Newspaper Publishes Ad That Suggests Obama Should Be Targeted For Assassination; Secret Service Investigates

A newspaper in northwest Pennsylvania published a customer’s classified ad yesterday that called for the assassination of President Obama.

The Warren Times Observer apologized today for publishing the ad and called police. The U.S. Secret Service now has entered the probe.

“May Obama follow in the steps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy!” the ad exclaimed, listing the names of four assassinated presidents in the chronological order of their assassinations.

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, was assassinated in 1865; James Garfield, the 20th president, was assassinated in 1881; William McKinley, the 25th president, was assassinated in 1901; and John F. Kennedy, the 35th president, was assassinated in 1963.

The newspaper said its advertising department did not “make the connection among the four other presidents mentioned and mistakenly allowed the ad to run.”

Even though it is regarded as one of the premier law-enforcement agencies in the world because of its immensely difficult, twin duties of safeguarding the U.S. Treasury and the life of the president of the United States, the Secret Service is not universally admired.

The agency has been under attack for months by some members of a Florida company known as AdSurfDaily.

Some ASD members accord ASD President Andy Bowdoin hero status despite Secret Service allegations he orchestrated a $100 million Ponzi scheme.

The Secret Service entered the ASD probe after ASD members falsely claimed Bowdoin, a convicted felon, had received an award from President George W. Bush for a lifetime of business achievement, prosecutors said.

ASD members sent one Secret Service agent more than 50 certified letters demanding he produce “legal evidence”  against ASD — and then accused the federal prosecutors and federal judge involved in the case of conspiring against them.

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16 Responses to “Newspaper Publishes Ad That Suggests Obama Should Be Targeted For Assassination; Secret Service Investigates”

  1. Patrick:

    I am dumbfounded the people who approved this ad to run had no clue about the other president’s as they claim. Do they have any staff over the age of 30? The ad itself should have been rejected solely on its content even without the names of the presidents included.

    While I don’t agree with the “policies” and “agenda” of Obama, this is over the top. I am still stunned no-one at the paper understood what this ad was saying as they claim. Sorry day for journalism, or what passes for journalism these days.

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  2. Newspapers survive on advertising revenue and are often careless about the advertising copy they permit. I suspect that the “under 30” rule may have applied, but even so, adverts should at least be read before being accepted.

    The day that suggestions for the assassination of the holder of the US’s highest office become acceptable advertising copy for main stream newspapers will be a sad day for democracy.

    There is more than a little irony that a nation who wanted to bring “western democracy” to the middle east (remember GWB’s declarations to the world?) should contain citizens who place advertisements like this. What a great example of western “civilization!

    The secret service and police forces in many countries are much maligned and they contain their bad apples. However, times like this, just as at the scene of traffic accidents and serious crime, serve us as a reminder that we should grow up and be glad that they are there.

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  3. In fairness to the paper, I doubt the editors read every single classified that’s printed. And I wouldn’t doubt that that a fair percentage of the the population has no clue that Garfield or McKinley were presidents.

    Still, it’s quite disturbing that anyone would actually place such an ad. The good news is that they apparently were stupid enough to place the ad and the Secret Service has been notified. Worse would have been if they had tried to carry this out and no one was alerted ahead of time.

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  4. Hi dirty_bird,

    dirty_bird: In fairness to the paper, I doubt the editors read every single classified that’s printed.

    You’re right about this, of course. The news editors probably don’t read the classifieds at all. Probably a unique function of the classified’s office.

    Reuters and the AP now have versions of the story, and it has hit the Canadian papers and the European papers. Working its way across the planet, the story has appeared in the Jerusalem Post.

    As you point out, the ad itself is alarming — and it was in “Personals.” The Secret Service said tonight that it is taking it very seriously, according to Reuters.

    Patrick

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  5. The sad part about this story is giving full media exposure and energy to it. This was a little 1/2 by 3 inch classified ad published in a small town with a population of 20,000. Im sure the boys were having fun to see if their ad would be printed.. Oh course it would! But some idiot had to call attention to this story. Now it has received national attention and unfortunately might be slapped on some front page of a major newspapper.

    What’s going to happen then? The masses will have the “thought” of Obama being assassinated. We bring things into being from our thoughts.

    So who’s worse here, the kid who wrote the article, or the idiot calling national attention to it? I say the Idiot and the kid should be guilty as charged. But in reality, the boy will be punished and the Idiot phrased.

    Now if Obabma is assassinated, I’d make that Idiot take some courses in Human Development and Psychology.

    The kid pulled a prank, the Idiot is sparking an unfortunate possible event.

    Enough said,
    Steve

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  6. If you take the previous comment to it’s logical conclusion, nothing would ever be reported in case the masses have thoughts and they are then brought into being.

    BTW Steve, how do you phrase an idiot? I would be most interested in learning how to do that, is there a baseball bat involved?

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  7. Steve,

    Steve: The sad part about this story is giving full media exposure and energy to it. This was a little 1/2 by 3 inch classified ad published in a small town with a population of 20,000. Im sure the boys were having fun to see if their ad would be printed..

