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  #21  
Old 22 September 2008, 07:54 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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I would think that candidates have more freedom from their security detail than people might think. It's really up to the protectee how much they insist on that freedom.

The candidate may not have any power over the security detail but the security detail also has no power over the candidate. If the candidate gets into a private car the car does not have to allow the detail in as well. The detail can't order the candidate to wait until more vehicles are fetched. If the candidate wants to shake hands with somone the detail really can't stop him/her.
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  #22  
Old 22 September 2008, 08:01 PM
RoseyDawn
 
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That is an accurate summary of the relationship between the protectee and his/her security guard. As JFK established in Dallas, his security detail could not prevent him from riding in an open convertible.
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  #23  
Old 22 September 2008, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by RoseyDawn View Post
That is an accurate summary of the relationship between the protectee and his/her security guard. As JFK established in Dallas, his security detail could not prevent him from riding in an open convertible.
They couldn't in 1963. I'll bet they can now, for reasons that should be obvious.
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  #24  
Old 22 September 2008, 08:11 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
They couldn't in 1963. I'll bet they can now, for reasons that should be obvious.
I doubt they could prevent it even today. The big difference now is that I doubt a president would insist upon it.

However, Bush jr and sr both walked during their inaugural parades. I would think that is even more dangerous than traveling in an open car.
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  #25  
Old 22 September 2008, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
They couldn't in 1963. I'll bet they can now, for reasons that should be obvious.
I doubt they could absolutely stop a president who was determined to do so, but they'd probably have much more influence in choosing and securing the route (and other associated factors) than they did back in JFK's day, though.

The president might ride in a convertible today, but the Secret Service (and other security details) would probably ensure that the streets on which the car was driven were closed to public access and swept clean of people beforehand.

- snopes
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  #26  
Old 22 September 2008, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
However, Bush jr and sr both walked during their inaugural parades. I would think that is even more dangerous than traveling in an open car.
And you couldn't get anywhere near the route they were taking without being searched, at least in 2005.
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  #27  
Old 23 September 2008, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by lord_feldon View Post
And you couldn't get anywhere near the route they were taking without being searched, at least in 2005.
Another thing is that I am sure that any open window, which was something that agents were upset about in '63 if I remember right, probably has 4 Secret Service agents standing next to it. All in all, on inagrination day, everything in line-of-sight of that route is as close to a safe zone as humanly possible. Not perfect, but close.
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  #28  
Old 23 September 2008, 06:28 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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We have a very different history than Sweden re: political assassinations.
Do you? We have three that I can think of (I don't count kings getting killed in powergames around the throne).

We just don't make a huge thing out of them. For instance, at the anti-FRA protest last week, the entire parliament strolled through the protesters without any escort at all. They didn't even walk in groups, they arrived more or less haphazardly. Some of them even stopped for a chat with the protesters, some even got some strawberries from one protester.

Sure, there is an element of risk, but we don't let fear run our lives. Even for a member of parliament, the risk of dying in a traffic accident is still far greater than the risk of assassination, even in Sweden where traffic accidents are rare.

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And get shot on the way home from the movies....
Sometimes, you run out of luck. Anyway, given the circumstances, chances are that the assassin would have been successful anyway, the only difference would have been that they maybe would have caught him.

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Only to those people who don't understand what the term "house arrest" actually means.
Note my use of the phrase "more or less". However, if you are not allowed to move around without guards, then, yes, you are not free.
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  #29  
Old 23 September 2008, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
However, if you are not allowed to move around without guards, then, yes, you are not free.
Obama can easily remove himself from his "house arrest." All it takes is one letter to the Democratic National Committee. His active participation running for President is his consent to said "house arrest."
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  #30  
Old 23 September 2008, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
Sure, there is an element of risk, but we don't let fear run our lives. Even for a member of parliament, the risk of dying in a traffic accident is still far greater than the risk of assassination, even in Sweden where traffic accidents are rare.
Suffice it to say that the assassination of a President of the United States is of vastly more import to the world than the assassination of a member of the Norwegian parliament. And providing security for high political figures doesn't mean anybody's "letting fear run their lives," Mr. Strawman.

Quote:
Note my use of the phrase "more or less".
Note that no form of "arrest" is involved at all, more or less.

Quote:
However, if you are not allowed to move around without guards, then, yes, you are not free.
As other people have noted in this thread, there is no "allowed" to it. The Secret Service can't stop the person they're protecting from doing what s/he wants.

- snopes
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  #31  
Old 23 September 2008, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
We have three that I can think of (I don't count kings getting killed in powergames around the throne).
Who's the third your thinking of not counting kings?
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  #32  
Old 23 September 2008, 09:21 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Obama can easily remove himself from his "house arrest." All it takes is one letter to the Democratic National Committee. His active participation running for President is his consent to said "house arrest."
Which would, presumably, be a huge sacrifice for him.

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Suffice it to say that the assassination of a President of the United States is of vastly more import to the world than the assassination of a member of the Norwegian parliament.
I didn't even know they assassinated members of the Norwegian parliament.

