I wonder what will happen to the man who calls for the assassination of the President of the United States. The post-9/11 era dictates that the mere thought of something so absurd, something so backwards, merits serious consequences. The Department of Homeland Security elevates the national threat level. A Patriot Act-like bill pushes its way through Congress. Those associated with the plot are arrested, interrogated, sent to Guantanamo, and kept there. The President is safe.
But I’ve left out one blaring detail that has the power to quell Washington’s reaction: the man’s political and religious affiliation.
Gawker broke a story today that baffled me more than it shocked me. Andrew Adler, newspaper editor operating the weekly Atlanta Jewish Times, published a column last week pushing for Israelis to consider assassinating President Obama in response to his diverging views on the alleged Iranian threat. Adler, best defined as a staunch “Israel-firster”, finds much to criticize about American diplomacy and suggests that the assassination will “forcefully” steer the United States back into Israel’s pocket, to be taken out whenever Israel needs to “obliterate” an enemy.
The column, circulating among thousands for an entire week, received a significant amount of feedback from readers but received no attention from the authorities. Although the case can be made against Adler for threatening the President or putting his life in jeopardy — a Class D felony — the most trouble he’s felt is a sense of regret that compelled him to issue a brief apology. That was that. No alerts from Homeland Security, no new security measures, no arrests. According to ABC News, the Secret Service has announced that it could open an investigation. It sure could. What if, instead of Andrew, his name was Ahmad?
One final note: People like Adler feel compelled to cite the Hamas Charter in order to substantiate the self-victimization that compels Israel to maintain its occupation of Palestine and its military edge over countries like Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, and Iran. Yet he too uses words like “obliterate” when referring to “Israel’s enemies” which, apparently, now include the President himself. If Adler’s line of thinking isn’t problematic, I don’t know what is. But for right now, it appears that all is still quiet on the homefront.
UPDATE: The Secret Service is now looking into the matter, Fox News reports.