August 26, 2008

The Left's Obama Assassination Fantasy

There are a lot of people who have hopes of Barack Obama being the target of an assassination attempt during the Democratic National Convention this week in Denver, and not all of them are his enemies. The arrest of a four drug users with stolen weapons and a single outlandish assassination claim has made that all too clear.

Local news reporters see the possibility of a career-enhancing national story. National news reporters in mass market liberal enclaves see an opportunity to once again push a meme they've been hammering at for over a year, of a racist American heartland. This meme, of Americans as violent backwards yokels, is a meme that smug Europeans dearly love as it helps them maintain the delusion of continental sophistication in the face of their own cultural decline.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the unhinged few in a nation of 300 million that would like to see Obama dead, including thus far a halfwit bail-bondsman wannabe, a Charlotte, NC man suffering the lingering effects of a brain injury, and now a quartet of meth-addled idiots with rumored ties to white supremacists and outlaw bikers.

As you may well imagine, bloggers pounced on the story as the local news did, taking shreds of information and trying to determine just how serious of a threat Barack Obama faced.

As it turns out, not much at all:

A half dozen federal security officials have told The Mouth that the supposed plot to assassinate Barack Obama during his Thursday acceptance speech in Denver by four armed dope suspects was considered a bunch of hooey.

Tharin Robert Gartrell, 28, and several other drug suspects linked to white supremacist groups were busted Sunday after Aurora, Colo., cops saw him driving a rented pickup erratically.

"What's in plain view? Guns and a bulletproof vest," a federal agent assigned to the Democrats' Denver nominating convention told The Mouth. "One rifle had a scope sighted in at 750 yards. But he said they werent his guns."

Cops went looking for Gartrell's pals at two hotels. At the second hotel, their knock on a door prompted a suspect to leap out his sixth-story window and break his ankle in the fall, sources said. During interrogation, one of the suspects dimed out a buddy for allegedly threatening to kill Obama, officials said.

"They all had meth with them. There is no evidence of a plot other than one guy's word, and meth heads aren't that reliable (with the truth)," the federal agent said.

Meth heads aren't exactly known for being a member of any reality-based community, and so the story might have flown completely under the radar as so much drug-addled hot air were it not for the fact that weapons, ammunition and a spotting scope were recovered during the initial arrest.

But what of the weapons, and the plot alleged by a single suspect? Police have not released much in the way of detail about the weapons or any plot, but as no key details have been released to the contrary, it seems likely the scope rifles were likely factory deer rifles and conventional commercial scopes, details which authorities are expected to release in a press conference later today.

The claim of the rifle being sighted at 750 yards is simple hearsay repeating of the suspect's claim; one cannot determine wher a weapon is zeroed with any certainly by simply looking at the weapon's scope. If the police haven't fired it, they simply don't know if it is sighted at 750 yards, or if it has even been sighted at all. One must also take into account that the weapons were plain view with no protective case in the suspect's pickup truck when confiscated, and the jarring of a moderately-sized pothole could easily render a scope's zero worthless at all but close range.

There is little chance that those arrested posed any serious threat, or even had a plan at all.

An average shooter with a scoped rifle can hit a man-sized target at 100 yards with regularity. An average shooter who has been practicing can make the same shot at 200 yards with no discernible change in point-of-aim. A good shooter who knows his gun, ammunition, and wind conditions can make the shot at 300 yards most of the time, but much beyond that, wind drift, ballistics, shooter experience, imperfections in trigger control and limitations of the weapon and ammunition make such shots improbable even on a stationary target with plenty of time to prepare and fire.

Simply put, there is very little chance that anyone outside of a highly trained team of a well-trained precision long-distance shooter and a equally competent spotter could make such a shot as one at 750 yards, nor even any verified opportunity that Obama would present himself as a target in any venue at that sort of range.

Many leading liberal bloggers, of course, aren't waiting around to determine if there was an actual threat to Obama. A possibility of a threat, however non-viable, is all the excuse they need to blame the racist and ideological hate that liberals just know is at the core of every Republican's soul, and even claim that McCain needs to denounce such morons, as if he had any role, knowledge, or ties to a group of no-account meth users.

