Turns out, though, that he was arrested not because of his sign but because he refused to leave a restricted area cordoned off by the Secret Service under Title 18, Section 1752(a)(1)(ii) of the U. (Even in a puff piece article about Bursey in the New York Times, the only “evidence” offered that his sign led to his arrest was the later uncorroborated statement of Bursey himself.) And note that some of the same politicians feigning outrage over the recent health-care protests actually defended Bursey’s right to protest in this manner (quoting from the link above): “A few weeks ago Massachusetts Rep.Barney Frank and 10 other members of Congress wrote a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft condemning the arrest.On Wednesday, August 12, a man holding a sign that said “Death to Obama” at a town hall meeting in Maryland was detained and turned over to the Secret Service which will likely soon charge him with threatening the president. I fully and absolutely agree with the Secret Service pursuing this case, since anyone who threatens the president is breaking the law and should be prosecuted.It doesn’t matter that Obama was not at the meeting nor that the man was unarmed: the threat all on its own is a federal crime, according to the United States Code.Let me make this perfectly clear: I am not publishing this essay in order to make excuses for anyone who has threatened President Obama, or who plans to threaten him in the future.This is not some wrongheaded attempt at a logical fallacy; in other words, I’m not trying to claim that death threats against Bush in the past justify threats against Obama now. What I’m saying is that present-day threats to Obama at protests investigated, which I think is inexcusable.(This is similar to the famous paradox about rape awareness programs.
But if you’re outraged by the very existence of this report, or curious about my motivations for publishing it, then please take a few minutes to read the following explanation.
This article is about protesters with threatening protest signs — not about all threats in all settings.
The key question is: Were any protesters ever arrested or questioned for displaying threatening messages about President Bush at a protest? In the very few instances that I could uncover, the incident was either misconstrued by the media, or the protester was at an actual presidential appearance (where there are special security concerns) — or people were detained for other reasons totally aside from their protest messages.
Before we can have a rational discussion on this topic, we need to have a shared factual basis. If you truly, truly cared about presidents’ lives being threatened, you would be just as incensed by people threatening Bush’s life at protests as you are about (the far less frequent instances of) Obama’s life being threatened at protests.
Were any people ever arrested or questioned for threatening to kill Bush during his term in office? Every president is the target of numerous threats, and many of them do get investigated.
All I am saying is that threats to Bush similarly pursued — but weren’t.