President Obama fears an assassination attempt if his administration tries to prosecute apparent crimes from the George W. Bush terms, according to a new book by a veteran Washington, D.C., lawyer and journalist.
In fact, the president's security plan has been significantly enhanced for 2013, reports Andrew Kreig in Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney, and Their Masters. Obama's dismal performance in the first presidential debate against Republican nominee Mitt Romney might have been driven in part, Kreig writes, by a report from military aides earlier that day of a plot against the president.
Released in paperback on July 26, Presidential Puppetry is the first book to encompass the Obama second term and one of the first to examine the 2012 elections.
Kreig's primary thesis is that elites from both political parties have failed everyday Americans on the economy, privacy, civil rights, national security, and a host of other fundamental issues that are supposed to under gird our democracy. Kreig reports that voting machines controlled by private entities put our election integrity at risk. And he shows that neither party has the fortitude to fix a justice system that has gone wildly off track, perhaps most famously in the political prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.
Concerns about Obama's safety first made national news in fall 2011 when top advisor Christopher Edley Jr. said the transition team preparing the Obama administration in 2009 feared a "revolt" if they tried to prosecute Bush-era law breaking. Edley, dean of the University of California law school, did not state what form a revolt might take. But Kreig writes in Presidential Puppetry:
The context of his comments suggested their fear that senior defense and national security officials and their outside patrons might undertake violent reprisal in some fashion.
History tells us that any hint at assassination must be taken seriously, Kreig writes:
We cannot ignore the physical attacks on United States leaders in modern times as an additional factor in explaining Obama's behavior. Official inquiries after the attacks almost always determined that crazed assassins and would-be assassins acted entirely on their own to commit the crimes. Most of us are far too busy to research, much less dispute, these official findings.
What is the real-world impact of security concerns surrounding the president? One example came in the first presidential debate against Romney in fall 2012, when Obama performed as if he was on a powerful anesthetic. Writes Kreig:
Obama's debate performance was so beneath his abilities that former Senate counsel, [Joe] Biden aide, and retired judge Lillian McEwen suggested to me shortly after the debate that the president seemed like a man dazed from a sudden threat upon his life. Her observation was prescient. A reliable source with strong national intelligence and political ties later told me that on the day of the debate, Obama was informed by military aides of a plot against him and the country. Such a plot would be one of the darkest chapters in American history, rivaling Aaron Burr's empire building schemes of yore.
Kreig is scheduled to discuss Presidential Puppetry at events in Alabama on August 22.