Explosives scare at CNN, suspicious packages sent to Clintons and Obamas
It's a little scary out there, folks.
- CNN was evacuated live on air.
- The targets of the bomb threats are frequently attacked by some in our political landscape.
- It's unknown how many more suspicious packages are in the mail.
Just weeks before the mid-term elections, explosive devices have been sent to prominent Democrats Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and George Soros. And, just this morning, the CNN newsroom has been evacuated due to another suspicious package, which was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan (who doesn't work at the news outlet).
Much like some of the package scares in history, these devices are meant to intimidate and terrorize not just their recipients, but everyone. "The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such," a statement from the Secret Service said. "The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them."
The statement also said that the Secret Service has "initiated a full scope criminal investigation that will leverage all available federal, state, and local resources to determine the source of the packages and identify those responsible."
In the case of CNN, however, the package actually arrived in the newsroom, and employees were evacuated. At the time of this story's publishing, the San Diego Union-Tribune also stated it has evacuated its newsroom as well after receiving suspicious packages.
Regarding the threats, U.S. President Donald Trump addressed the public from the White House in the early afternoon. "In these times we have to unify," he said. "We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America."
According to a report from the Miami Herald, the South Florida office of Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) also received a suspicious package today. The suspected mail bomb was incorrectly sent to the office of former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and was redirected to Wasserman Schultz's Sunrise office, which was listed as the return address.
Additionally, U.S. House Democrat Maxine Waters (D-CA) received a suspicious package.
"We will not be intimidated by this attempted act of violence. This appalling attack on our democracy must be vigorously prosecuted, and I am deeply disturbed by the way my name was used," said Wasserman Schultz in a statement. "Today, my staff and I will hug each other and our loved ones tightly, and tomorrow get back to work serving the people I was elected to represent."
Political activism may get people invested in politics, and affect urgently needed change, but it comes at the expense of tolerance and healthy democratic norms.