Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
If God created war so as to teach Americans geography, then perhaps He created scandal so as to teach us about bureaucracy. The Secret Service scandal, with its irresistible sex-sells appeal to the media, guarantees that an aspect of Big Government that has heretofore remained invisible to the public will get plenty of scrutiny. To wit: the gigantic expense of the presidential entourage as it travels at home and overseas. Excess is built upon excess, with Uncle Sam spending without limit. Compared to the way other heads of state travel, our president is in a different category altogether.
Mark Steyn, with his characteristic mocking wit, tackles the Cartagena follies in light of his own brushes with presidential entourages, making the reader both laugh and think about the media obsession du jour:
...sometimes it helps to step back and consider the bigger picture. Why were 21 officials of the United States government able to enjoy a night of pleasure with 21 prostitutes, whether "foreign nationals" or all-American? The answer isn't difficult. Indeed, one retired agent spelled it out: "They just didn't have anything to do."
So they did Dania Suarez and her friends instead.
The 21 dedicated public servants jetted in on the so-called car-planes, the big transports flying in the tinted-windowed black Suburbans for the presidential motorcade. The "car-plane" guys show up a few days in advance, but usually two weeks or so after the really advanced advance team has hit the ground. And there was nothing for them to do. There is no reason for them to be there.
So instead they went to the Pleyclub.
There is an iron law of bureaucracy: a bureaucracy will expand to consume the resources available to it. The mission of the Secret Service presidential protection unit is so critical, and the pocketbook so open, that bureaucratic metastasis is almost guaranteed. Nobody wants to be the person responsible for refusing to spend the money which could have protected the president, should an assassination attempt succeed. When in doubt, add personnel, take any measure regardless of the expense, if it closes a potential vulnerability.
Decades ago, I got know socially a US diplomat overseas who handled local arrangements for a brief presidential visit to one of the most expensive cities in the world. He regaled me with incredible stories of the extent and expense of preparations. Two C-5A's flew in limos and Suburbans, an entire floor of the most expensive hotel in town was taken over for weeks, and he was left with the unenviable task of riding herd on hotels, logistics, liaison with local authorities. I was aghast at the sums being spent with a bottomless budget, it appeared.
If it was bad then, it is worse now, and Obama is going to bear some of the political consequences, even though the problem is longstanding, and at some level intractable in nature. The reason is that Obama has done more travel for political reasons than his predecessors -- his schedule of fundraising travel far exceed Bush's record -- and he and Michelle have a track record of frequent luxury tourism on the taxpayers' dime. They already have an image of wasteful excess in the travel department.
The Secret Service organization and practices are going to come under scrutiny as responsibility is assessed and civil and criminal investigations proceed. American taxpayers deserve to see the entire extent of our security and diplomatic presence which travels with the president. There are hints that in addition to the Secret Service and military personnel, other members of the presidential entourage may have tasted of the pleasures of Cartagena's sex trade. If it is a security breach to bring a prostitute back to one's room, then the public deserves to know the entire list of buyers in the world's oldest trade on that mission. Certainly everyone with a security clearance.
I suspect the American people are sick and tired of paying for an imperial presidency. Steyn again:
Just last month, it cost U.S. taxpayers half a million bucks to fly Obama and David Cameron to Dayton, Ohio, to pretend to enjoy a basketball game. I've attended previous "Summits of the Americas" and G7 meetings and other international confabs, and always heard the same story wearily retailed by representatives of the host nation - that the money-no-object Yanks are flying in a bigger and more disruptive presidential entourage than everybody else put together. At this point, the local official usually rolls his eyes, and mostly, but not always, leaves the thought unspoken:
"Americans! What do you expect?" The Queen routinely turns down requests from visiting U.S. presidents to reinforce the garden walls and replace the windows of Buckingham Palace - for an overnight stay. When the U.S. was the richest country on earth, the mad excess used to impress in a crude kind of way: If you've got it, flaunt it. Now it's the Brokest Nation in History: America hasn't got it, but still flaunts it. Which is kind of pathetic.
Friday, April 20, 2012
The Real Story of Clinton's Assassin
Barbourism: The Politics of Ronald Barbour
Did anyone in the liberal universe or administration take note when Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said at Lemoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tenn., Saturday that "people tomorrow, maybe in a few days, are gonna kill their leaders who've been selling them out"?
Farrakhan added: "That's why we're in this shape that we're in right now, because we had corrupt people, or people that started off good and got corrupt."
We're not sure if calling people criminals is worse than calling them corrupt, but Ted Nugent didn't say any leaders would die as a result. Farrakhan did in a statement that no one in the so-called mainstream media obsessed over or that anyone in the administration wanted to talk to him about.