I could of course point out that these same liberal bloggers and their ideological kin have been silent in recent years as Andrew Mickel, a radical left-wing progressive Indymedia contributor, earned a spot on death row for assassinating a police officer because of his exposure to radical left wing ideologies. I could just as easily point out they've turned a blind eye time and again to video games, tee shirts, "art," and left wing hate speech which has advocated violence again conservative political figures, authority figures, and the the military. Hell... even Barack Obama himself includes among his friends of many years left-wing terrorists and murderers.

But perhaps the most sinister undertone is the hint of hopefulness among a certain element of the left wing that perhaps someone will succeed in assassinating Barack Obama.

Such a tragedy would serve as a confirmation of their firmly held beliefs that conservatives are evil, and could possibly trigger a backlash that would fill the anarchists among them with glee. At the same time, an Obama death would provide progressives with a martyred hero in place of what troubles many of them the most; deep-seated and well-placed fears that Barack Obama is precisely what his record suggests, a shallow, vain, and arrogant opportunist who has created impossible expectations with little possibility that he capable of coming close to meeting those impossibly inflated expectations.

In places liberals don't want to talk about, they'd rather have a martyr than a failure. That is the reason they pounce upon even the remotest possibility of Obama's untimely end with such fervor.

The audacity of hope, indeed.

Update: Druggies never posed a threat.

Three men who authorities initially feared were plotting to assassinate Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention are facing only gun charges — signaling they never posed a real threat.

A federal law enforcement official in Denver said the three men and a woman also arrested on Sunday are not expected to be charged with making threatening statements, conspiracy or other national security-related crimes.


The likelihood of an assassination attempt on Democratic presidential candidate Obama was downplayed by law enforcement officials in Colorado and Washington.

"We're absolutely confident there is no credible threat to the candidate, the Democratic National Convention, or the people of Colorado," U.S. Attorney Troy Eid said in a statement.

Another AP account offers telling information, including statements that could reasonably be interpreted as clues that the weapons may have been small caliber, perhaps rimfire rifles.

"The capability and their opportunity and what they had for their weaponry — I don't see that they would have been able to carry it out," the official said on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Nearly any centerfire rifle would have to be assumed as at least a somewhat credible threat as an assassination weapon out to several hundred yards at a minimum, but the official seems to indicate that the weapons recovered were not viewed as a significant threat with his remarks about the capability of those arrested and their weaponry. While rimfire rifles can indeed be lethal at close range, they fire tiny bullets at relatively low velocities, severely limiting their effective range.

This seems to be further hinted at in concluding paragraphs:

Law enforcement officials were also investigating whether the men were linked to vandalism shootings that targeted at least two federal buildings in Denver over the past two weeks. Windows were shot at the U.S. Custom House and the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Station on the same street in Denver's downtown Federal District.

Additionally, a bullet was recovered from a Hertz rental car that was hit on Aug. 15, and authorities are now looking to see if it could have matched the guns seized from the men.

If shots fired into federal buildings are only considered vandalism, it once again seems to indicate rimfire weapons. Additionally, most centerfire bullets, rifle or pistol, will either complete penetrate through the sheet metal and glass of cars, or shatter upon impact, in most cases not leaving behind much to recover. A rimfire bullet fired into a vehicle, however, could very well not have enough escape the vehicle or fragment, meaning that authorities could recover a bullet and potentially link it to other attack via the rifling marks left on a bullet.

Comments closed due to spammers.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at August 26, 2008 10:41 AM

"Barack Obama himself includes among his friends of many years left-wing terrorists and murderer"

What murderer are you talking about?

Posted by: Nikolay at August 26, 2008 11:08 AM

"Barack Obama himself includes among his friends of many years left-wing terrorists and murderers"

What murderers are you talking about?

Posted by: Nikolay at August 26, 2008 11:09 AM

I agree that it wasn't much of a plot. I do take exception to your analysis regarding how difficult a shot might be. When I was in the army we were expected to hit a pop-up at 300 yards without a scope. We did regularly and we were not graduates of any sniper school. probably never woul

Posted by: Seth at August 26, 2008 11:55 AM


Thanks for your comment - I was beginning to wonder if the Army was training supermen based on what we need just to qualify.

