The Weaponization Of The Secret Service Has Put Bobby Kennedy's Life At Risk

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Apr 03, 2024 - 01:00 AM

Authored by Blake Fleetwood via,

Fifty years ago last summer, I met Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

We were in a small group climbing on skis to a spectacular 14,000-foot pass in the snow-covered Chilean Andes. The light, fluffy, bottomless power is about eight feet deep on top of another eight feet of packed winter snow.

We suddenly hear bullets ricocheting off a rock five feet away. The shots sound like someone quickly snapping his fingers. We look down the mountain; five Chilean Alpine troopers are spraying machine gun fire from their hips across a broad swath of the sloop.

Bobby, about 15 feet in front of me, falls into the snow. I think he has been shot, and we are all goners. The shots keep cracking as the rest of us dive for cover into the deep snow. After 20 minutes of hunkering, we peer down the mountain to the stormtroopers. Bobby, the youngest of the group at 19, takes the lead as he stands waving a white handkerchief on top of a ski pole. 

The troopers stop firing and motion for us to come down. Bobby goes up to the leader and starts talking to him. The gunman explains that there is going to be a change in the government, and they want to make sure that no one gets away. After inspecting our gear, they tell us to go on our way. 

The army troopers, under the command of  General Augusto Pinochet, were supported with weapons and bullets supplied by the CIA. The army, with Henry Kissinger’s help and millions of U.S. dollars, was in the throes of staging a coup that, in a few weeks, would murder the democratically elected President of Chile, Salvador Allende, as well as more than 5,000 other innocent civilians. 

This incident helped form Kennedy’s antipathy toward forever wars and other U.S. Empire-building adventures.

We have remained foxhole friends ever since. The same courage Bobby Kennedy showed on top of that mountain pass 50 years ago when facing machine gun-toting thugs he is showing today in his long-shot 2024 presidential campaign.

This is why I am so fearful about Robert F. Kennedy Jr. being shot at again. 

The Kennedy campaign made its fifth formal request for Secret Service protection in March, citing a 67-page report of repeated death threats, nutjob letters, two heavily armed intruders to a campaign event, an invader in Kennedy’s Cape Cod house, and another man who invaded Kennedy’s home twice in one day when Kennedy and his wife, Cheryl Hines, were at home. 

President Biden’s decision to deny Secret Service protection to Kennedy seems to be based on political considerations and weaponizes the Secret Service by making it necessary for Kennedy to raise and spend millions of dollars each month for security. 

Kennedy appears to fit neatly into the law governing Secret Service protection for presidential candidates. 

Biden could be helped by forcing Kennedy to continue to pay huge sums for private protection to protect himself, his family, and his supporters. Security costs the campaign 30 cents out of each dollar raised. 

Biden’s motive is not based on historical precedent, the threats and dangers Kennedy faces,  existing laws, or the slightest compassion for a political family that has suffered so grievously.

If the worst happens, Joe Biden will be accountable. Historically, a president can order Secret Service protection for a candidate on his own, as could the Homeland Security secretary, currently Alejandro Mayorkas, after consultation with the Congressional Advisory Committee — the leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives. For a comparison, lesser-known Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was provided protection a year before the 2012 election by then-head of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano.

The law states that the president and the secretary of Homeland Security have “broad discretion” in granting protection, and they have repeatedly done so, politics aside. 

Secret Service records recently revealed the agency’s conclusions that Kennedy is at “elevated risk for adverse attention,” and after reviewing credible armed threats against Kennedy, the agency assembled a group of eight teams ready to step in quickly after they get the go-ahead. But they never got it.

The threat to Kennedy is particularly acute because of his controversial politics and his family history—his father, RFK, Sr., a U.S. senator and presidential candidate, and his uncle, John F., a U.S. president, were both assassinated. RFK Jr. has provoked and challenged some of the most powerful forces in our country, especially concerning the military-industrial complex, the CIA, and endless foreign wars that so enrich defense contractors.

The perils to Kennedy arise not only because of his name but also because of the mainstream media’s relentless demonization of him. 

Kennedy’s wife, Cheryl Hines, the lead actress in the popular TV series Curb Your Enthusiasm, accused Biden of “playing politics” with her and RFK Jr.’s safety.

“Yesterday, an intruder climbed the fence at my home and was arrested,” Kennedy tweeted a few months ago. “After being released from police custody later in the day, he immediately returned to my home and was arrested again.”

In September, a heavily armed man impersonating a U.S. marshal and the CIA, with loaded concealed firearms and an accomplice, was arrested after infiltrating a private event. 

No wonder Hines is scared and worried. The Kennedy name is a lightning rod, a bright target for disturbed and demented individuals.  

Judicial Watch, a conservative foundation, filed a Freedom of Information request and lawsuit to determine why Kennedy’s multiple requests for Secret Service protection were not answered. Finally, they obtained a trove of previously hidden emails. 

“These documents confirm the bureaucratic and political runaround the Biden administration went through to ultimately deny Robert F. Kennedy Jr. the requested Secret Service protection,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch. “The Biden administration’s refusal to provide Secret Service protection to Mr. Kennedy is dangerous and vindictive.”