    In my view, there is nothing “sad” about giving media exposure and energy to this story. The public now knows that the Secret Service takes such things seriously, even if they occur in small towns.

    Steve: What’s going to happen then? The masses will have the “thought” of Obama being assassinated. We bring things into being from our thoughts.

    I understand the point you are making here, but the same thing can be said about a documentary of, say, President Kennedy’s life and ultimate assassination, a movie on the subject or a book on the subject. Any one of these things could stimulate an imbalanced person to commit a horrific act.

    Banning or controlling documentaries, movies and books — and media coverage — is the dream of the thought police. The free press and the 1st Amendment are the controls against the thought police, who’d like nothing more than to control what you consume — you know, like Surf’s Up, which doesn’t think you’re smart enough to digest opposing points of view and arrive at your own conclusions.

    Steve: The kid pulled a prank, the Idiot is sparking an unfortunate possible event.

    For context, the “kid” to whom you refer is the person who placed the ad, and the “Idiot” is the person who first wrote about what happened in Warren.

    I haven’t seen any evidence yet that the person who placed the ad was a kid. Even if it emerges that the advertiser was a kid, this can’t be written off as a prank.

    It is clear that the advertiser understands history: Four assassinated presidents were listed in chronological order of their assassinations.

    The ad ended with an exclamation point. An exclamation point can be construed as a call to action. Moreover, the wording of the ad was grammatically pure, which demonstrates some command of language. It was a powerful, 12-word message.

    The ad also is cunning. Here is the wording:

    “May Obama follow in the steps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy!”

    If one doesn’t read the ad closely, one could construe it as patriotic and even complimentary — almost as though the advertiser were wishing Obama the greatness of Lincoln.

    So, you have a bright, cunning person who understands history and language as the author. The ad was placed in Personals at the top of the page, encased in stars — five stars above, five stars below — which indicates the advertiser did his or her homework and knew how to maximize the exposure of a tiny classified ad.

    So, now you have a bright, cunning person who understands history and language AND gathered some intelligence before placing the ad.

    That’s why it cannot be dismissed as a prank, and it’s also why the first person who wrote about it can’t be dismissed as an idiot.

    Another thing to consider is that classified ads sometimes are used to signal people. I’m not saying this ad was designed as a signal, but the possibility cannot be ignored.

    My guess is that the Secret Service will try to rule out all sorts of nefarious motivations, including the possibility of a conspiracy. It’s not every day one reads a classified ad that suggests the president should be assassinated.

    Even on close inspection, the ad maintains a whiff of ambiguity, which showcases the cunning and argues for a thorough probe.

    Patrick

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  8. Hear, hear. Take away the freedom of the press and you are at the top of a very slippery slope, but… and it is a big but, having said that there is a degree of censorship practiced on this very blog, is there not?

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  9. Pistol: Hear, hear. Take away the freedom of the press and you are at the top of a very slippery slope, but… and it is a big but, having said that there is a degree of censorship practiced on this very blog, is there not?

    Which is why it’s called a “B-L-O-G” not a “N-E-W-S-P-A-P-E-R”

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  10. Pistol,

    Pistol: there is a degree of censorship practiced on this very blog, is there not?

    I’ve given you a pretty wide berth here, much to the dismay of some of my readers. Unlike most posters here, you create work for me. For example, you veer off-topic, misdirect threads and engage in meanness.

    A person of your intelligence knows that I am not practicing censorship — and yet you raise the issue. Censorship emanates from the government. What I do is housekeeping. From time to time, you come in here and poop on my floor. I clean it up.

    It’s my house; I get to define poop.

    You could solve this problem simply by deciding not to poop on my floor. If I don’t have to clean up poop, I have more time for research and writing. It seems odd that one even would have to ask a person not to poop on his floor.

    Here’s my specific problem with you: I admire your mind. What I sometimes don’t admire is your delivery. I’ve tried to find a way to let you continue to share your thoughts while reserving my right to employ my poop shovel.

    I do not delete posts that disagree with this Blog’s point of view. Nor do I try to force uniformity of opinion or insist everybody remain “positive” even as Rome is burning. I have deleted, say, 10-20 posts in the past couple of weeks that stunk up the joint. For example, I deleted a post you made that was entirely off-topic — even in the context of the significant latitude you enjoy here — because the post was just plain mean. I also deleted some posts made in response to your post, basically because they were feeding you to create even more maintenance issues.

    Is asking you not to poop on my floor really too much?

    Patrick

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  11. In thinking about the classified ad some more, I’m increasingly disinclined to think it was placed by a “kid.”

    Here’s my thinking:

    * Obama is popular among kids.
    * Kids tend to be nonpolitical.
    * This ad required a level of sophistication a kid ordinarily does not possess.

    I believe the advertiser understands politics, history and language at an adult level and is beyond college age. The absence of grammatical errors in the ad and the way it was punctuated might suggest the advertiser has a background in writing.

    The ad started a firestorm, to be sure. The question then becomes, “Who benefits from such a firestorm?”

