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May 18, 2005 7:00 AM   Subscribe

Georgia grenade was real and threat to Bush - FBI ... the grenade, thrown while Bush made a keynote speech in Tbilisi's Freedom Square on May 10, had been live and landed within 30 metres (100 feet) of the president.
posted by R. Mutt (74 comments total)

 
I HATE it when I have a light strike on the blasting cap induced by a slow deployment of the spoon activation device.
posted by ratbastid at 7:05 AM on May 18, 2005


I sure would not want to be the Secret Service agent who was in charge of security for this event, a failure in the Georgian security notwithstanding.
posted by caddis at 7:09 AM on May 18, 2005


30 meters sounds pretty far. And I'm guessing there were people between Dubya and the grenade...so I kinda doubt he would've been killed or even injured by it.

But oh what a big deal that woulda been...
posted by zardoz at 7:10 AM on May 18, 2005


Just think "Darth Cheney."
posted by caddis at 7:16 AM on May 18, 2005


Maximum effective range for a grenade is 15 meters, with the kill zone being five.

Obviously, someone was imitating Johnny "Over-Exposed" Damon's girlie throwing technique.
posted by jsavimbi at 7:17 AM on May 18, 2005


There is no spoon.
posted by loquacious at 7:20 AM on May 18, 2005


Let's hope he dies in prison instead, then...

**Still waiting for the frog marching**
posted by insomnia_lj at 7:23 AM on May 18, 2005


Note to Secret Service: Let that be your LAST overseas crowd scene.
posted by alumshubby at 7:24 AM on May 18, 2005


Why didn't he impose one of his "town-hall" shams on the Georgians? And have the local freepers go around checking bumper stickers?

Oh, prolly 'cause they don't speaky english anyways.
posted by jsavimbi at 7:27 AM on May 18, 2005


What, you mean them telling us that the grenade wasn't live was all A LIE?!?!??! Why would they lie to us to try to keep us calm about this? Hmmm.....
posted by beth at 7:35 AM on May 18, 2005


"Prolly" isn't English either.
posted by caddis at 7:42 AM on May 18, 2005


Man, that would mean we were THISCLOSE!!
posted by eas98 at 7:43 AM on May 18, 2005


Have any American President ever been killed or injured abroad? I can't remember any precedent for this. But then again, what alumshubby said, Bush has not business being near crowds in foreign countries - he is strongly disliked almost anywhere in the world outside the US, even in allied countries like England or South Korea. It doesn't even requires a conspiration for someone to try to kill him, given a chance.
posted by nkyad at 7:45 AM on May 18, 2005


I was conspirated this morning, but some coffee and aprune danish fixed me right up.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:59 AM on May 18, 2005


eas98, yeah, we were this close to having Dick Cheney in charge. Having George removed without the rest of his cronies would be a very bad situation.

beth, they didn't want people to get their hopes up.
posted by fenriq at 8:03 AM on May 18, 2005


Ya know that Sen. Bill Frist would say God appointed him to fill the office after GWB perished from grenade attack.
posted by stevejensen at 8:06 AM on May 18, 2005


Hey guys, I hate probably hate Bush more than most of you, but an assassination attempt on the President is an attack on both democracy and the American people. So I'm not sure we should be quite so glib about the whole thing.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:19 AM on May 18, 2005


Speaking of glib, you can just remove that first "hate" there.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:20 AM on May 18, 2005


Imagine what the JFK-style commemorative paintings would have been like ...
posted by rfs at 8:21 AM on May 18, 2005


He didn't die because God still has plans for his servant, George W. Bush.

All the heathen nations must be conquered to set the stage for Armageddon and Christ's return. Um, unless they keep the price of oil stable, in which case they're our friends, even if they also supplied most of the 9/11 hijackers and indeed 9/11's mastermind.
posted by orthogonality at 8:27 AM on May 18, 2005


... is an attack on both democracy and the American people...

Actually, that's not an attack on democracy at all, it's an attack on only one American person.
posted by bshort at 8:28 AM on May 18, 2005


The initial press reports had odd language describing the grenade. At the time I thought it was translation difficulties.

This was not a good thing. It could still be a worse thing.

I'm interested to see what the White House has to say about this. So far there's no statement. Little George has a very nasty temper. This could cause him to pop his cork in an unpredictable direction.
posted by warbaby at 8:28 AM on May 18, 2005


Does this grenade in Georgia have anything to do with Dan Kolb?
posted by xmutex at 8:34 AM on May 18, 2005


... is an attack on both democracy and the American people...

Agreed, Bush should be removed by the ballot box.