Note: any average person with zeroed mechanical sights (not a scope) should be able to knock off the 50 and 100 meter targets all day long from a supported position. The 200s and 250s should also be regularly hit. The 300... well, I tended to save those bullets. :)

Posted by: SGT Jeff (USAR) at August 26, 2008 12:22 PM

Nikolai, where do we start?

PM Raila Odinga of Kenya, first cousin of Barack, is a bloody Marxist hybrid, who wants to impose Sharia against the wishes of the US backed government...Barack flew to Kenya and supports him wholeheartedly!!!

BTW, Odinga's son is named Fidel, probably one of your heroes, Nikolay!

We know that Che Guevara posters were placed in Obama's Houston campaign office.

We know of his association with William Ayers, Bernadette Dohrn.

We know of his associations with Muslim radicals in Chicago who have funneled money to Hezbollah and Hamas.

We know of his desire to meet, without pre-conditions, Raul Castro, Hugo Chavez, Kim Jong Il, Ahmedinejad, Assad, etc.

We know he thinks we can't lecture the Russians about Georgia, because we are an invading force throughout the world.

We know his muse in Hawaii was Frank Marshall Davis, an unrepentant communist.

I can go on and on....

Posted by: Carlos Echevarria at August 26, 2008 12:25 PM

Look for Dave Neiwert at Orcinus to get all lathered up about this one. He's about the number one fabulist on right wing hate groups and conspiracies. Thet're right around every corner for Dave. It's a wonder he can sleep at night.

Posted by: daleyrocks at August 26, 2008 12:31 PM

Hey Carlos! Since you seem to believe every email that you've ever received, I've got some money in a Nigerian bank account that I'll let you keep 20% of. Just send me your bank account info and I'll be sure to wire it to you.

Posted by: Nuff Ced McGreavey at August 26, 2008 01:17 PM

Carlos, even by the non-existent standards that you guys enjoy, he asked for the murderers of Obama's acquaintance. You mentioned people who freak you out, but ideology you don't agree with does not a murderer make.

Nice try with Bernadette Dorn though.

Actually, not. It's pathetic. Really.

But let's play the stupid game: Do you know that George Bush met -- and fell in love with -- Russian KGB butcher Vladimir Putin?

You guys scrape whatever it is that's 20 yards beneath the barrel.

Posted by: Jay B. at August 26, 2008 01:18 PM

IIRC, when I served we zeroed our M-16s at 25 meters. Given the trajectory this also meant they were zeroed at 250 meters. Like Seth, I regularly hit the 300 meter pop-up silhouettes and I'm no professional sniper.

Posted by: Itchy Brother at August 26, 2008 01:19 PM
What murderers are you talking about?

Barack Obama's fundraiser hostess Bernadine Dohrn, in specific, who is believed to have to have both built and placed the bomb at a San Francisco's Park Police Station. FBI informant, Larry Grathwohl said Bill Ayers told him Dorhn was responsible for the blast. San Francisco Police Sgt. Brian McDonnell died two days later, and is the only bomb death in the SFPD's long history.

* * *

Regarding the ability to hit the target at "x" distance, I see that many of you are citing your military marksmanship experience, where M16s with open sights are used in slow fire prone to what, 500 yards?

I'm not saying that folks can't hit such targets by any stretch of the imagination and perhaps should have phrased things much more specifically, but that they have to be trained shooters, especially if you're only going to get one shot, firing at a target on a different vertical plane. When you get ranging shots, on horizontal targets at known distances, effectively using previous misses to dial follow-up rounds on target, of course you can hit the target.

It's when you have one shot, and one shot only at unknown distances on different planes where it gets very difficult to make the longer shots with one bullet.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at August 26, 2008 01:41 PM

Barack Obama's fundraiser hostess Bernadine Dohrn, in specific, who is believed to have to have both built and placed the bomb at a San Francisco's Park Police Station. FBI informant, Larry Grathwohl said Bill Ayers told him Dorhn was responsible for the blast. San Francisco Police Sgt. Brian McDonnell died two days later, and is the only bomb death in the SFPD's long history.