Vito LaPinta of Tacoma, Wash., said he posted a message on Facebook after Usama bin Laden’s death, saying Obama should be careful of possible retaliatory acts against him by other terror members, according to the station.
“I was saying how Usama was dead and for Obama to be careful because there could be suicide bombers,” the boy told the station.
A week later, the boy said a man walked into Truman Middle School “with a suit and glasses and he said he was part of the Secret Service.”
“He told me it was because of a post I made that indicated I was a threat toward the president,” he said.
"Well, this agent who was kind of ridiculous there in posting pictures and comments about checking someone out," Palin told Greta van Susteren on her FOX News program. "Well check this out, bodyguard -- you're fired. And I hope his wife sends him to the doghouse. As long as he's not eating the dog, along with his former boss. Greta, you know, a lot of people will just, I guess say that this is boys being boys. And boys will be boys, but they shouldn't be in positions of authority."
"It's a symptom of government run amok, though, Greta," Palin said on the Thursday broadcast of "On the Record" on FOX News. "Who is minding the store here? And when it comes to this particular issue of Secret Service, again, playing with the taxpayer's dime and playing with prostitutes and checking out those whom they are guarding."
"You know, the President, for one, he better be wary there when Secret Service is accompanying his family on vacation. They may be checking out the First Lady, instead of guarding her. I say that not just tongue in cheek, but I say that seriously," Palin said.
David Randall Chaney, a 48-year-old supervisor, wrote that he was 'really checking out' the vice-presidential candidate when he guarded her during the 2008 election campaign.
But Ms Palin yesterday hit back at the disgraced agent who retired this week after being suspended along with ten others involved in an argument with escorts at a hotel.
Reuters ^ |
(Reuters) - Musician and gun-rights advocate Ted Nugent said on Thursday he had a positive meeting with U.S. Secret Service agents investigating his recent criticism of President Barack Obama, and the agency confirmed the issue had been resolved.
Nugent, who told NRA supporters in St. Louis last week that he would be "dead or in jail" next year if Obama was reelected, said in a statement that he had "met with two fine, professional Secret Service agents" in Oklahoma.
"Good, solid, professional meeting concluding that I have never made any threats of violence towards anyone. The meeting could not have gone better," the 63-year-old singer and guitarist said. He was due to perform a concert in Ardmore, Oklahoma on Thursday.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
phone conversations with the USSS | 6-15-04 | dfu
Posted on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 11:11:49 AM by doug from upland
Yes, ladies and gentlemen it was the conversation that all political junkies dread. It was the conversation with the United States Secret Service.
Doug from Upland was reported yesterday to the Secret Service. What could Doug have done? Who turned him in? Is harmless Doug a threat to anyone? Has he ever harmed anyone? This would be so out of character. This is a guy who delivers Meals on Wheels to the elderly and reads to the Kindergarteners for his Kiwanis group. He opens doors for ladies, doesn't eat meat, and has helped save several lost pets. Are we speaking of the same Doug?
Here is the background. On THIS THREAD was a sentence that read: Former President Bill Clinton's official portrait is to be unveiled and hung in the White House in a ceremony Monday, according to Smithsonian officials and a close Clinton friend.
I made the following flippant commennt:
Leave out " 's official portrait" in the first line and we have a good sentence. All right, I guess I should have known better than to give the lefties any potential ammo. I guess they must spend a lot of time on FR.
Five FReepers sent me FReepmail to alert me that some kind of rodents who inhabit the underworld somewhere got their panties in a wad. Fortunately, they only got them in a wad. They weren't the victims of a horrific war crime in which they were forced to wear them on their heads. Apparently, some on the Lunatic Left believe that they finally had something. I am told that they are still angry for the publishing on FR of the names listed on the A.N.S.W.E.R. website of those America-hating lefties and communists. I dared to give my opinion that they were enemies of America while we are engaged in the War on Terror. How could I have possibly thought I had the right to do that? Afer all, the First Amendment is only for the benefit of the leftists. Right? Another FReeper told me that some are still angry that a lunatic teacher had his interview cancelled with Aaron Brown and that somehow I was responsible. :)
Well, enough was enough. Someone had to turn in Doug from Upland for that outrageous comment about the impeached serial sexual predator and disgraced ex-president who defiled the White House and took 900K from Bernie Schwartz, allowing Bernie to avoid prosecution for selling missile technology to the ChiComs that now enables their missiles to hit any U.S. city, hitting racial minorities, gays, women, the elderly, and children hardest. (Raise your hand if you sometimes love run on sentences.)
Who did it? Who turned Doug in? Why, Doug from Upland did it. Yes, really.
The first call was to the SS office in D.C. I spoke with an agent who investigates threats, gave her my information, gave her the link, and read what I wrote. The agent said, "That's it? That's it? Has someone complained about that? Are you a threat?"
