Michael Totten

Bush's South America Security Detail

Posted by Jeremy Brown
There is a report today that would seem to vindicate the unapologetic emphasis on keeping presidential security in the hands of the Secret Service during Bush’s trip to South America (despite some friction and accusations of arrogance). In Colombia for instance:

Security was extraordinarily heavy in Cartagena as Mr. Bush arrived, prompting one prominent Colombian columnist to remark on what he called American paranoia. Military helicopters bristling with armaments flew over the old walled city, which is nearly 500 years old. The bay was used only by naval and other military boats, including rubber crafts used by American commandos. Mr. Bush used an armored S.U.V., instead of a limousine.

…which seems pretty over the top, considered outside of the contextual framework of this:

BOGOTÁ, Colombia, Nov. 27 – Marxist rebels had planned to assassinate President Bush last Monday during his four-hour stopover in Colombia to meet President Álvaro Uribe, Defense Minister Jorge Alberto Uribe said Saturday, without offering details or proof.
“According to informants and various sources, we had information indicating that various members of FARC had been instructed by their leaders to make an attempt against President Bush,” the minister told reporters, referring to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebel group by its Spanish acronym.
The White House and the Secret Service declined to comment. Jonathan Cherry, a Secret Service spokesman, said, “We do not discuss any alleged threats to our protectees.”