You'd think that armed with hearsay evidence from an FBI informant, they'd have been able to at least arrest Dorhn and charge her with murder. But they didn't. Were the cops that inept? The feds? Hmmm....

Why they even opened the case up again in 1999 -- and no indictments, no indictments were handed down.

So what's the proof you have that EVERYONE else didn't have back in the day?

Posted by: Jay B. at August 26, 2008 02:05 PM

The Feds was that inept... if you want to Google it, they screwed up a lot of prosecutions with illegally obtained evidence via COINTELPRO. It is hardly surprising that cases that have their primary evidence compromised of ten result in failed prosecution, and even less surprising that lacking such evidence, a grand jury convened almost two decades later couldn't find enough additional evidence to prosecute.

There is a difference between having evidence, and having legal evidence, just as not being convicted doesn't mean people aren't guilty as Hell... right, O.J.?

As Ayers himself once famously said regarding his own treasonous, terrorist acts:

"Guilty as hell, free as a bird—America is a great country."

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at August 26, 2008 02:15 PM

Not to mention, on all Army down-range feedback lanes, the target only needs to be nicked to get scored a hit. I recall during my qualifications, hitting the berm on the 200 meter target, still recording a "hit" because the ricochet hit the target or kicked up debri enough to still score on it. Drill Sgt was laughing and said "Grace of god, private!"

Posted by: Jimi at August 26, 2008 02:17 PM

All down-range feedback lanes in Army qualifications require only a "nick" to score a hit. I recorded a hit on a 200 meter target when my round struck the berm right in front of the target, the ricochet or debri kicked up by the round still managed to knock down the target (which I didn't see) while my drill sgt was yelling "Grace of God private!" behind me. My spotter/scorer had to tell me WTF he was yelling about afterwards. I'm lucky it was my practice qualifcation cause his laughter caused me to miss my next target.

Posted by: Jimi at August 26, 2008 02:30 PM

>>There is a difference between having evidence, and having legal evidence

So, where's your evidence, peckerwood?

Posted by: Notnowjohn at August 26, 2008 02:50 PM

Let's see: six goofballs in New jersey hatch a half-baked plan to storm a major army base with rifles. That's a major terrorist plot that justifies the war on terror.

Four goofballs in Denver hatch a half-baked plan to assassinate a presidential candidate with rifles. That's a paranoid liberal fantasy bordering on macabre desire among liberals to see it actually happen.


Posted by: LostSailor at August 26, 2008 03:44 PM

Was this whole bit a "sympathy ploy" for his Obamaness or something? As if a geeked up crank head could hit the broad side of a bark an a real good day. JEEEESH!

Posted by: Tonto (USA) at August 26, 2008 04:24 PM

Back in my day every Marine had to qualify at 200, 300 and 500 yards with non-scoped M-16s. I can hit a much smaller than man-sized target 100 yards out today with an iron-site lever action rifle. While I agree with the rest of your analysis I think you pretty badly under-estimate weapon range and accuracy.

Posted by: Cowboy is a compliment at August 26, 2008 05:07 PM

So you're saying that Lee Harvey Oswald couldn't possibly have killed Kennedy? That's comforting.

Posted by: Shygetz at August 26, 2008 05:14 PM

Oswald, a Marine Corps-trained sharpshooter, fired his first shot at JFK at just 58 yards, and his final shot at 88 yards.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at August 26, 2008 05:35 PM

Shygetz, Oswald was a Marine-trained marksman who once certified as a sharpshooter. The shots he fired at JFK were between 58 yards for the first shot, and 88 yards for the longest.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at August 26, 2008 05:42 PM

I see that many of you are citing your military marksmanship experience, where M16s with open sights are used in slow fire prone to what, 500 yards?

500 meters actually, prone position, slow fire, open sites. 10 out of 10 in the black on a man sized target, April 1982. I was dished one miss in the 300 offhand position though. 236 out of 250 possible including the (supposed) miss.

I paid attention to the range instructor though.