I told the agent that I was not a threat, didn't know if someone had phoned, but I wanted to save them some time if they received complaints. After all, we are speaking here about the lunatic left. The USSS needs to spend their time protecting our current commander in chief rather than chasing complaints of the whackjobs. It saved them time having to find the site, find the post, contact JimRob to get info about me, etc.
The agent was surprised that I then asked for the field agent in Los Angeles. I told her that, since it was in my area, I wanted to alert them also. She appreciated the fact that I made the call to her.
In Los Angeles, I reached a male agent and went through the same scenario. He thought the comment was "innocuous" and was quite surprised that someone would want to waste their time with this. He realized that I was no threat.
I am not certain, but I think the agent might have enjoyed my anecdote about how I went to the White House for a weekend in 1998 to present an eviction notice to the Clintons. Because I couldn't serve it on them, I had fun and entertained a small crowd by parading with a poster sized eviction notice. I was turned in to the Secret Service for that episode. For those who don't know the background, I told a talk radio show in the Los Angeles area of the plans to present the eviction notice. It obviously would not be able to be served, so the plan was to "blow it up to poster size" and carry it in front of the White House. A nitwit leftist who heard the talk show thought that was some kind of threat actually told the Secret Service that there was a plot to blow up the White House. A field agent from Los Angeles made the station owners come in to the station and play the tape from that phone call to determine that there was no threat. What a monumental waste of resources. When I heard about the report, I phoned the field office in Los Angeles. They realized it was no threat, just a Clinton KoolAide drinker upset at someone mocking the disgraced president.
That was an enjoyable weekend adventure in D.C. sharing Clinton anecdotes with the crowd. That was before the days when we really knew what a FReep was. It was before the days of the famous WH chant in which the D.C. FReepers told Clinton to step away from the intern and come out with his pants up. In this hectic and busy weekend, I was fortunate to have a FReeper show me around town. I made the trip to the Starbucks where Katy Mahoney had worked, to Ft. Marcy Park where Vince's body was dumped (no, I don't believe he was murdered, just that his body was moved), the Watergate hotel where they denied my request to do an FR interview with Monica Lewinsky, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Monument, the Vietnam Memorial, and a White House tour. At the end of the tour, I actually got a smile and small laugh from a Secret Service agent as we left. Somewhere, I have a photo of him smiling over the comment I made about secret Clinton evidence in his official cool Secret Service logo briefcase. I really wanted one of those briefcases but they could not sell me one.
Oh, yes. Back to the field agent in Los Angeles. We ended our friendly conversation with him telling me that I shouldn't expect to be hearing back from them. I suppose he believes that an innocuous comment about a disgraced and impeached ex-president is not nearly as important as focusing resources on protecting our current outstanding commander in chief.
Whew. That was close. How does Doug from Upland get away with this stuff?
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
My “Number Two” (Number One is the SS Director Mark Sullivan at SS HQ in Washington, D.C.) is a man I call, “The Boring Dude of Seattle.” We met on March 31, 2011 at Union Station just after I arrived by train from White Fish, Montana. I figured the SS would send a “Welcome Wagon” crew of agents like they did when I arrived in Los Angeles in the summer of 2009, when six “MEN IN BLACK” swarmed me as I stepped down from the San Diego AMTRAK.
This time, however, a friendly voice with a Southern accent said from behind me, “Welcome to Seattle, Mr. Barbour…I’m Special Agent John Grimsley of the U.S. Secret Service.”
I turned to see a smiling small neat white man in his early 40s with thin hair who reminded me of a STASI (East German secret police) from the movie The Lives of Others where a True Believer STASI agent is shocked by the corruption and degeneration of his commanding officer and service, and as a result becomes an opponent of the regime who gives aid to the East German political opposition to the Reds.
I had planned to tell the Seattle SS Welcome Wagon to bugger off, but the thought flashed in my mind that this particular SS agent was perhaps cut from the same patriotic mold as myself. Furthermore, I am well aware that all SS agents swear a sacred oath before Almighty God to support and defend the Republic, so I agreed to accompany him in his government vehicle that transported me free of charge to my hotel.
In the year since then, I have had numerous meetings with Grimsley, which are difficult for me because he is a very boring man. How boring? I believe he very likely sits in a lawn chair to watch the grass grow in his front yard on a beautiful Washington state summer day.
Grimsley claims to be a Christian and a patriot; however, he speaks volumes of silence to my question of, “How can a good man serve evil without becoming evil.” I would compare him in his present stage of evolution to Mr. Starbuck in Moby Dick who on paper is a Christian officer and American patriot, but blindly following orders from an evil commander.