(if only someone could throw one hard enough)
posted by the cuban at 8:35 AM on May 18, 2005


Metafilter: A light strike on the blasting cap.
posted by SisterHavana at 8:35 AM on May 18, 2005


Come to think of it, this whole mess since 9/11 has had a real 1914 feel to it...

George Bush as Archduke Ferdinand, Kaiser Wilhelm, Emperor Franz Josef and Tsar Nicholas all rolled up into one....

So why do they keep trying to convince us he's Wilsonian?
posted by warbaby at 8:36 AM on May 18, 2005


Now we're gonna have one of the Bush twins invading Georgia in 10 years because they tried to kill their daddy.

If you think about it, it really isn't an attack on Democracy, it was more of a very rough kind of Democracy. Grenades are really among the most democratic of weapons, landmines too.

I don't wish death on the president, I think a nice long jail term would be fine, but the hubris is, as always, staggering. How can they not expect someone to be making a try for him, pretty much all the time?
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:38 AM on May 18, 2005


Imagine what the JFK-style commemorative paintings would have been like

A hundred re-named schools, most in Texas...
A couple of re-named airports...

Perhaps the Treasury would start issuing $3 bills will his face on them, and a pre-9/11 NYC skyline on the back with the words "Nole Oblivium"
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:40 AM on May 18, 2005


In other news, Secret Service agents are now being issued tennis racquets.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:42 AM on May 18, 2005


How can they not expect someone to be making a try for him, pretty much all the time?

Exactly. And why isn't he appearing in Baghdad and Kabul like he does in Georgia (where even there they try to get him)? Aren't we winning?--it's what they keep saying.
posted by amberglow at 8:44 AM on May 18, 2005


why isn't he appearing in Baghdad and Kabul like he does in Georgia (where even there they try to get him)?

I was assuming because it's common knowledge that the Saudi insurgents have better throwing arms. I figure the role of the CIA right now is sorta just scouting. "Nope, no cheering up the troops this week Boss, those Wahabbists are really throwing cheese."
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:53 AM on May 18, 2005


I wonder if Atlanta will see some cruise missiles in retaliation.
posted by trondant at 8:56 AM on May 18, 2005


Optimus Chyme : "an assassination attempt on the President is an attack on both democracy and the American people."

Saying something doesn't make it so. An assassination attempt on the President is an attack on the President.
posted by Bugbread at 9:00 AM on May 18, 2005


trondant... :o)

Wow. That means we might've had Dick Cheney as President.

(singing softly) "Meet the new boss...the same as the old boss..."
posted by alumshubby at 9:02 AM on May 18, 2005


Grenades are heavy, try throwing a pair of bricks tied together with any accuracy or distance.
posted by buzzman at 9:09 AM on May 18, 2005


xmutex wins!
/me checks on Rocker's comeback attempt...
posted by Fezboy! at 9:14 AM on May 18, 2005


buzzman writes " Grenades are heavy, try throwing a pair of bricks tied together with any accuracy or distance."

I believe you are exaggerating their weight a bit (unless those bricks are not very heavy - clay bricks, for instance) . Besides, grenades, being smaller and rounded, are far more aerodynamic than bricks (and rightly so, since the whole point of a grenade is to be thrown by a human being).
posted by nkyad at 9:17 AM on May 18, 2005


Saying something doesn't make it so. An assassination attempt on the President is an attack on the President.
posted by bugbread at 9:00 AM PST on May 18


Well, bugbread, I guess I have to explain it, because you don't seem to understand.

For better or worse, the American electorate chose Bush to be our President. An attempt on his life says "we don't care about the principles of democracy or the will of the American people; instead, we will choose to deny your method of governance through force."

It doesn't get any simpler than that, my man.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:30 AM on May 18, 2005


Optimus Chyme writes " For better or worse, the American electorate chose Bush to be our President. An attempt on his life says 'we don't care about the principles of democracy or the will of the American people; instead, we will choose to deny your method of governance through force.'"

Hmmm, no, I don't think I would agree with it. The American people in general and the Bush voters in particular may well fell robbed of their choice, but an assassination may have many meanings. One of them translates as "I don't care about or even I hate your democracy", but I can't imagine how it would "deny your method of governance through force" (that would probably required invasion and occupation - as seem elsewhere...). But bear in mind that if the FBI and the American Congress are chosen to investigate the matters, depending on where such an assassination occurs we may well learn that it was the act of a lone deranged shooter. And it may be right, even if three or four grenades are thrown from various directions. More seriously, assassinations may be caused by personal dislike, political interest, temporary insanity and a myriad of other motives. It does not have to be an all out attack on the American Way of Life as 9/11 was.
posted by nkyad at 9:46 AM on May 18, 2005


xmutex, man, Kolb's meltdown bummed me out, Smoltz pitched like the stud he is and didn't get the win.

