30 March 2009

Two Marines Threaten the President

Two Camp Lejeune marines have been charged with threatening President Obama, but before you get too anxious about the military "turning" on Obama (recall all those rumours about military hostility that dogged Clinton?), consider that one of the men, literally seems to have "lost it" while the other is a criminal whose journals reveal racist sympathies.

The former marine is Nicholas Daniel Hanke, who appears to have suffered some kind of attack after boarding an airplane--once on board and,

"[b]efore the plane’s aircrew had a chance to taxi on the runway, Hanke started shouting there was a bomb on the plane, Gary Broughton, the airport’s director of operations, told the Wilmington Star-News. Hanke allegedly pushed a flight attendant and the captain, and then ran from the plane.

Airport security chased him down and, as they were cuffing him, authorities say Hanke head-butted an officer and shouted more threats, including some against Obama [. . . .] Local authorities charged Hanke with making a bomb threat, resisting arrest, assault and battery, communicating threats, and three counts of assaulting government officials,. (Marine Corps Times)
Paranoia? A panic attack?

The other marine, Kody Brittingham, was "separated from the Corps in early January." In December, he was arrested and charged,
with attempted robbery, breaking and entering, and conspiracy [. . . .] After his arrest, Naval investigators found a journal allegedly written by Brittingham in his barracks room, containing plans on how to kill the president and white supremacist material[. . . .]. (Marine Corps Times)

Neither story "confirms" that the various conspiracy theories targeting the President are prompting people to attack the Commander-in-Chief. Rather, these stories illustrate the madness of paranoia and the ugliness of racism. However, I wouldn't be surprised to discover this story appropriated by the conspiracy theorists to propel their agendas. We all know that some people thrive off of exploiting both madness and hatred.

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