In 1815 Marshal Ney was sent by the King of France with an army to arrest Napoleon who was marching on Paris with his supporters after escape from exile on Elba.
History records that Ney and his army joined Bonaparte and together they marched on Paris.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Fm: Ronald Barbour
Re. Memorandum For The Record
As you are aware, I have requested a meeting with you and at 1000 hours on April 17, 2012 in regards to issues with the U.S. Secret Service (hereafter called by their initials, “SS”) in this memorandum for the record.
I have also asked Dustin Chadwick, to attend, since he has been briefed by me in detail concerning my problems concerning the SS and Agent John Grimsley of the Seattle division. Mr. Chadwick can offer valuable insight into the situation as an experienced professional with a degree in psychology from the University of Washington.
I have known Counselor Chadwick for nearly a year since taking residence here at the William Booth Center (hereafter called by its initials, “WTC”) and he has impressed me as an honorable clean cut professional who often reminds me of officers and NCOs in various Military Intelligence units, I served in during the Cold War as a professional soldier in the U.S. Army.
I began this memorandum by stating that I have many personal issues with the SS, but in a larger sense all Americans who are loyal to the U.S. Constitution – The Republic – have serious issues with a federal law enforcement agency rapidly spinning out of control that is being used as an instrument of tyranny by a very troubled and unstable president. I should note at this junction, if at any time in your life you swore a sacred oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies of the Republic, you are a patriot on the same page with me.
Yes, I’m aware that SS Agent Grimsley and all officers of his agency swear loyalty to the Republic; however, if a person has a private agenda and the personality profile of a psychopath, an oath to Almighty God has no weight. A classic example of a psychopath of would be President Obama, who once stated in an interview while a lecturer of “Constitutional Law” at Harvard the U.S. Constitution limited his Big Brother idea of “good” government.
I have serious and reasonable reservations concerning Grimsley’s loyalty to the Republic, but I do not doubt, as a high ranking member of the SS with a parallel rank to a colonel in the U.S. Army, he is firmly in the camp of his SS Director Sullivan. This is the official, “The Prefect of the Praetorian Guard,” who controls access to the White House and has ordered his agents to point machine guns at peaceful Americans. This is conclusive proof in my never humble opinion that Mr. Sullivan puts defense of a traitor-president above his oath to protect and serve the Republic.
What are some examples of SS illegal activities against this particular American citizen?
*Note: In an effort to focus all the latest SS offenses against the Republic, I will post links to a catalog of tyranny directed against me by the SS that includes violations of my rights under the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, violation of my Writ of Habeas Corpus and numerous additional oppressive measures.
The most recent example would be stalking, harassment and blackmail of me in Seattle by SS Agent Grimsley, who insists without the production of federal court orders, that has “The Right” to interview me on a monthly basis. I should note the SS base this authority on the outcome of THE USA v. BARBOUR where I was sentenced to a total of eight years imprisonment/probation/fine for the alleged violation of U.S.C. 871 “Threat Against The President, “ In this case, President William Jefferson Clinton; another socialist president who was later impeached by the House of Representatives in 1998 for perjury and obstruction of justice.
The legal sanction of the federal district court ended on June 26, 2001, when I was given official notice that all my civil rights under the U.S. Constitution were restored; however, it was soon related to me by SS Agent Kevin Billings that I was to be an “unconfined prisoner” of the SS for the rest of my natural life.
When I laughed and asked him if the SS would drive a wooden stake through my heart after I died, Billings responded with a serious look on his face,
“No, but SS agents will confirm that the corpse really is your earthly remains.”
To date Agent Billings has been proven to speak right on!
I have been stalked and harassed by the SS since my release from federal prison on June 26, 1998 in more than a few states.
On March 31, 2011, I arrived in Seattle via the Empire Builder AMTRAK from White Fish, Montana and was greeted by SS Agent Grimsley at Union Station.
I would note the polite secret police totalitarian harassment, stalking and blackmail of me by the SS have continued since that date.
It works like this: In public SS agents (usually two in number) suddenly appear out of nowhere and flash their badges. I am asked to “talk” with them. If I refuse their “kind” offer, the SS calls the local police and tells them fictional information based on a one page summary written in Washington, D.C. by persons unknown within the SS that makes me appear to be a wild eyed anarchist at war with the American People.
The local cops, based on this SS disinformation sometime react strongly against me. In Missoula, Montana, for example, they sent their SWAT to accompany an SS Agent to harass me at a motel. As can be well imagined this caused an uproar, which could have easily been fatal to me, since the city policemen had been told the Big Lie by the SS that I was a threat to their personal safety.
The idea behind unpleasant incidents that are authored by the SS is to force me to deal directly with them in monthly interviews; it is a variation on the old “good cop – bad cop” routine. If I attempt to ignore the SS invitation to chat with the “good” SS cop on a regular basis – then I am certain to get a visit from the “bad” local police.
