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Home > World

WAWIBF... Treason season

30 April 2004

It must be a great life in the Secret Service. You get to do all kinds of fun pointless stuff. You get to travel around the world interviewing interesting people, sometimes arresting them, sometimes just frightening the life out of them. And if anyone ever asks you what you actually do for a living, you just pull down your shades and flash that, "I'd have to kill you" look.

Last April Secret Service agents got to fly out to Aberdeen to question a man who had painted the words "Kill Bush" on a sign on his property. First they photographed the sign. Then they confiscated it. Then they had a word with perpetrator, mentioned the Serious Crime status of threatening the president's life and then they made a few threats of their own. Then they went home.

Seattle Secret Service Special Agent Wallace Shields said at the time: "We respond to every report of someone having threatened the president."

This week they had to have a word with a 15-year-old Washington high school student with a Mohican and a sketch pad. Concerns had been raised about a series of cartoons the boy had drawn for an art class project. One of the drawings depicted the president's severed head on a spike. Another featured the president as Satan launching a missile. Tipped off by police who were alerted to the threat by eagle-eyed school administrators, Secret Service men interrogated the boy to ascertain whether he was a genuine threat to the President or merely one of hundreds of millions of ordinary frustrated teenagers with a dirty great cob on and a penchant for crudely satirical imagery.

Thankfully, Special Agent Wallace Shields was back on the scene, deflecting accusations of obscene idiocy: "This is not something unique to Washington, and this is not something unique to the times that we live in. We respond to every report of someone having threatened the president." Plus, of course, let's not forget, Travis Bickle had a Mohican. And cartoons can kill.

It's all nonsense. Kill Jack Straw!

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