Sunday, May 30, 2010

Secret Service, Meet Farrakhan's Surly Fruit of Islam Goons

May 30, 2010 - There are bizarre reports coming out about weird encounters yesterday between Secret Service agents and Nation of Islam goons in the Chicago neighborhood where Comrade Barack Obama maintains his dacha. Da Prez is in Chicago for the Memorial Day Weekend, and of course the Secret Service and the press are keeping close to Him. Virtually nose-to-nose, the goons and the Secret Service agents have been engaged in a kind of standoff. The Kenwood/Hyde Park neighborhood a strange neighborhood, to be sure, filled with community organizers, radical professors and other suspicious characters. One of those characters is Louis Farrakhan, Lord God King Boofoo of the Nation of Islam. Farrakhan - remember him? - lives in the Obamahood, and that's how the "Fruit of Islam" becomes part of the Obama homecoming story. Byron York reports today in the Washington Examiner on the attempts by Farrkhan's minions to intimidate the Secret Service:
"The encounter was written up — for distribution to the press, not necessarily for publication — by the New York Times’ Jackie Calmes. It began a little after 4:00 p.m. when Obama and his family walked to the nearby home of longtime friend Marty Nesbitt for a backyard cookout. It just so happens that Nesbitt lives across the street from Farrakhan."
The press and the Secret Service agents parked themselves across from the Nesbitt house - and right in front of Farrakhan's house. Back to York's dispatch: A few hours after Obama went to Nesbitt’s home, the press pool, including Calmes, was waiting in a bus parked near 49th Street and Woodlawn Avenue, next to Farrakhan’s mansion. The reporters’ Secret Service minder allowed them off the bus to stretch their legs. As they stood on the sidewalk, some of the journalists inadvertently touched the grass next to the sidewalk, and that is when the encounter began. From Calmes’ report:
Immediately a polite man in jeans and T-shirt emerged to ask us to stay off the grass. Though this grass was the curbside city property, we obliged.
But it turned out that simply staying off the grass was not enough to satisfy the man in the T-shirt. Calmes continues:
Soon, however, he was pacing and talking on a cell phone. He went inside the mansion’s black wrought iron fence, crossed the well-landscaped yard, lifted a water bucket behind rose bushes and, voila!, a walkie-talkie. He was heard to refer to “the CIA” once he began speaking into it. Soon he approached our [Secret Service] agent, asking him to move the van and its occupants, though your pooler could not hear much else he said. But the agent said, “How is this a security breach?” And he asked if the house was a government property. The man said something else and at that point the agent stuck out his and to shake hands and introduced himself as a Secret Service agent. He added, “Sir, I can assure you that we will do nothing to interfere with whatever is going on in there.”
It might be assumed that an assurance from the Secret Service would be enough to satisfy any security-minded guardian of Louis Farrakhan. But not in this case. The "showdown" finally ended after some benign intervention from Detroit. Abdon M. Pallasch of gives some details at the Chicago Sun-Times:
Rev. Gary Hunter, a Baptist minister in Detroit who writes and blogs for the Detroit Times, told reporter Jackie Calmes of the New York Times that he called Farrakhan and his son and asked them to have the Fruit stand down: "I told him you were good people . . . He said he didn't know you all were just waiting for the president.'' The Blackhawks won the first game of the series around 10 p.m. -- and Obama and his family were driven home at 10:43 p.m., the press bus in tow, ending the "stand-off.''
It may seem easy to laugh at this encounter. To be sure, there is comedy here. But Byron York points out that there is a not-so-funny side to all of this:
Some observers will make light of the whole thing — just a little misunderstanding with those weird Nation of Islam guys — but the fact that Farrakhan’s security force is close to the president’s home is likely a matter of continuing concern to the Secret Service. And on Saturday night, the two forces ran into each other.
Also See: Shame On You, Pamela Geller (Atlas Farts)