Skip to comments.Colombian rebels aimed to kill Bush, official says
Posted on 11/28/2004 6:05:39 AM PST by SandRat
BOGOTA, Colombia - President Bush was targeted for assassination by Colombia's biggest Marxist rebel group this week when he visited the Caribbean port city of Cartagena, a top Colombian official said Saturday.
"According to informants and various sources, we had information indicating that various members of the FARC had been instructed by their leaders to make an attempt against President Bush," Defense Secretary Jorge Alberto Uribe told reporters.
He would not reveal details of the threat.
The Secret Service, which protects the president, said it "does not comment or release information regarding our protective intelligence and protective methods."
"We do not discuss any alleged threats to our protectees," said Jonathan Cherry, a Secret Service spokesman.
White House spokesman Jim Morrell also declined to comment on the plot, but he said: "We have full confidence in the fine work of the Secret Service and their work with the security officials on the ground when the president travels."
The 17,000-strong Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, fighting a 40-year guerrilla war against the state, has long accused the United States of backing business interests in this Andean country while ignoring the 60 percent of the population that lives in poverty.
There was heavy security in Cartagena when Bush visited the city Monday on his way back from the APEC forum in Chile. Military helicopters packed with soldiers flew over Bush's motorcade while naval vessels kept watch offshore. Many shops were shuttered.
The FARC has made many attempts against the life of President Alvaro Uribe, one of few conservative South American presidents with strong ties to Washington. Uribe, whose father was killed resisting kidnapping by the FARC in the 1980s, narrowly survived a car bomb attack by the FARC during his 2002 presidential campaign.
The last U.S. president to visit Colombia was Bill Clinton, whose trip to Cartagena was marked by the seizure of bomb-making materials from a house six blocks from a building Clinton was visiting.
Bush used his four-hour trip to solidify his alliance with Uribe, whom he considers an ally in the effort to curtail the illegal drug trade and fight terrorism.
Colombia produces about 90 percent of the cocaine consumed in the United States and 50 percent of the heroin.
Washington has paid out more than $3 billion over the past four years for Plan Colombia, a security and anti-drug program developed by Clinton and former Colombian President Andres Pastrana. Bush has promised more support.
Colombia's economy is expected to grow by 4 percent this year and next as it takes advantage of a reduction in violence in its war involving the FARC and far-right paramilitaries, both of which have links to the country's huge cocaine trade.
The last thing these guys want is anything bad to happen to our president. Can you imagine the s---storm that a president Cheney would bring down on them?
So now you have a time stamp to put with it.
And the LAMEStreamMedia calls us (FR), unprofessional (we have more degreed professionals than LSM) pajama clad (well, we often are in our jams) hacks who denigrate the esteemed and time honored profession of Journalism. "Me thinks they doth protest TOO MUCH!"
Just as he can't appease the Teddy Kennedy's of this world through diplomacy and handshakes, neither can he appease or sway the world's dictators, terrorists and Marxists by visting their unstable countries and turning on his charm.
The world has changed and presidential journeys are infinitely less safe than during the times of past heads of state. Today's risks of assassination must be measured against any potential accomplishments actually fulfilled.
Let Condi clean out the State Department Augean Stable. Then let her and her diplomatic staff do the majority of schmoozing around the world.
And remember, Klinton had Yasser to the White House multiple times for "conferences".....and an Arafat lot of good it did.
Bubba pardoned some terrorists in his final days but I think they were FALN terrorists, not FARC. Anyone remember which group Bubba let go?
Which should be brought back to haunt any Shrillary campaign I might add. heh heh
Maybe this little scare will serve as a kind of wake-up call for America. WE ARE BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE PEOPLE!
While the radical Islamist threat from the Middle East and Asia continues to consume all of our time and resources, the militant Marxist scumbags in South America are burning down that continent's Democracies one-by-one.
First, Venuzuela turned into one-party communist dictatorship back in 1999, then Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru, and Chile (formerly a golden ally of ours in that region) turned left. Chavez has begun to arm, train, and harbor Colombia's ever-expanding homegrown commie group, the FARC.
Uribe, as strong and capable a leader as he is, can only do so much. He can barely even keep Colombia afloat, and the commie slimeballs now control much of the Colombian countryside and impose their own law on the people as they see fit.
If I was a little smarter, a little wiser, I might just know what we should do about this problem, but I'm not. All I know is that the Monroe Doctrine and the Reagan foreign policy could use a little workout now before it's too late, and before the new communists of Latin America turn their attention to causing us trouble, or to funding and training our enemies in the Middle East.