I don’t have to tell you this is pure and simple BLACKMAIL.
This would be the same as if a woman had an ex-husband who wants to break all contact with her and moves about the country to preserve his privacy, only to see her show up demanding to talk to him. When the invitation to parley is refused, this female goes to the local cops with a cock and bull story that he is a crazy felon who may be armed and dangerous!
One can easily imagine that the reaction from the honest policeman, who are increasingly worried about their personal safety on the dangerous streets of America. Thus a jealous and hate filled woman sets up her ex-husband for assassination by police on the basis that, “If I can’t have him, no one will have him!”
Yes, based on my example above, I have a reasonable concern for my personal safety, as the SS has stalked, harassed and blackmailed me for the last eighteen years: why not set me up for murder?
I should note that while in prison I was the target of two assassination attempts – both time I was attacked from behind by large black males who had been arrested and convicted by the SS. As is well known in prison circles, the FBI and SS often make deals with prison inmates they have arrested for less time in a “re-trial” of the same offense….They just ask a small favor… one little murder…and a twenty year sentence disappears into “time served.”
I am sorry to dump this mess on your desk, but I don’t know where else to turn for redress. The U.S. Department of Justice and local law enforcement do nothing while SS agents stalk, harass and blackmail honest citizens like myself: A band of brothers and sisters who engage in lawful political opposition to the current federal regime that has evolved into a neo-Communist dictatorship under President Obama.
I don’t have to tell you this is TYRANNY and it is DUTY of all true patriots and Christians to resist EVIL.
I ask for the “protection of the cross” while I live in Seattle from The Salvation Army that has DECLARED WAR ON EVIL!
Sincerely Yours, Ronald Barbour
Sunday, April 15, 2012
THE MINORITY OPINION
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. (No. 94-21-CR-ORL-22), Conway, Anne A., District Judge.
Before KRAVITCH, Circuit Judge, WEBSTER, Senior Circuit Judge, and ALAIMO[*], Senior District Judge.
However, according to an investigation by Secret Service agents, Barbour went to the Mall in Washington each day of his trip, intending to shoot President Clinton while the President was jogging. On January 18, 1994, Barbour headed back to Florida. Barbour denied that he attempted to assassinate President Clinton, which would have been impossible in the time period in question because the President was on a state visit to Russia.
On January 29, 1994, Barbour invited some neighbors, including Stacy Harris, into his apartment to attend a party. Attendence at this party included Barbour's brother, Jack. Barbour told him about his journey to Washington. Stacy Harris, a free lance confidential drug informant for various police agencies, after quickly researching the reward paid by the federal government for those with knowlege of Presidential assassination and finding the amount to be $100,000, returned to the party with a tape recorder that was concealed on his person. Barbour told witnesses, as recorded on tape, of his attempted assassination of President Clinton. Both Ronald and Jack Barbour denied any threats were made against President Clinton and testimony by Harris revealed that the tape was edited from over three hours to less than one minute.
On February 1, 1994, Secret Service agents began an investigation based on information from Harris that Barbour had attempted to assassinate President Clinton. After checking into Barbour's background and finding that he was a decorated U.S. Army retired veteran with service in Military Intelligence and expert marksman, graduate with Bachelor degree in History and Political Science from Rollins College and a graduate with an Associates of Science degree in Law Enforcement from Central Texas College, a free lance writer with many articles published in Central Florida newspapers, a former teacher of Social Studies in public and private secondary schools in Brevard County, Florida during the late 1980s, and a conservative Republican party political activist with experience as a campaign manager in the unsuccessful Congressional bid of Republican candidate Scott Ellis, the agents on February 3, 1994, received information from Harris that Barbour was going to the V.A. clinic to seek treatment for high blood pressure. With this information, the agents traveled to the V.A. clinic While Secret Service Special Agents John F. McKenna and Eugene L. Sveum met with Daniel Doherty, head of the administration at the V.A. Clinic, Barbour was in the lobby awaiting treatment.
Doherty agreed to assist the agents in finding Barbour. After locating Barbour in the lobby, Doherty brought him to his office where he was immediately joined by the Secret Service agents. According to Barbour, McKenna and Sveum were identified as agents, and both "quickly flashed their badge" and Barbour asked if this encounter was a joke. The agents stated that they had information he had traveled to Washington to attempt to assassinate President Clinton. McKenna read him the Miranda warnings. Barbour told McKenna that he understood his rights and indicated that he wished to talk to the agents. At the time, Barbour indicated that he was aware that it is a crime to attempt to kill the President. At the suppression hearing, Barbour denied that Miranda warnings were ever recited. The agents described Barbour as well- mannered, courteous and cooperative throughout the entire interview. Barbour denied that agents informed him of his constitutional right to remain silent and that he was quite upset concerning the serious nature of the charge made by the agents and asked to see an attorney.