    These are guesses:

    * A person who was motivated to make Warren, Pa., look bad.
    * A person acting at the behest of a second person or to please a second person, perhaps without the second person’s knowledge or consent.
    * A Far Right campaign operative who is trying to advance a secret agenda through polarization and divisiveness.
    * A Far Left campaign operative who is trying to engender contempt for the Republican party by posing as a GOP wacko.

    Here’s the thing: Volunteer firefighters sometimes commit arson just so they can go out and “heroically” battle another fire, just as campaign operatives sometimes pose as rival-party wackos so they can start fires that engulf the other side.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if this ad proved to be a “dirty trick” of some sort and that the person who placed the ad somehow can be linked to a political operation.

    Patrick

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  12. Pistol,

    “If you take the previous comment to it’s logical conclusion, nothing would ever be reported in case the masses have thoughts and they are then brought into being.”

    For the Presidents security, this incidence should not have been widely publicized.

    Patrick,

    “I understand the point you are making here, but the same thing can be said about a documentary of, say, President Kennedy’s life and ultimate assassination, a movie on the subject or a book on the subject. Any one of these things could stimulate an imbalanced person to commit a horrific act.”

    Not the same thing. A documentary of President Kennedy’s life and assassination is about what happened in the past. Nothing to do with the present. Obama’s name is not tied to it.

    Even your Headline gives suggestive thoughts.

    “Newspaper Publishes Ad That Suggests Obama Should Be Targeted For Assassination; Secret Service Investigates” Looking closer,

    ‘Obama Should Be Targeted For Assassination’

    You have actually made it into a statement suggesting Obama should be assassinated. I would change title. I realize you didn’t intentionally write it this way.

    Steve

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  13. It is a difficult one, Steve, to maintain the balance between reporting a scandalous act of interest to readers, on the one hand, and on the other hand not to flame the “hate fires”

    However, the Secret Service are involved and making it clear to all readers (and the poster of the ad) that they are not going to sit around twiddling their thumbs, but are going after whoever it was. Additionally, it is provoking a great deal of revulsion in the US and rest of the world and may also serve to send out a warning to this kind of crank that their conduct is NOT acceptable to the vast majority of Americans and citizens of the world in general.

    America is not a third world country – it is supposed to be the largest power in western democracy. Killing Presidents and Heads of State is usually confined to third world and developing countries. America seems to have been the exception, in the past, but it is earnestly to be hoped that those days are long gone.

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  14. I have found the last few posts most interesting. I remember when Bush wss president, there was a book out about how to assassinate the president, and specifically named Bush as the target. It was a step-by-step blueprint on how to do it. They were also planning on making it into a documentary.

    Now what was totally fascinating in all of this, people were outraged that those who didn’t want this book published or the documentary made were defying Freedom of Speech rights. They didn’t see anything wrong with it since Bush was the focus of the book; not that this was inflammatory speech and could endanger the life of the president.

    It is going to be interesting to see how these same people who professed, when it was Bush being targeted, were just expressing their freedom of speech rights, when it is Obama who is the target.

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  15. littleroundmanWhich is why it’s called a “B-L-O-G” not a “N-E-W-S-P-A-P-E-R”

    I don’t think I suggested this site was a newspaper. What I would suggest though as long as it is not considered mean, off-topic or a load of poop, is that the “press” in this day and age covers a wide range of written material, including internet blogs. I would also suggest that Patrick rightfully considers himself to be a journalist when he publishes (if that is what you call it)this blog. Journalist > press. Get it, John?

    To save Patrick coming round with his shovel twice, I would like, if I may, to address one or two points he raised in his post.

    “Censorship emanates from the government.”

    You may think so but governments certainly do not have exclusive rights to it. Censorship is practised in and on radio, tv, newspapers, internet blogs etc.on issues of the publications choosing without so much as a wink or a nod from government, although some censorship is obviously carried out on government orders.

    The statement “Censorship emanates from the government.” sounds as though it came straight out of Curtis Richmond’s rule book. Have you been reading it, Patrick?

    “It’s my house; I get to define poop.”

    Of course it is and of course you do. I have no argument with that but don’t you think it is rather incongruous to be an advocate of free speech and a free press and yet only allow the chosen few that freedom? I understand that people do not like me, the things I say or the way that I say them. That’s OK. I didn’t set out to be liked.

    One though would have to admit that I wouldn’t normally be found using bad language, racial abuse, threatening violence or any of the other things I would expect to be hauled over the coals for. I call a spade a spade. A scammer a scammer That is being mean in your book? Well, that is OK also, it is your house, your call.

    Finally, I would like to apologize for all the extra work I have caused you. I didn’t realise it was such hard work and so time consuming to read a few paragraphs and hit a delete button now and again. There now, I have gone and done it again. Och well, we can’t all be model posters.

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  16. alasycia America seems to have been the exception, in the past,

    Oh, I don’t think so. I think there were a few heads of state lost their heads/lifes in the UK in the past. There were also a few in the French and Russian revolutions.

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