#rsrh The UFC guy needed to be checked out…

…by the US Secret Service.  Sorry to tell people that, and this anecdote sent to Power Line illustrates that it’s not unusual:

As absurd as the story sounds (and it IS absurd), as a matter of policy, the Service investigates ALL statements that could be even remotely construed as a threat to one of their protectees. This same thing would have happened if Bush were still in the White House. In fact, it did, numerous times. On one occasion in 2005, the Service briefly questioned the great John Cleese after Cleese cracked a joke in a magazine interview about climbing a tower with a rifle to get the president. A buddy of mine — a huge Monte Python fan — was mortified to be given the task of confirming that, no, Mr. Cleese did not really intend to shoot the President. He felt just as stupid as I’m sure the agents interviewing Volkmann did.

Questioning Cleese was just as ridiculous as sending agents to question the UFC fighter. However, neither case reflected on the sitting president, because in neither case was the White House even consulted. The agents were simply following USSS policy.

People like Sara Jane Moore (the would-be Ford assassin that nobody really remembers) or John Hinckley (the would-be Reagan assassin) don’t have signs on their foreheads that say “HI! I PLAN TO ASSASSINATE THE PRESIDENT AS SOON AS HE’S WITHIN PISTOL RANGE!”  Their respective attempts made their previous behavior retroactively foreboding, but the world is full of somewhat disquieting people who give off major creep vibes who never actually do anything.  And the lone gunman is the classic security person’s nightmare.

All of which would be cold comfort to the USSS member who has to explain why the President got shot on the USSS’s watch; which is why they investigate even the John Cleeses* and the Jacob Volkmanns.  They’ve been taught to do that by every lunatic or ideologue in American history who has assassinated a President, or tried to.  Of which we have had… a somewhat alarming number, really.

Moe Lane

(Via Instapundit)

*Seriously.  Being one of the funniest British comedians of recent history does not provide Mr. Cleese with any sort of practical defense against getting, say, a behavior-modifying brain tumor.

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