Speaking of Secret Service Failures . . . Abraham Lincoln

At a Special Meeting of this Association…the following expressions of its sentiments and feelings were unanimously adopted the national joy has been suddenly turned to mourning! Exuberant congratulations at the brilliant victories of the Union armies have given place to the lamentations of grief and sadness. The glorious banner of our liberty, proudly floating from every house-top, emblem of our strength, now droops with the somber draperies of woe, at half mast. A great and a good man has fallen! Stricken down by the hand of an assassin, in a moment of fancied security and relaxation from cares of State, without note of warning . . .

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, the President of the United States, IS DEAD! enrolled as the great Martyr to Human Liberty [Lincoln] gave his life in support and defence of that Government the mortal remains of the beloved President have been borne from the National Capital towards his own home. The bitter grief of the people has been manifested in every step of their progress. This Association has borne its humble part in the escort through our Metropolis. The funeral knell; the muffled drum; the sad and solemn procession of the martial hosts; the somber tread of the citizen mourners have accompanied them towards their final resting place; and still they are moving on… The highest honor of all ascriptions to his memory is that Abraham Lincoln DIED THE MARTYR TO HUMAN LIBERTY”.

The document, from alexanderautographs.com, reveals what we know instinctively: Lincoln lacked situational awareness and his bodyguard (Officer John Parker) failed to prevent a relatively unsophisticated attack. Does this [via smithsonianmag.com] sound familiar?

“When he was brought before the board for frequenting a whorehouse, Parker argued that the proprietress had sent for him.”

Ultimately, even the President of the United States is responsible for his own personal safety. Even if that means hiring the right people to hire the right people to protect him.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

16 Responses to Speaking of Secret Service Failures . . . Abraham Lincoln

  1. avatarChris Mallory says:

    Sic semper tyrannis

    The tyrant Lincoln got what he deserved.

    You are correct though, government employees who think they need bodyguards should pay for them out of their own pockets. The taxpayers should not be forced to pay for the SS or any other special protection for any government employee.

    • avatarPhrederick says:

      Agreed, when I actually started reading more about Lincoln, I realized how much of what we are taught about the man in school is an outright lie. What’s even more unnerving is that even among the scholars who write about his long list of offenses to the constitution (such as throwing senators in political prisons, numerous racism-motivated attempts to deport all blacks, stationing troops in the south after they lawfully seceded, and using police to target and round up Irishmen to conscript) they do so only to apologize for him.

      • avatarCharlie says:

        Lincoln was most certainly a monstrous individual in his relation to the Constitution. However, I don’t believe he harbored any hatred toward the African slaves.

        His comments during the Douglas debates were calculated to not alienate pro-slavery elements in the North. Colonization seems much more ethical in retrospect. I believe they deserved a chance in a nation that wasn’t intrinsically hostile to them like the reconquered South. Lincoln’s true crime was using the freed slaves as a weapon against poor whites. Folks that never owned slaves.

        On the flip-side, the North was downright anti-semitic compared to the South. Judah P. Benjamin would’ve been excluded from a comparable position in Yankeeland.

        Food for thought.

        • avatarjkp says:

          Ah, good, I was expecting the pro-slavery crowd to show up here.

          President Lincoln defeated those who committed treason against the Constitution. Jeff Davis, Stonewall Jackson, and yes, damnit, Robert E. Lee, deserve to be remembered alongside Benedict Arnold, Tokyo Rose, John Walker Lindh, and Major Nadal Malik Hassan, and any other American citizen who decided to wage war against the United States.

          It is interesting, Charlie, that you find one of Lincoln’s greatest ‘sins’ to be to raise an army composed, in part, of freed slaves who ‘waged war’ against ‘poor whites’. Did you forget that those same ‘poor whites’ had taken up arms in rebellion against the Constitution?

          It’s also amusing how quickly you’ve forgotten that the Right to Keep & Bear Arms was quite systematically denied by the traitors in the Confederacy to its enslaved population.

        • avatarCharlie says:

          Even as a Northerner, I find your hatred of the South to be repugnant. You could easily froth at the mouth about how Washington committed treason against the Crown. A nation of traitors we are!

          I should have clarified, however, that my original comment about weaponized freed slaves pertained to Reconstruction. An interesting arrangement to say the least.

          However, your diatribe helps illustrate the point I was originally trying to make. According to “modern sensibilities” neither side was moral.

    • avatarRalph says:

      The tyrant Lincoln got what he deserved.

      Yeah, he was much worse than that slave-driver Jefferson Davis.

      • avatarJake says:

        I hate this argument, it occurs at least once every thread of any political discussion I have seen in the last ten years. Davis being “bad” does not ipso facto indicate Lincoln was “good”

        “Obama did a bad thing”

        “But W did the same bad thing, so that means it is ok for Obama to do it”

        “But if it was a bad thing for W to do, isn’t it a bad thing?”

        “Yes”

        “WAT”

        In other words, two wrongs a right do not make.

  2. avatarRalph says:

    Don’t blame Officer Parker. He was exploring foreign relations with a bunch of Colombian hookers.

  3. avatarIdahoPete says:

    Interesting factoids: The Secret Service was established in 1865 to “eradicate” counterfeit currency. (Good luck with that – wonder if they tried to ban printing presses and engraving tools?) The Secret Service did not take on full-time presidential protection duties until 1902. Lincoln’s bodyguard (Parker) was an employee of the Washington DC police force – one of 4 assigned to guard the president. Thus starting an excellent tradition of professionalism enshrined to this day in the Washington DC city government. [sarc/off].

    As an aside on the recent little Secret Service embarrassment in Columbia, I wonder how many White House political staffers were involved in the party? And I don’t see what all the hooha is about – Barry the Boss takes 20 taxpayer-funded vacations per year, sends his wife and kids all over the world to nice resorts, and plays golf once a week. With that kind of Presidential leadership example, why shouldn’t the Secret Service, GSA, and every other government agency figure it’s “party hearty” time?

  4. avatarHAVE GUN says:

    Where’s the beef?

    Lets see.

    Prostitution is legal in Columbia. Secret Service employees engaged in a legal activity.

    Thankfully the armed forces aren’t so prudish.

    • avatarLuke says:

      The military is even more prudish. Article 134 was changed a few years ago to make visiting a prostitute, even where it is otherwise legal, a UCMJ violation.

    • avatarGS650G says:

      The SS agents can go to Columbia on their own time on vacation, not on the public’s dime as part of their duties. They are not ordinary business travelers on a junket and are expected to maintain a higher standard of professionalism.

  5. avatarHAVE GUN says:

    “The military is even more prudish. Article 134 was changed a few years ago to make visiting a prostitute, even where it is otherwise legal, a UCMJ violation.”

    WOW
    I guess that explains more lenience towards homosexuals. I ain’t being mean, just realistic of human sexuality.

    “The SS agents can go to Columbia on their own time on vacation, not on the public’s dime as part of their duties. They are not ordinary business travelers on a junket and are expected to maintain a higher standard of professionalism.”

    Gee, from what I read of all the crying, it was about security.

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