August 29 2009 CNN
(Heather): Well, it looks like the Secret Service has paid someone a visit. Good. That's the least they should be doing.
SANCHEZ: All right. Hello again, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez with the next generation of news. This is a conversation. It is not a speech. And it is your turn to get involved.
It is my duty as a journalist to make you aware of a deeply disturbing trend taking that is taking place in our country and how it ironically folds into yet another story that I shared with you just last week.
A CNN source with very close to the U.S. Secret Service confirmed to me today that threats on the life of the president of the United States have now risen by as much as 400 percent since his inauguration, 400 percent death threats against Barack Obama -- quote -- "in this environment" go far beyond anything the Secret Service has seen with any other president.
Now, I need to have you keep in mind today as we add details to this story of what we're going to share with you here. I want to take you back 11 days ago, when Mr. Obama visited Phoenix, Arizona. Do you remember this man? He's one of a dozen or so people who carried guns to that presidential event that we have been checking on.
You may remember that we heard him say on camera that he is prepared to resort to forceful resistance against the Obama administration. Now, today, I want to tell you about the church that that man attends. And, in particular, I am going to play for you parts of the sermon that were delivered from the pulpit on the very day before the president arrived in Phoenix, Arizona.
This is important. This, my friends, I believe you will agree, is chilling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PASTOR STEVEN ANDERSON, FAITHFUL WORD BAPTIST CHURCH: Tonight, I want to preach this sermon. And you have probably never heard a sermon like this before. Actually, you probably have if you have been coming to church here for a while. But you know what? Here is my sermon, why I hate Barack Obama. That's my sermon tonight, because Barack Obama is coming to town tomorrow morning.
Barack Obama is coming to town. And he is going to be here tomorrow morning. Who knew that he was coming to town? I didn't know. I just found out recently with his health care and everything like this.
And I'm going to tell you something. I hate Barack Obama. You say, well, you just mean you don't like what he stands for. No, I hate the person. Oh, you mean you just don't like his policies. No, I hate him.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: There is more and it is much worse. First, I want you to know the voice you heard there was that of Pastor Steven Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona. On the day before the president's visit, Mr. Anderson told his parishioners that he hates Barack Obama and wants him dead. This was Anderson from the pulpit saying the president deserves to die for supporting abortion rights. That is what he means when he uses the word violence. All right. Here is some more.
ANDERSON: What goes around comes around. You love violence. You hate that which is right. You love to harm others. You love to hurt or kill the unborn or the innocent or the righteous. He is saying, God is going to bring that upon your own head, because whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Now, turn back to Psalm 58 and let me ask you this question. Why should Barack Obama melt like a snail? Why should Barack Obama die like the untimely birth of a woman? Why should his children be fatherless and his wife a widow, as we read in this passage?
Well, I will tell you why. Because, since Barack Obama thinks it is OK to use a salty solution, right, to abort the unborn, because that's how abortions are done, my friend, using salt -- and I would like to see Barack Obama melt like a snail tonight.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Joining me from New York, a man who used to work for the U.S. Secret Service. He is Scott Alswang. He personally guarded Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush.
Thank you, sir, for being with us.
SCOTT ALSWANG, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT: Thank you, Rick.
SANCHEZ: We are also going to be joined by Mike Brooks, who is standing right here next to me who has been digging down on this story.
Mike, thank you for being here.
MIKE BROOKS, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: Sure.
SANCHEZ: This looks serious. This almost looks like this is coming to the point where we are even beyond maybe where this nation was on November 22 of 1963, when JFK was assassinated, when there was also an environment of hate in this country. When you hear that, what are your thoughts?
ALSWANG: Well, I'm confident that my former organization, the Secret Service, is doing everything they can to keep the president and his family safe. There are a lot of people that like attention in these cases.
SANCHEZ: What about this case? Do you know if the Secret Service has knocked on this pastor's door? Should they be knocking on this pastor's door?
ALSWANG: I am confident that they have already knocked on his door, that through counterpart means in local and state and federal authorities, that this has come to be explained to. And for the media to bring it out, I definitely think that it has come to their attention.
SANCHEZ: Mike, were you going to add something to that?
BROOKS: No, no, I have been talking to some folks. And he has been interviewed by the U.S. Secret Service.
But, boy, he walks the fine line. And, Scott, you will agree with me. I was with the Metropolitan Police who worked on the presidential and vice presidential details when I was there for 26 years. And I can tell you, we used to run into people like this all the time, who knew how to walk that fine line without making a direct threat. And that's what he did...
SANCHEZ: Well, hold on a minute. Here is Statute 18, U.S. Code, Section 871. We looked it up today, about threatening the president of the United States.
It is against the law to do so, as I'm sure you both know and I am just recently becoming expert on.
SANCHEZ: Let me read you the quote: "Whoever knowingly and willfully threatening to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the president of the United States." That's the way we were able to decipher those words.
It sounds like both of you are saying that this man directly is not doing that. Is that right, Mr. Alswang?
ALSWANG: He is walking a fine line. The problem I have with it is that he seems to be inciting his congregation to go and act in a direction toward the president. And that, at least on a local level, would seem to me to be an inciting charge. And if someone in that congregation had mental disabilities or were prone toward violence or had a direction of interest toward the president or his family, there could be grave consequences.
SANCHEZ: Well, that's interesting. Let me show the viewers something.
Do we have that shot of Chris? Chris is the guy, Chris Broughton. It's taken us a long time to dig down and find out who this guy is. Chris Broughton is that gentleman who had an AR-14, right, Mike?
BROOKS: AR-15 type weapon.
SANCHEZ: AR-15, sorry. There he is right there.
He is outside where the president was speaking. We have found out that Chris was actually in attendance when that sermon was given on the eve of the president's arrival. Now, let's listen to just a little bit more of that sermon, as we consider that chilling thought.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
ANDERSON: You are going to tell me that I'm supposed to pray for the socialist devil, murderer, infanticide who wants to see young children and he wants to see babies killed through abortion and partial-birth (INAUDIBLE) everything? You are going to tell me I am supposed to pray for God to give him a good lunch tomorrow while he's in Phoenix, Arizona?
No. I am not going to pray for his good. I am going to pray that he dies and goes to hell.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: And, by the way, I should add once again that I have reached out to the pastor today. He has agreed that he will join us, he will talk to me on this show, most likely over either the weekend or Monday, was not able to do so today, because we want to reach out to him.
It's interesting as you listen to the last words there. Let me read those back to you. "I am going to pray for his good" -- "I'm not going to pray for his good. I am going to pray that he dies and goes to hell."
Again, most of us law-abiding Americans listen to those words and we start to get worried for our president, whether he is a Democrat or a Republican or what he is.
What is Secret Service's responsibility with people like this? And what are your concerns?