Immediately after his interview with the agents, Barbour met with Dr. DeCastro, who found him to be suicidal and in need of immediate treatment. Pursuant to Florida law, Fla.Stat.Ann. § 394.463, Dr. DeCastro committed Barbour involuntarily to a private mental health facility, Lakeside Alternatives. Barbour denies that he ever met a Dr. DeCastro, but well recalls being placed involuntarly in a locked mental ward at Lakesides Alternatives and being denied without access to counsel, family and friends for a period of two weeks in violation of his Writ of Habeas Corpus.
Agent McKenna testified that on the next day, February 4, 1994, he visited Barbour at Lakeside Alternatives, presented him with a Secret Service form entitled "Consent to Search," and informed him of his constitutional right to refuse to give consent. Barbour denied that such an interview took place on this date, but does recall being placed on forced medication of that date because his many demands to meet with an attorney upset the staff at Lakeside Alternatives.
Agent McKenna returned to Lakeside Alternatives on February 7, 1994. He told Barbour that he wanted to ask him questions about his trip to Washington, D.C., and, again, he read Barbour the Miranda warnings. Barbour denied that he was given the Miranda warnings and expressed concern over what he thought was an illegal imprisonment and demanded to see an attorney. At this time, Barbour was taking Ativan and Lithium for depression. Barbour denied that he needed medication at that time but that more powerful drugs had been forced on him by the staff at Lakeside Alternatives that made him unusually passive and mild.
The district court found that Barbour was read his Miranda warnings on February 3 and 7, 1994, and that he understood his rights. The court further found that Barbour was read the consent to search form on February 4, 1994, and that he understood his rights on that occasion as well. Finding no evidence that Barbour's medication interfered with his ability to think clearly or understand the charges being made against him, and that on the facts of this case his placement in a mental ward without benefit of counsel was not coercive or illegal, the district court found that his statements were not coerced and that the government had met its burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that Barbour voluntarily waived his rights. See Colorado v. Connelly, 479 U.S. 157, 168-69, 107 S.Ct. 515, 522-23, 93 L.Ed.2d 473 (1986).
Barbour alleges that he was never informed of his Miranda rights. He also contends that even if he were informed of these rights, he did not waive them "voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently." Miranda, 384 U.S. at 444, 86 S.Ct. at 1612.
The threshold inquiry is whether Barbour was informed of his Miranda rights. See New York v. Quarles, 467 U.S. 649, 654, 104 S.Ct. 2626, 2630, 81 L.Ed.2d 550 (1984); Miranda, 384 U.S. at 468-70, 86 S.Ct. at 1624-26. The district court found that Barbour was read his Miranda warnings on February 3 and 7. Barbour never admitted that he signed the "Consent to Search" form on February 4. Because we conclude that the district court's determination is not clearly erroneous, this threshold inquiry is satisfied. Thus, we turn to Barbour's claim that his Miranda rights were not waived "voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently."
In Moran v. Burbine, 475 U.S. 412, 106 S.Ct. 1135, 89 L.Ed.2d 410 (1986), the Supreme Court explained the two- part inquiry into whether a defendant's waiver of Miranda rights was voluntary, knowing, and intelligent.
First, the relinquishment of the right must have been voluntary in the sense that it was the product of a free and deliberate choice rather than intimidation, coercion, or deception. Second, the waiver must have been made with a full awareness of both the nature of the right being abandoned and the consequences of the decision to abandon it. Only if the "totality of the circumstances surrounding the interrogation" reveal both an uncoerced choice and the requisite level of comprehension may a court properly conclude that the Miranda rights have been waived.
Id. at 421, 106 S.Ct. at 1141 (quoting Fare, 442 U.S. 707, 99 S.Ct. 2560, 61 L.Ed.2d 197) (citations omitted).
We begin with the first prong, whether the waiver was made voluntarily. The fact that a defendant suffers from depression does not, by itself, render a waiver involuntary; there must be coercion by an official actor. See Colorado v. Connelly, 479 U.S. at 169-70, 107 S.Ct. at 522-23; Coleman v. Singletary, 30 F.3d at 1426; Purvis v. Dugger, 932 F.2d 1413, 1422-23 (11th Cir.1991), cert. denied, 503 U.S. 940, 112 S.Ct. 1485, 117 L.Ed.2d 627 (1992). Thus, the fact that Barbour was suffering depression does not render his statements involuntary unless the agents took advantage of his mental illness. This conclusion is supported by the testimony of Agent McKenna, Barbour's own statement that he was aware that the agents were investigating a charge that he had attempted to kill the President, and his knowledge that this attempt was a crime. Absent any evidence of psychological or physical coercion on the part of the agents, there is no basis for declaring Barbour's statements and consent to search involuntary.