Posted by: DaveW at August 26, 2008 05:44 PM

A rifle sighted for 750 yard shots in the hands of a meth user is less dangerous to the intended target than the surrounding bystanders. Several years ago when I shot silhouettes fairly regularly, I had to give up coffee for 5 days prior to going to the range in order to even place the crosshairs on the 500 yard ram long enough to have a chance of hitting it. A meth addict would be shaking so severely that it would be highly unlikely that s/he would ever find the target in the view window of the scope at 750 yards, even using bench bags.

Posted by: Boss429 at August 26, 2008 06:09 PM

I will note that though the autorities are playing down the actual threat level to Sen. Obama these dorks aren't being released. Some expressed their desire to kill him and had weapons. As drugged out and stupid as they likely are, they are going to get the full course of federal law.

And that will not be fun for them.

Threat to a presidential candidate: yes.
Capable of pulling it off: unlikely.
Length of likely stay at Club Fed: the maximum.
My reaction: Give 'em the max that can be done.

They should have stopped at cow-tipping.

Posted by: Mikey NTH at August 26, 2008 06:14 PM

They should have stopped at cow-tipping.


"It's funny because it's true."
~Homer J. Simpson

Posted by: dixiechiken at August 26, 2008 07:05 PM

Going with Boss429 on this one... a tweeker couldn't possibly be able to hit anything with any decent degree of accuracy. Read John Plaster's treatises "Sniper" if you want a good 'how to' book, or you can do what I did and go to Benning's "One Shot One Kill" School.

Just to give a reference as to the difficulty in hitting at 750 YARDS...Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hathcock in Duc Pho, South Vietnam made a shot that stood for 35 years (until Afghanistan in 2002) at a recorded 2,500 yards, or 2,250 metres using a .50 Cal or 12.7mm round... somehow I don't think these guys were or are in the Gunny's league. Nor do I think they had a .50 at their disposal. The current record for a shot using a 7.62x54mm round (.308 Commercial) is currently Staff Sgt., Jim Gilliland. he currently holds the record for a 7.62mm round shot... at 1,250 meters in Ramadi in 2004.

Posted by: Big Country at August 26, 2008 08:20 PM
As Ayers himself once famously said regarding his own treasonous, terrorist acts:

"Guilty as hell, free as a bird—America is a great country."

He talked about being guilty of bombing buildings, not about murdering people. If fact, he is quite emphatic that he never killed anyone. Posted by: Nikolay at August 27, 2008 03:52 AM

Sweet Christ, you right wing nuts really are... nuts. You really live by the notion that if you say something enough, it actually becomes true.

The good news is that Obama WILL be the next president, whether you nutjobs like it or not, and we can begin to move away from your insane thinking. Your time is over, boys.

Posted by: Tony at August 27, 2008 09:43 AM

Where are these lefties hoping Obama gets assassinated? I live in NYC and I've never met any. I think they must be a figment of your fevered imagination.

Posted by: Robert S. at August 27, 2008 09:45 AM

Thanks for pointing out how well you know LIBERALS. Your capacity for personaly empthy is astounding. Obviously, all of us LIBERALS would like to see Obama murdered. That would be great. In fact, that's why we voted for the guy in the first place. Because we're as conniving and craven as you wingnuts are.

Sarcasm aside, George Bush is the most successful murderer in recent world history. McCain is friends with him. Kind of invalidates your whole point about Obama's friends, don't it?

Posted by: Reed at August 27, 2008 09:54 AM

You are a fucking PIG.

Posted by: Chaz at August 27, 2008 09:55 AM

This is the most idiotic post I've ever read, and anyone who takes anything you say seriously is worthy of a straight-jacket, as are you...

Posted by: edsbowlingshoe at August 27, 2008 09:57 AM

This is really a hateful site. I am a fiscal conservative and social tolerant. My politics are much more Goldwater with a few exception, than anything else. I left the party in the 90's with the rise of the Rush Limbaugh and evangelical movement. These people are nothing but opportunists looking to make a buck and don't give a damn about the country. If you want an example of empty hype you need look no further than our current administration. Anyone who took a single class in world history or even had a passing interest in the last 60 years of middle east history knew we were being sold a bill of goods. I grew up lower middle class but succeeded to make an income in the top 2% or so. I am not even the group that this administrations policies help. They are geared to the top .1% or so. Obama is not a bad man. He is a self made man. He comes from a modest background and through his own talents and work made it to his current position. The Democratic party is the worst we have with the exception of Republicans. The best of the Rep party have left. I would have loved to see a Hagel/Bloomberg ticket (in that order) but given our choices of a man stuck in the last century and showing clear evidence of mental decline and Obama, that is easy.
Obama is not that liberal. He is left center and very pragmatic in many ways. I long for an America where science and reason rule the day and stupid superstitions and sound bytes and transparent talking heads are seen for what they are.