As for being glib about an attempted assassination attempt on the president, meh, he's not my champion and has basically let me know the second term of his presidency would be a chilly one. But I'm still happier with him in charge than his pitbull furious Veep.
posted by fenriq at 9:48 AM on May 18, 2005


Optimus Chyme : " It doesn't get any simpler than that, my man."

No. It gets more complex.

It could say "We care about the principles of democracy and the will of the American people, and we believe that this person and his colleagues managed to twist the system and people's will such that he was elected despite not being the best person for the job."

It could say, "We believe in democracy and self-governance, but we don't have the right to vote in America, so democracy is not available to us to remove this person from power."

It could be an attack on a particular democratic leader, while the thrower supports democracy in general. Kinda like the way I support people's rights to come and go where they choose, but I don't support the rights of serial killers to come and go where they choose.

And it certainly isn't an attack on "the American people". "An American person", yes. And considering Secret Service, "some American people", yes. But "the American people"?

It could say a lot of things. I don't know. But the one thing I know that it an attack on the President is is an attack on the President.

By the way, while I don't support Bush a damn bit, the examples above are not my own opinions. They are merely possibilities.
posted by Bugbread at 9:49 AM on May 18, 2005


Depends who threw it. As Commander in Chief of US armed forces there are many people for whom Bush is a legitimate target (I would presume).
posted by biffa at 10:04 AM on May 18, 2005


Heehee...Hadn't thought of that. What if the decision to throw the grenade was chosen by voting? If he threw the grenade, it would be "opposing democracy", and yet if he didn't throw the grenade, he would be "opposing democracy".
posted by Bugbread at 10:09 AM on May 18, 2005


Maybe the grenade thrower was just trying to 'liberate' us.
posted by bashos_frog at 10:17 AM on May 18, 2005


Hey guys, I hate probably hate Bush more than most of you, but an assassination attempt on the President is an attack on both democracy and the American people. So I'm not sure we should be quite so glib about the whole thing.


This president's administration has been an assault on democracy and the American people since day one. While I would much prefer to see all the American sheep wake up and realize just how much this junta is fighting THEM, I won't hold my breath for it. But I certainly don't think the world owes him any sympathy (or a lack of glibness on MeFi). The net is one of the last places we can be glib. One of the reasons Americans (generally) are such sheep is that the mainstream media says things like "we shouldn't be so glib." Fuck self-imposed censorship! Be as glib as you like!
posted by krash2fast at 10:30 AM on May 18, 2005


Wow, and to think I was just hearing about this on the news today. Thanks, Metafilter!
posted by Nelson at 10:46 AM on May 18, 2005


An attempt on his life says 'we don't care about the principles of democracy or the will of the American people; instead, we will choose to deny your method of governance through force.'"

So I guess JFK and MLK should have known better than to be so controversial, huh?
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 10:50 AM on May 18, 2005


Plus, as Commander in Chief he is a legitimate military target. Surprising, actually: A lot of heads of state go very far in ensuring they aren't.
posted by bonaldi at 10:50 AM on May 18, 2005


Plus, as Commander in Chief he is a legitimate military target.

Along the lines of what bonaldi said, how is his position in this role comparable to other democracies/republics/whatever-you-know-what-I'm-getting-at? If a head of state can order even limited military action is he/she considered a legitimate target? (I really don't know. I'm curious.) Are there actual international laws against it or is it more of a gentleman's agreement sort of thing?
posted by Cyrano at 11:57 AM on May 18, 2005


Well, closeness only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades. Not that that really means much.
posted by PHINC at 12:16 PM on May 18, 2005


For better or worse, the Iraqi voters chose Saddam to be their President. An attempt on his life says "we don't care about the principles of democracy or the will of the Iraqi people; instead, we will choose to deny your method of governance through force."

It doesn't get any simpler than that, my man.
posted by iamck at 12:18 PM on May 18, 2005


The United States certainly takes the view that heads of government are legitimate military targets, insofar as they embody the command and control system of an enemy state.

However, legitimacy of target is only one piece of the puzzle. The attackers also have to be legally-qualified combatants, which typically involves being uniformed members of the armed forces of a sovereign state which is in some form of open belligerency with the US. While Saddam's forces qualified before the fall of Baghdad, pretty much no one else who'd ever try to kill the President would qualify.
posted by MattD at 12:19 PM on May 18, 2005


For better or worse, the American electorate chose Bush to be our President.
The American people chose Gore in 2000. Officials in Jeb's state and on a conservative Supreme Court chose W.
In 2004 - well, I'm rather convinced that Diebold chose W.

