Friday, July 31, 2009


Well, I suppose it was only a matter of time before it happened - Tea Party protesters in Bristol, Virginia found themselves on the wrong end of a rifle when the President drove through town.

I saw this first on Gateway Pundit. The photos at that site were blurry enough to be on par with Sasquatch sightings and I don't know enough about Secret Service procedure to make a judgment so I decided to do some research. (& yeah, yeah, I can take the girl out of the library, but you can't take the library out of the girl, etc...)

I found a few sites talking about the incident and then this video...

Obama rolls by in his limo about 40 seconds into the video and at about 1:38, a dark sedan passes the camera, back window rolled down. You can hear some people in the crowd begin to exclaim after they realize there was an agent in the back seat pointing a rifle at them. This is vastly different than the standard image of a member of the U.S. Secret Service Counter Assault Team in the back of a motorcade SUV. Also, why is the man in the sedan so far back from the Obama's limo? He's almost a minute behind - too far, perhaps, to actually protect the president.

(And as a somewhat amusing aside, at 1:57 you can hear a woman quote Rule 1.)

I have mixed feelings.

Yes, the president needs a security detail and yes, these are brave men and women, willing to risk their lives to protect him...but is it necessary for federal agents to openly sweep innocent American citizens, peacefully assembled as is their right, with loaded weapons?

Has intimidation become standard procedure?


Anonymous said...

My guess is Secret Service Counter Assault Team (CAT).

CAT is responsible for dealing with the armed attackers while Secret Service Protective detail rushes the President away.

However, I'm not keen on being swept by anyone either.

Stingray said...

In any other context I think that would be called "Drive-by in progress."

John said...

I don't take kindly to having weapons pointed at me but it would've been in rather poor taste to return the courtesy.

The answer to your question is, "Yes. It has."

TexasFred said...

Welcome to the reign of The Obamessiah...

JAFO said...

I'd be MUCH more concerned about what was in the back of that last SUV.

It most assuredly wasn't a damn doppler. Guaran-damn-tee.

Steve said...

32 vehicles, and I'll bet not a single one of them was running bio-diesel or flex fuel. Nope. Big-block V8s (at least) in the cars and trucks and 1,000+cc for the cycles.

Nothing like a little intimidation factor.

I'm impressed by The One (c). Yep. Real impressed.


Alan said...

I don't like seeing the President riding around in an armed convoy like some banana republic dictator.

Secret Service: Go back to keeping it subtle. You don't need intimidation in the US.

Anonymous said...

Like it or not, we're headed in the direction of becoming just another banana republic. And it's in more ways than just this.

Y.T. said...

Contempt and paranoia are standard procedures for the Secret Service.

Have been for some time, I guess ever since that loony tried to shoot Lt.Reagan with a .22.
The motorcade* too, is not Obama's invention.

When the previous US president was visiting in a certain European NATO member country, the local honor guard equipped with non-functioning Vz. 52 rifles had to have the extensible bayonets on these ceremonial weapons secured with duct-tape.

I guess the S.S. was concerned that these NATO soldiers were going conduct a terrorist bayonet charge.

*Was pretty impressive.
Couldn't they just fly him in in a helicopter? That way, traffic disruptions could be avoided.

Borepatch said...

Imagine if it had been President Bush's motorcade, and the protesters had been MoveOn.

Anonymous said...

It's just more evidence of the kind of monster the country elected last November.

Crotalus said...

With this Soviet Premier, er *ahem* "President", intimidation is SOP.

Lokidude said...

Seems their little stunt would be a Rule 2 violation instead of Rule 1. Except I suspect that they were plenty willing to destroy what their muzzles covered.

Caleb said...

Blaming this on Obama is kind of foolish. I'm sure that there were plenty of other loaded guns pointed at members of the crowd, but you couldn't seem them because the windows were up.

This is SOP for the Secret Service, and not a symptom of Obama's presidency. I mean, I'm all for blaming him for stuff, but only if it's legitimately his fault.

Newbius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Newbius said...

Maybe it is a sign that the citizens are winning. Maybe the government is beginning to fear the citizens again.

Nah! Couldn't be.

Ah well, a guy can hope.

The Saj said...

What a !@$% prick of a President we have.

He won't let military cadets graduate with their swords. But he'll sweep his fellow Americans with an M4.


I've long postulated how to tell whether a nation was an agressor. If they paraded their missiles and all their tanks and mens with rifles in their celebratory parades and motorcades. They're aggressors.

While this isn't being done, sweeping with a rifle leaves me inclined to believe it would be if he could.

jbrock said...

Welcome to Greater Chicago.

Y.T. said...

@ The Saj.

Calm down. This has apparently been in place since 9/11. According to Navy spokespeople..

Anyway, it makes me feel better. I mean, if they don't trust U.S. naval cadets, or FBI agents.. it only makes sense that foreign allies have to be disarmed too.

Funny how paranoia spreads. Sixty years ago, only people who had military men of their own nation disarmed before meeting them were Joe Stalin and Adolf Hitler..

Anonymous said...


"Also, why is the man in the sedan so far back from the Obama's limo?"

Think of it as "riding drag". You don't want all the cowboys at the front of the herd. Put a team on the tail as a rear guard.

Every time you walk by the White House, you are having a rifle pointed at you. Every time you walk within line of sight of Barry's Chicago home, you are having a rifle pointed at you.

Obama is surrounded by men with guns, always. Heck, the Secret Secret brought in four helicopters of just small arms (pistol, riles, shotguns, sniper rifles, .50 rifles, rocket launchers, etc.) into Hyde Park shortly after January 20th.

Shootin' Buddy

JKB said...

Appears they should keep the presidential motorcade out of hill country. Did you see how much trouble those limos were having with the hill and at a turn? Who planned this route.

One wonders if something happened on the front end since the convoy slowed by the time the car sweeping the crowd got there. Did they get an alert?

matt caron said...

On another note, if you look at the caption under the first photo from the article you linked here:

You'll notice that it says "U.S. Secret Service Counter Assault Team member has his assault weapon at the ready..."

No wonder the public thinks that assault weapon == machinegun...

Kristopher said...

Caleb: I don't recall SS commandos pointing weapons at local Portland Anarchists when they egged his limo.

Bush just waved and laughed at them.

TheBronze said...

Much adieu about absolutely nothing.

Justin said...

This could also be nothing more than a symptom of current military training. You don't think that they issue ACOGs to Marines only for shooting do you? Ask a Marine how many times he has used his rifle mounted ACOG to get a better view of someone.

I seriously doubt that the Secret Service detail would have acted differently if there was anyone else holding the office.