Posted by: dabouv at August 27, 2008 10:12 AM

"Such a tragedy would serve as a confirmation of their firmly held beliefs that conservatives are evil"

Well, no -- but this post is a confirmation of my deeply held belief that conservative bloggers are idiots.

Posted by: dpoyesac at August 27, 2008 10:13 AM

Steadfastly reaching for new lows in journalism on a daily basis

Posted by: Mike at August 27, 2008 10:21 AM

RE: associations with murders

It's interested to hear that people concerned with Obama's associations with terrorists. Are you also concerned with Bush's association with terrorist sympathizers such as Elliot Abrams, Otto Reich, John Negroponte - men who participated in supporting terrorists throughout Central America, men who do not believe in democracy in the United States (their participation in the Iran Contra scandal was expressly illegal) or elsewhere (evidenced by their support for dictators in El Salvador and Guatemala)?

Posted by: steelcity at August 27, 2008 10:25 AM

Do you ever just sit back and read what you've actually written. I mean, this is literally insane. I hope you catch a bullet in your dome while your family watches.

Oh, and I'm voting for McCain.

Posted by: Stacy at August 27, 2008 10:34 AM

A rifle sighted for 750 yard shots in the hands of a meth user is less dangerous to the intended target than the surrounding bystanders.

That's comforting. I guess the cops should let them go, then, if all they're going to do is kill innocent bystanders.

Posted by: Mike at August 27, 2008 10:41 AM

Please tell me this post is a put-on. Right? I mean, as depraved and as vile and as delusional and as paranoid and as just plain vicious as the whack-job right wing can be sometimes, this is just too ghoulish and obscene to be taken even remotely seriously. So, it's got to be just a rather lame and pathetic and not terribly funny attempt at a joke, right? Right?

Posted by: John at August 27, 2008 10:45 AM

I see a lot of Sullivan readers found their way over here.

Posted by: Lee at August 27, 2008 11:07 AM

And people want to chastise Obama as being un-patriotic. Look at the comments here, this is open discussion about a political motivated murder. What do you think terrorism is? Its politically motivated violence used against innocents in order to bring about political change.
This is America, not Zimbabwe. You are not dignified to salute the stars and stripes

Posted by: Matthew at August 27, 2008 11:41 AM

"I mean, as depraved and as vile and as delusional and as paranoid and as just plain vicious as the whack-job right wing can be sometimes, this is just too ghoulish and obscene to be taken even remotely seriously"

John, you mean like the depraved vile delusional paranoid just plain vicious left wing whack jobs called " 9/11 Truthers" who are too ghoulish to be taken seriously by anyone-- except liberals!

Posted by: Huntress at August 27, 2008 12:00 PM

"I see a lot of Sullivan readers found their way over here."

You think?
Did the overwrought essence that says "internet drama queen", except with extra estrogen, give it away?

Posted by: RW at August 27, 2008 12:47 PM

Uh, no, not really. From what I have been able to discern, most of the "9/11 Truthers" defy easy political categorization. They're just nuts. But, if anything, they more closely resemble the kind of conspiratorial, paranoic, "black helicopter" types that populate various right-wing survivalist web sites than they do your typical lefty.

Posted by: John at August 27, 2008 01:00 PM

damn, Confederate Yankee, looking at these trolls' comments, I gotta say it again:

"You know you're over the Target when you start taking Flak"...

Posted by: HKpistole at August 27, 2008 01:10 PM

Which part is too vile disgusting and repusive to talk about? Is it the meth-heads, the lefties or the notion of assasination in general? Before you answer, read the links.

Posted by: Pablo at August 28, 2008 06:06 AM