needs Popemobile, Due to US History of Violence, Worldwide Failure to Protect Its Leaders
by Stephen Fox, Managing Editor Santa Fe Sun News
details can be found at: http://www.prlog.org
For a long time, I have been strongly supporting Obama for President. I can envision a Cabinet with William Blaine Richardson III as Secretary of State, with California’s AG Jerry Brown as U.S. Attorney General, and with Dr. Howard Dean III, M.D., as Secretary of Health, if they would take the positions. Obama’s choice for Vice President is vital to winning the White House. In a letter to Obama, I advised him that he should travel sometimes in his own “Popemobile,” given the volatile hostilities existing in parts of the USA, the same kind of insane bigots who killed Martin Luther King like those who killed both Kennedy’s. These concerns can never be ignored. So far, the U.S. Secret Service appears to be doing a good job protecting our first African-American Presidential nominee. I gratefully acknowledge Wikipedia for such outstanding material.
As the 20th century lurched into modern history, killing people became more than power struggles between rulers themselves. In Russia, four emperors were killed within 200 years: Ivan VI, Peter III, Paul I, and Alexander II. Decoded messages let the U.S. to kill Admiral Yamamoto while he was traveling by airplane. Hitler was almost killed by his own officers. Naturam Godse killed MK Gandhi January 30, 1948, for what he perceived as betrayal of Hindu causes.
Morocco’s King Hassan II survived an attempted coup d’état after jets from the Royal Moroccan Air Force fired upon his Boeing 727 traveling back to Rabat. Defense Minister Oufkir was behind the coup and was later declared to have committed suicide. Other participants were thrown out of a helicopter from a high altitude over the ocean.
Philippino Benigno Aquino’s assassination ended Marcos’ 20-year rule. Returning from exile, former Senator Aquino was killed at Manila Airport; this pushed his widow, Corazon Aquino, into the Presidency. In India, both Indira and Rajiv Gandhi’s deaths resulted from separatists in Punjab and Sri Lanka, respectively. The fidelity of individual bodyguards is vital. Failure to realize divided loyalties led to Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984.
A 2006 case in the UK concerned assassination of Alexander Litvinenko, given lethal dose of radioactive polonium-210, passed in aerosol form sprayed onto his food. Shortly before death, accused Vladimir Putin of involvement in his death, which Putin denied. Pakistan’s former PM Benazir Bhutto was killed in 2007.
Assassinations have been committed during public events or during transport, because of weaker security and security lapses, such as with John F. Kennedy and Benazir Bhutto, or as part of coups d’état where security is overwhelmed or removed, as with Patrice Lumumba and likely Salvador Allende, two of the most tragic.
American Assassination History
Lincoln: Good Friday, April 14, 1865, while attending a play, killed by actor/Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth
Garfield: in Washington, D.C., on July 2, 1881. Charles J. Guiteau was the assassin; Garfield died 11 weeks later
McKinley: September 6, 1901 McKinley, attending the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, shot twice by anarchist
John Kennedy: Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas at 12:30 p.m, fatally wounded by gunshots fired by Lee Harvey Oswald, while riding with his wife Jacqueline. US House Select Committee on Assassinations of 1976–1979 determined that Kennedy’s death resulted from probable conspiracy
Attempted Assassinations of American Presidents, included because these are not well known:
Andrew Jackson: January 30, 1835, at Capitol Building, house painter Richard Lawrence aimed flintlock pistols at President, misfiring one while Lawrence stood 13 feet from Jackson, another at point-blank range. Lawrence apprehended after Jackson beat him with his own cane
Teddy Roosevelt: October 13, 1912, running again as Progressive Party member. In Milwaukee, saloonkeeper John Schrank shot Roosevelt once with revolver. 100-page speech folded over and metal glasses case slowed bullet. He yelled “Quiet! I’ve been shot,” then finished speech with bullet still lodged inside him!
Franklin Roosevelt: February 15, 1933 In Miami, Florida, Giuseppe Zangara fired five shots at Roosevelt, killing Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak; Zangara found guilty of murder, executed March 20, 1933. Cermak was real target as he was a staunch Al Capone foe
John Kennedy: December 11, 1960 Vacationing in Palm Beach, Kennedy was threatened by Richard Paul Pavlick, whose plan was to serve as suicide bomber by crashing dynamite-laden Buick into Kennedy’s vehicle; plan disrupted when Pavlick saw Kennedy’s wife and daughter bidding him goodbye (an assassin with a kind heart?). Pavlick’s was arrested with dynamite still in car.
Richard Nixon: First assassination attempt: April 14, 1972: Milwaukeean Arthur Bremer in Ottawa on April 14, attended Nixon appearance at Parliament, loaded revolver in pocket. President was in limousine with
windows closed, sped past unharmed. Bremer later shot Presidential candidate George Wallace, paralyzed for life.
Nixon, Attempt 2, February 22, 1974 Samuel Byck planned to kill Nixon by crashing a commercial airliner into the White House. He was informed that it could not take off with the wheel blocks still in place, and shot the pilot and copilot before killing himself.
Gerald R. Ford endured two assassination attempts occurring three weeks apart: in Sacramento, on September 5, 1975, Charlie Manson follower Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, pointed Colt 45 at Ford. Fromme pulled the trigger; Larry Buendorf, Secret Service agent, grabbed gun, inserting thumb under the hammer; Fromme sentenced to life. Secret Service started to keep Ford away from anonymous crowds; in downtown San Francisco, Sara Jane Moore pointed her pistol. Before she fired, ex-Marine Oliver Sipple deflected shot; she was sentenced to life in prison and paroled in 2007.
Ronald Reagan: March 30, 1981 John Hinckley, who hoped to impress Jodie Foster, shot Reagan in lung. He also shot Press Secretary James Brady; sentenced to life in mental institution.
George H.W. Bush: April 13, 1993 16 men smuggled car bomb into Kuwait with the intent of killing Bush. Kuwaiti officials found bomb and arrested suspected assassins. On June 26, 1993, U.S. launched retaliatory missile attack on Baghdad intelligence HQ
Bill Clinton: October 29, 1994 Francisco Martin Duran fired 29 rifle shots at White House from a fence overlooking the north lawn, thinking that Clinton was among the men in dark suits standing there; Clinton was in the White House Residence watching a football game; none injured; Duran was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
George W. Bush: May 10, 2005 while giving a speech in Tbilisi, Georgia, Vladimir Arutyunian threw grenade towards podium where he was standing near President Saakashvilli. It did not detonate because of malfunction. Arutyunian arrested July 2005; given a life sentence.
CONCLUSION: OBAMA NEEDS A POPEMOBILE! Yes, at least, during certain events with extensive crowd contact, Obama must require much increased physical protection, including a series of vehicles whose design could be patterned after the designs used for the Popemobiles.
America can ill afford to even consider the kind of tragedy and its implications if this brilliant man, so deserving of the Presidency, is not well protected during the rest of the campaign as Presidential candidate,
and even more so during his Presidency, to the best of our abilities as a Nation, regardless of what fiscal resources this requires.
Failure to do so would be catastrophic, especially with the horrifying level of violence and racial hostility in our nation’s short history, corroborated by the episodes and events described above. The future belongs to those who deserve it, by averting and avoiding such catastrophes.
Founder, New Millennium Fine Art, Santa Fe Gallery