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Threats against Obama: Michael Stephen Bowden is just the latest

Nearly 1 in 10 US presidents have been assassinated or wounded in office. The Secret Service has made more than a dozen arrests in the past two years for threats against Obama. Retiree Michael Stephen Bowden is the latest.

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The arrest of former New York City cop Michael Stephen Bowden for telling a Secret Service agent he'd like to put President Obama up against a wall and shoot him underscores the daily threat matrix for a job that is much more dangerous than, say, the harrowing experience of Bering Sea fishermen as dramatized on the popular TV show "The Deadliest Catch."

Nearly 1 in 10 presidents have been assassinated or shot while in office (the last being Ronald Reagan, in 1981), with another 11 escaping assassination attempts unscathed.

The Secret Service has been particularly busy chasing down threats to Mr. Obama, who faced a barrage of death threats and at least one credible assassination plot while a presidential candidate and since taking office in January 2009.

Last summer, author Ron Kessler wrote that Obama was receiving 30 death threats a day. Other reports state that federal agents had seen a 400-fold increase in threats from President George W. Bush's last year in office. Secret Service head Mark Sullivan later pushed back at that assertion, saying "threats are not up" in the Obama era.


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