We turn now to the second prong of the waiver analysis, namely, whether the waiver was made with "a full awareness of both the nature of the right being abandoned and the consequences of the decision to abandon it." Moran, 475 U.S. at 421, 106 S.Ct. at 1141. Barbour appears to argue that because of his depression and use of the drugs Lithium and Ativan, he was unaware of the consequences of abandoning his rights, that is, he did not abandon them knowingly and intelligently. Although a defendant's impaired mental state (whether drug induced or otherwise) may prevent that person from understanding the nature of his or her waiver, Coleman, 30 F.3d at 1426, this is not the case here. The district court found there was no evidence that Barbour's severe depression interfered with his ability to think clearly or with his understanding of the charges made against him. Likewise, the court found that the Lithium and Ativan Barbour was taking on February 7 did not impair his ability to understand his rights on that day. In fact, Barbour himself testified that had he been informed of his Miranda rights he would have understood their meaning, and his educational (Barbour has a Bachelor Degree from Rollins College) and military experience (Barbour is a retired U.S. Army senior NCO)support this admission. Because the district court's findings were not clearly erroneous, we accept that Barbour was informed of his Miranda rights. Because we also accept Barbour's own admission that he would have understood his rights had they been read to him, we conclude that Barbour voluntarily waived his rights and that he was aware of the nature of these rights and the consequences of waiving them.
Whether Barbour's conduct evidenced an intent to carry out his threat raises a mixed question of law and fact. Although we review the district court's factual findings under a clearly erroneous standard, United States v. Burton, 933 F.2d 916, 917 (11th Cir.1991), whether the facts evidence an intent to carry out the threat is a question of law and is reviewed de novo. Id. Whether conduct that occurred prior to a threat may be considered when determining if a defendant evidenced an intent to carry out that threat is a pure question of law subject to de novo review. Id.
Barbour contends that the conduct upon which the district court based its application of the enhancement should not have been considered because it occurred prior to his threat. Specifically, Barbour argues that evidence of his January 11-18 trip to Washington and the events that occurred there may not be used to prove an intent to carry out a threat made on January 29 of that same year.
Barbour cites United States v. Philibert, 947 F.2d 1467, 1468 (11th Cir.1991), in which this court refused to uphold a six- level enhancement under § 2A6.1(b)(1). Philibert involved a defendant's threat to kill his supervisor. The first time the defendant made such a threat, he said he did it "because he felt like it." Id. at 1468. Nine months after this first threat, the defendant purchased guns, bayonets and ammunition. Id. Fifty- three days after purchasing these weapons, the defendant telephoned his supervisor and threatened his life. Id. at 1468-69. The district court based the enhancement on the fact that the defendant had purchased the weapons. This court refused to uphold the enhancement because there was no evidence in the record to suggest any connection whatever between appellant's acquisition of firearms ... and any effort to carry out the threat.... Indeed, a reasonable conclusion from the facts of record is that [the appellant made the second threatening call] "because he felt like it'; there is no evidence whatever that he had any intention of carrying out the threat.
Id. at 1471. This Court added that if the defendant were reconvicted, the six- level enhancement should not be applied unless there were additional evidence to justify the required factual finding. Philibert requires that for a § 2A6.1(b)(1) enhancement to be justified, there must be an evidentiary basis to support the conclusion that the defendant's conduct evidenced an intent to carry out the threat. The decision in Philibert did not, however, rule out the use of pre- threat conduct in determining whether a defendant intended to carry out his or her threat. See United States v. Hines, 26 F.3d 1469, 1474 n. 2 (9th Cir.1994).
Barbour also refers us to United States v. Hornick, 942 F.2d 105 (2nd Cir.1991), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 1061, 112 S.Ct. 942, 117 L.Ed.2d 112 (1992), where the Second Circuit held that pre- threat conduct may not be used to support an enhancement under § 2A6.1(b)(1). We follow the Ninth Circuit in declining to follow Hornick. See United States v. Hines, 26 F.3d at 1474; see also United States v. Gary, 18 F.3d 1123, 1128 (4th Cir.) (holding that pre- threat conduct may form the basis of a § 2A6.1(b)(1) enhancement), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 115 S.Ct. 134, 130 L.Ed.2d 77 (1994). The guideline recognizes that "the seriousness of [the threat] depends upon the defendant's intent and the likelihood that the defendant would carry out the threat." § 2A6.1, comment. (backg'd.); see also Hines, 26 F.3d at 1474. If the defendant's acts demonstrate both that he or she intends to act on the threat and is, in fact, likely to do so, then whether those acts occurred before or after the threat should make no difference. It would make no sense to punish more severely the person who threatens to kill the President while driving to the store to purchase a gun than the person who makes the same threat on the way home from the same store. See United States v. Harris, 763 F.Supp. 546, 551 n. 11 (M.D.Ala.1991).