Besides, a nation's prime obligation is always to it's own citizens, not the world.

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And providing security for high political figures doesn't mean anybody's "letting fear run their lives," Mr. Strawman.
If he has no choice in the matter, especially since the risk is neglible, it is.

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As other people have noted in this thread, there is no "allowed" to it. The Secret Service can't stop the person they're protecting from doing what s/he wants.
Yet, people claimed that Obama wouldn't be able to go into a mosque without them, even if he wanted to.

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Who's the third your thinking of not counting kings?
It's a king, but one not killed in powergames around the throne. I'm talking about Gustav III, who wasn't killed by a rival for the throne.
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  #33  
Old 23 September 2008, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
It's a king, but one not killed in powergames around the throne. I'm talking about Gustav III, who wasn't killed by a rival for the throne.
OK, I can agree with that condition.

An anecdote: I was once standing outside the Grand Hotel in Stockholm watching how the security people got Jimmy Carter away from the building. From the moment that the policemen on motorcycles had been alerted and the car had been placed outside the entrance it took some 10-15 minutes until he showed himself.

Later I mentioned this to a police friend with a background in bodyguarding and asked him why the motorcade hadn't been lurking in the background until the last moment. The way they did it a prospective assassin would have had all the time in the World to prepare himself. His explanation was that that would be the ideal situation, but the object does not always listen to the guards. There is always someone to say hello to or exchange some words with en route to the door and that takes time.
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  #34  
Old 23 September 2008, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
Do you? We have three that I can think of (I don't count kings getting killed in powergames around the throne).
We have four, with 15 attempts and a couple possible assassinations. Wiki link
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  #35  
Old 23 September 2008, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
Do you? We have three that I can think of (I don't count kings getting killed in powergames around the throne).

We just don't make a huge thing out of them. Note my use of the phrase "more or less". However, if you are not allowed to move around without guards, then, yes, you are not free.
I have noticed that I don't really like such cavalier attitudes about people's lives.

It smacks of cynicism to me.
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  #36  
Old 23 September 2008, 02:24 PM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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We have four, with 15 attempts and a couple possible assassinations. Wiki link
Given the larger population and the larger international exposure, that's fairly OK.

When the US president does something, no matter what, many millions of people will get pissed off, and it only takes one psycho. When a Swedish prime minister does something, at most, he will piss off a few millions, in exceptional cases (such as the FRA law), maybe 7-8 millions. Add to that a higher availability of guns in the US. Four lost presidents is maybe not a goal to aim for, but it's an acceptable result.
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  #37  
Old 23 September 2008, 02:26 PM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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I have noticed that I don't really like such cavalier attitudes about people's lives.
It is my firm belief that a person's life is his/her own, and it's his/her to risk as he/she please. It's not based on lack of respect for lives, it's based on respect for the freedom to make your own choices.
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  #38  
Old 23 September 2008, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
If he has no choice in the matter, especially since the risk is neglible, it is.
He had a choice. He exercised it when he chose to run for president. And a cite, please, for your claim that the risk of Obama being assassinated is negligible.

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Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
Besides, a nation's prime obligation is always to it's own citizens, not the world.
Our own citizens have been deeply and painfully affected by political assassinations. Also, because we have a presidential rather than a parliamentary system, the assassination of an individual has a much greater effect on policy. Lincoln's assassination is generally believed to have changed the direction of Reconstruction -- and not for the good.

ETA: Re: security along parade routes, etc: When I attended an outdoor Kerry/Edwards rally in 2004, not only did we have to pass through metal detectors to enter the area, but we saw sharpshooters on the some of the roofs.

Last edited by Lainie; 23 September 2008 at 03:26 PM.
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  #39  
Old 23 September 2008, 07:24 PM
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Silas Sparkhammer Silas Sparkhammer is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
It is my firm belief that a person's life is his/her own, and it's his/her to risk as he/she please. It's not based on lack of respect for lives, it's based on respect for the freedom to make your own choices.
That is a perfectly reasonable attitude. However, an elected official also has a duty to those he represents. The U.S. Senate, for instance, has (I believe) a one-member majority; if any Democratic Senator is killed, the Senate reverts to Republican control, with Cheney assuming tiebreaking power. That would have an enormous effect on every single American. If I saw any Democratic Senator out taking needless risks, I would be very angry at him, for putting my interests in harm's way.

Personally, I agree with your metaphor: politicians are under a kind of figurative "house arrest." The thing is....I want it that way! It makes me safer too!

Silas
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  #40  
Old 23 September 2008, 07:51 PM
RoseyDawn
 
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I would add just one thought to what Silas said. Political leaders, especially President and Vice President know they will be giving up most of their personal freedom of movement at will. It is something they, and presumably their families, have accepted as part of the "cost" of holding their office.

I'm sure that most Americans really wish this weren't the case. It would be wonderful if our elected officials could be free of the threat of assassination. Unfortunately there are those, thankfully few, who seem to feel they have the right to assassinate any elected official they don't like. Because of those few our elected officials sacrifice their freedom to serve ours.
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