On Friday, CNN's Rick Sanchez took on the subject of Tempe pastor Steven Anderson, the kooky, Obama-bashing preacher, now infamous for praying for the president's demise, and for being the pastor to Christopher Broughton, the AR-15 totin' anarchist/libertarian who showed up outside President Obama's address to the VFW on August 17.
Sanchez cited "a CNN source with very close ties to the U.S. Secret Service," who informed him that, "threats on the life of the President of the United States have now risen by as much as 400 percent since his inauguration," and that this goes, "far beyond anything the Secret Service has seen with any other president."
The news show host then recounted some of Anderson's vitriol towards the president, how the preacher told his tiny congregation that Obama should "die like the untimely birth of a woman" and "his children [should] be fatherless and his wife a widow."
An ex-Secret Service agent Sanchez had on to discuss Anderson's statements said that he was "confident" the organization he'd once been a part of had already knocked on Anderson's door. However, both he and another analyst agreed that Anderson was skirting the edges of a federal law proscribing threats against the nation's chief executive.
"He is walking a fine line," said ex-Secret Service agent Scott Alswang. "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."
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Indeed, Sanchez stated that CNN had found out that AR-15 slinger Chris Broughton was present for Anderson's sermon the day before Obama's VFW speech. (Broughton recently admitted on Alex Jones' radio show that Anderson is his pastor.) Also, CNN analyst Mike Brooks told Sanchez that his sources had informed him that Anderson had been interviewed by the Secret Service.
Sanchez went on to say that Anderson would be on a future program, and on his blog, he's posted a message from Anderson stating that, "Barack Obama should be tried and executed for conspiracy to commit murder," based on Obama's abortion stance. This is the first I've heard Anderson say something about Obama being "tried." Sounds like he's attempting to slink back on some of his more incendiary remarks, wherein he's simply prayed for Obama's death.
In the wake of the CNN coverage, the Arizona Republic finally decided it was a story, and ran a piece today about Anderson's "Why I Hate Barack Obama" sermon. Johnny-on- the-spot, the Rep ain't, but better late than never, I reckon.