Maybe the grenade thrower was just trying to 'liberate' us.

Point made concisely, and with a nice touch of dark humor, bashos_frog .

If something happened to top Admin officials (or Repugnican Congressional elite), I'd be freaked out - but *mostly* because I'd be even more concerned about the stability of the government and of our already-abused civil liberties. Can you not envision what sort of marial-law, further warmongering and ethnic roundups Repugicans would say was justified by an assassination? (I'd include full-blown media censorship in that list, but they already wield very good informal power over the MSM.)
posted by NorthernLite at 12:31 PM on May 18, 2005


Has it occurred to anyone here that members of other countries don't think like our government?

An attack on Bush or on our soil or whatever else is not necessarily an attack on "democracy" or "freedom". It's just an attack on whatever they don't like about that person or thing.

I dislike bush. I wouldn't kill him, because I wouldn't kill anyone - but I can't stand the man, and I'm sick to my stomach that he's the leader of the free world. Does that mean I hate democracy? Does that mean I hate freedom? Does that mean I hate america?

3 answers: No, No and No.

An assassination attempt on him is just that -- an assassination attempt on HIM. It doesn't automatically mean that the perpetrator hates all americans, hates democracy, or hates freedom or however else you want to phrase it.

Just sayin'...
posted by twiggy at 12:54 PM on May 18, 2005


Oh, not the US State of Georgia, the "ex-Soviet" Republic of Georgia. Whew. I was afraid somebody was trying to reignite the US Civil War. (Apparently many Americans call Kentucky, or at least this part of it, "midwestern" anyway, so don't look at me!)

Clearly we AmeriKKKans canot let this criminal insult go unanswered. If the US have military bases in Georgia we should take that country over; if not we should invade it. Liberate 'em all, let God sort 'em out! (Right, ParisParamus?)

And by the way, I think bonaldi is a correct. If Saddam, Noriega, Castro and Hitler were legitimate targets, by golly so is Dubya.

And hey MattD, what widely-recognized international law by which treaty to which the USA is a signatory in good standing says a damn thing about the prerequisite qualifications for a "legally-qualified" attacker? Please point to the URL of the document(s) and show how the US upholds it/them; otherwise please admit you're making shit up.
posted by davy at 12:54 PM on May 18, 2005


The attackers also have to be legally-qualified combatants, which typically involves being uniformed members of the armed forces of a sovereign state which is in some form of open belligerency with the US. While Saddam's forces qualified before the fall of Baghdad, pretty much no one else who'd ever try to kill the President would qualify.


Legally-qualified according to whom?


Let me see if I've got this right. The US invades a sovereign nation that has never committed an act of aggression against the US, the pretext for which was a complete lie. Since the Iraqi government was "officially" defeated, that means that anyone in Iraq who takes up arms to protect his home and his family from foreign invaders is an illegal combatant? Since Congress never declared war (and they must, they have no constitutional authority to hand the decision of whether or not to go to war to the executive or anyone else) this war is illegal. Since Bush never proved the connections to 9/11, WMDs, or terrorism, this war is illegal even according to the pathetic okay that congress gave him. Every american soldier on Iraqi soil is an illegal combatant. Doesn't mean they don't kill the shit out of some Iraqis. So why does the grenade-chucker have to be a legal combatant if the US military doesn't?
posted by krash2fast at 1:32 PM on May 18, 2005


I wasn't talking about "widely recognized international law," I was talking about American policy -- who gets sent to Guantanamo and who gets promptly released after hostilities turns very much upon a notion of who is, and who is not, determined to be a lawful combatant.

The personal treatment of someone who attempted, or succeeded in killing the President would doubtless follow this policy.

The current policy's standards for lawful combatant are a (hard to pin down, and in any event controversial) gloss on the Geneva Conventions requirements that combatants wear uniforms, carry arms openly, and be part of a juridical command and control system.

Of course, there's no relationship between the killer's personal treament and the degree U.S. military response. Indeed, the same facts which would assure the killer the most mellow treatment if captured (that he was a uniformed soldier of a sovereign state) would overlap with the most unrestrained U.S. military response against those responsible for the attack.
posted by MattD at 1:33 PM on May 18, 2005


I'm pretty sure it doesn't count as "deny your method of governance through force" until they get the veep too.

However, I'd rather not see a serving American President successfully assasinated in my lifetime.