Despite our disagreement with the Second Circuit's categorical rule in Hornick, however, we are sensitive to the concern expressed by that court when it wrote:
If prior to the actual making of a threat, the government might scour a defendant's past to unearth some incident that might point to an intent on defendant's part to carry out a threat he made later, an upward adjustment would become almost automatic, and would bear only a tenuous relationship to the primary conduct at issue–the threat itself.
Hornick, 942 F.2d at 108. The fact that a person has at some point in life engaged in dangerous or even illegal activity is insufficient to demonstrate that that person intended to carry out any particular threat. The purpose of the enhancement is to punish more severely the individual whose actions indicate an intent to carry out the threat that serves as the basis for the underlying conviction. It is not a general mandate to punish more severely people with bad character or those generally more likely to carry out their threats. This is the reason why the enhancement in Philibert was reversed. Although there may be every reason to think that a person who purchases weaponry is more likely to carry out death threats than one who does not, the district court in Philibert did not make the necessary further findings to support the claim that there was a close nexus between the defendant's acts and his threat.
Because the evidence must support a direct connection between the defendant's acts and his or her threat, pre- threat conduct often may be less persuasive than post- threat conduct. Nonetheless, we hold that under certain circumstances pre- threat conduct may be used as evidence to demonstrate a defendant's intent to carry out a threat. Factors a district court should consider in determining the probative value of pre- threat conduct include the following: the proximity in time between the threat and the prior conduct, the seriousness of defendant's prior conduct, and the extent to which the pre- threat conduct has progressed towards carrying out the threat.
In the present case, Barbour "was not just making idle threats." Hines, 26 F.3d at 1474. Less than two weeks prior to his threats, Barbour was in Washington, D.C., with one hundred rounds of ammunition, waiting to assassinate the President. He failed to carry out his plan only because the President never arrived where Barbour was waiting, and he returned home only after discovering the President was out of the country. Barbour never deviated from his plan to kill the President; he was just denied the opportunity. Thus, when Barbour made his threats after returning home, there was every reason to conclude that he intended to act on those threats and that he was likely to do so. Because the record supports the district court's determination that Barbour had evidenced an intent to carry out his threat, the six- level enhancement pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 2A6.1(b)(1) was properly applied.
Minority Opinion: Judge Webster, Senior Circuit Judge:
Seldom does this court see a case that cries out for redress than the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. BARBOUR, which is little more than a politically motivated witch hunt designed to silence a critic of President Clinton.
Consider the following facts that the majority ignores:
1. The information that Barbour had attempted to assassinate came from a confidential informant not trusted by law enforcement agencies because the information he provided to authorities was not reliable and used to settle personal disputes with others.
2. The agents discovered in the course of their investigation that Harris had produced a recording that was clearly illegal under federal and state statutes and should not have been admitted in court, because it lacked a chain of custody, but was allowed by the District Court based only on the testimony of Harris of its accuracy.
3. President Clinton was briefed by Ronald Noble, the current Director of the Secret Service, on or about February 4, 1994 concerning the arrest of Barbour for an assassination attempt. The repeated attempts made by Barbour to secure the minutes of his meeting between Clinton and Noble from the White House have been denied the citing National Security.
4. Barbour was denied his right to WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS for a period of two weeks --February 3, 1994 to February 17, 1994-- despite several attempts by Barbour to secure the attention of the federal judicary. It should be noted that the District Court later totally ignored a motion made by Barbour's attorney to have his client released from custody and all charges dismissed for this extremely serious violation of the U.S. Constitution.
5. The District Court ignored possible perjury on the part of Secret Service agents who first interviewed Barbour at the VA Clinic in Orlando. Barbour has tesified that he was not read his Miranda right to remain silent, and this testimony is supported by the Director of the VA Clinic in Orlando who overheard the conversation from another room. The agents also failed to record Barbour's alleged permission to answer questions or to obtain his signature on a waiver; yet both agents testified that they had these items available in their government vehicle.
The decision of the District Court could have been reversed by the majority Circuit Court of Appeals on any of these grounds, which are gross violations by the government of a citizen's rights under the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th and 14th Amendments, violation of Writ of Habeas Corpus, and indications of a conspiracy to convict an innocent man that reaches into the highest office in the land.
In the words of Montesquieu, "There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice."
For these reasons, the minority DISSENTS.