According to the reports, higher-ups ordered the Secret Service not to talk to Kennedy’s private security.

Seventy percent of voters do not want Biden or Trump. According to a January 9, 2024, Gallup poll, Kennedy’s favorability rating of 52% is higher than Biden’s (41%) and Trump’s (42%). According to an earlier Gallup poll, 63% of U.S. adults think that the major parties do “such a poor job” of representing the American people that “a third major party is needed.” This is a 7% increase from a year ago.

Biden’s choice to deny Kennedy protection reflects insecurity, fearing Kennedy’s popularity and radical, transformative message have the potential to endanger his reelection. He might also worry that Secret Service protection will elevate Kennedy’s stature and give him a certain presidential aura as a credible contender among the media and voters. 

For 55 years, every presidential administration has granted early protection to major candidates who requested it. The Biden administration is the sole outlier.

If another Kennedy is killed while campaigning for president, it will be a long-lasting, traumatic stain on the American psyche that will scar the soul of our democracy for decades to come. Unfortunately, we live in violent, polarized times. The United States has surpassed 400 mass shootings in 2023, a record-breaking year in gun violence.

The perils to any Kennedy running for office are self-evident. An assassination attempt would dredge up memories of 1968 when Robert F. Kennedy Sr. and Martin Luther King Jr. were shot and killed, and George Wallace was gunned down and paralyzed, taking him out of the presidential race.

The puzzling thing is that Biden has spent decades transfixed by the Kennedy mystique, tracing his interest in politics to John F. Kennedy. He was a long-time friend of JFK’s brother, Sen. Ted Kennedy, and has a bust of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy exhibited prominently in the Oval Office. Biden employs four members of the Kennedy family as ambassadors and special assistants. In fact, he admired RFK Sr. so much that he lifted some lines from one of his speeches without attribution in 1988. Perhaps Biden imagines himself as the Irish Catholic reincarnation of the Kennedys. Is it now possible that Biden resents Robert Kennedy Jr. for taking away that long-held dream? 

President Biden, normally a compassionate man, knows that the Kennedy family has paid an unendurable, heartbreaking price for decades of enlightened public service. What  would Biden ever say to Ethel Kennedy, Bobby’s mother, if he were assassinated? Her husband and her brother-in-law were brutally murdered while serving their country. Two of her sons are already dead, perhaps from lingering trauma suffered from coping from their father’s so public assassination.

What would Biden say to Cheryl Hines? What can he say to Kennedy’s six children and to any bystanders who might get shot and killed as collateral damage? In Ecuador recently, a presidential candidate was assassinated, and nine bystanders were injured. 

The Biden administration has used various pretexts to justify its denial of protection for RFK Jr. The Advisory Committee that green lights  who gets Secret Service protection noted in its last rejection that federal protection should only be granted one year before the election. But now, seven months before the election, nothing has changed.

Serious presidential candidates have routinely received early government protection. Senator Ted Kennedy received government protection in September 1979, 414 days before the November 1980 election. He was running against sitting president Jimmy Carter, who hated Ted Kennedy and deeply resented his attacks on him. But to his credit, considering the tragic Kennedy history, Carter knew it was his obligation and duty to protect Ted Kennedy and not weaponize the Secret Service. 

Other examples of early Secret Service protection:

  • Sen. Barack Obama received protection 18 months, 551 days, before election day 2012, at the request of Sen. Dick Durbin.

  • Donald Trump and Ben Carson got protection in November 2015, a year before the election.

  • Herman Cain got protection almost a year before the 2012 election.

  • Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards each received protection in February 2004, nine months before the election.

  • Bob Dole was offered protection in March 1996, eight months before the election.

  • Pat Buchanan got protection in February 1996, nine months, 250 days, before the election.

  • Bill Clinton received protection in February 1992 after the New Hampshire primary, eight months before the general election.

  • Pat Robertson got it in December 1987, about 11 months before the election, before any of the 1988 primaries.

  • Jesse Jackson got protection in November, a year before the 1988 election.

  • Walter Mondale got protection nine months before the 1984 election.

  • Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney all received protection in February and March 2012, about 10 months before Election Day

  • Sen. Walter Mondale got protection in January 1984, 10 months before the election.

  • Ronald Reagan got protection in January 1980, 10 months before the election.

To repeat: It is less than seven months before the Presidential election in November, and Kennedy still has not gotten the protection he and his family need and deserve. Nikki Haley, asked for Secret Service protection early this month because of increasing threats to her and her family. The Secret Service agreed to her request, even though she is no longer in the race.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is outraged at the treatment that RFK Jr. has gotten, asking, “How do you address the fact that previous major presidential candidates, such as Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carlson, Barack Obama, and Senator Ted Kennedy, received Secret Service protection well over 120 days before the general election?” He also said, “I ask you to act swiftly to provide this major presidential candidate the protection that his exceptional circumstances so clearly warrant.”

Biden’s indefensible inhumane decision must be reversed before it is too late.