Besides, aren't there better targets for grenades?
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:34 PM on May 18, 2005


Mr. Davy, it's illegal in this country, at least. See: Executive Order 12333
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:42 PM on May 18, 2005


And from the Geneva Convention:
"Governments shall prohibit by law all extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions and shall ensure that any such executions are recognized as offences under their criminal laws, and are punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account the seriousness of such offences. Exceptional circumstances including a state of war or threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency may not be invoked as a justification of such executions."
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:46 PM on May 18, 2005


Next week's top story: MeFi members who were questioned by the S.S. after posting glib or joking comments in this thread.
posted by TreeHugger at 1:55 PM on May 18, 2005


I hate Bush, and I'm glad the grenade hadn't exploded. 9/11 was the excuse for a whole lot of bogus shit like invading Iraq and the crumbling of freedom back home in the US. Just imagine how GW being assassinated would have been exploited by the neo-cons. It would be a dark day for the world and even darker for Americans; I wouldn't be surprised if the US turned into a totalitarian state as a result.
posted by randomstriker at 2:01 PM on May 18, 2005


I wouldn't be surprised if the US turned into a totalitarian state as a result.
We don't need an assassination for that, and they completely need Georgie's smirking face and shambling "just folks" image.
posted by amberglow at 3:06 PM on May 18, 2005


nkyad, it is a little late for this but I have thrown grenades, and they are akin to the weight of a pair of bricks. And when they go !Boom! it makes all the movie grenades seem like tiny firecrackers in comparision. Grenades are serious radius area killing devices.
posted by buzzman at 3:40 PM on May 18, 2005


What's that old saying?

"If at first you don't succeed...."
posted by rougy at 4:55 PM on May 18, 2005


The M67 fragmentation grenade weighs 14 oz. (397 grams). The AN-M14 TH3 incendiary grenade weighs 32 oz. (907 grams).1, 2 The Mark II fragmentation grenade, a WWII-era weapon, weighed 21 oz. (~590 grams). The German stick grenade of WWII weighed 0.61 kg (~21.5 oz.), the egg grenade of that time weighed 0.23 kg(~0.5 lb).3 The moral of the story? Different grenades weigh different amounts, and likely have different maximum throwing distances as well.

On preview, rougy: please see randomstriker's comment above.
posted by skoosh at 5:17 PM on May 18, 2005


I don't buy it.

I mean, it's a good point, but not a given.

I do take issue with all of this "legal combatant" bull. That means absolutely nothing when we had a creep like John Negroponte calling the shots.

And Christopher Hitchens is off his rocker again by calling the insurgents "jihadists."

Wonder who's paying him off?
posted by rougy at 5:35 PM on May 18, 2005


P.S. RandomStriker: the USA is already a totalitarian state.
posted by rougy at 5:40 PM on May 18, 2005


And I guess I better insert the standard disclaimer:

I mean no physical harm to the president or any republican in office.

However, I do hope that justice is served and they spend the rest of their lives in prison, which they deserve, the cowardly warcriminal bastards.
posted by rougy at 5:44 PM on May 18, 2005


Please, roughy. The US is not a totalitarian state. Put your hair out. It's getting smokey in here.
posted by effwerd at 6:12 PM on May 18, 2005


To clarify the weight issue, according to reports the grenade was a relatively small Russian RGD-5, and weighs 10.9 oz (310g), with a casualty radius of up to 20m.

The typical brick is 6-9lbs (3-4kg), so "two bricks" is overstating the heft of this grenade by a factor of 20. A much better comparison would be a can of soda. Remember, they're designed to be thrown, and they'd better be small enough that you can throw them a safe distance from yourself. (Now, if it had been an RPG round, that would have been a little more difficult to hand-throw.)
posted by dhartung at 7:04 PM on May 18, 2005


Also, just to complement dhartung's comment, there are also many different types of bricks, and their weight, material and manufacturing process will vary wildly from region to region and country to country. For instance, when I read "2 bricks" I though of something between 1 kg and 2 kg, more or less half of dhartung's estimate - and I was thinking about real bricks used in my own house just two months ago.
posted by nkyad at 10:07 PM on May 18, 2005


Maybe some of you aren't paying attention.

Rightwing government.
Rightwing "media."
Rightwing judicial.

Every element of objectivity is denounced for its "liberal" slant.

When the dominant political group objects to the truth, and claims the truth is unfair.

Wake up, boys and girls. Wake the fuke up.
posted by rougy at 12:28 AM on May 22, 2005


I'm paying attention.

I know the things of which you speak.

America is not a totalitarian state yet.

And we are the fuck awake.
posted by Bugbread at 10:29 AM on May 22, 2005


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