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National Security

Obama 'Shocked and Saddened' by News of Shooting at Holocaust Museum

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Updated 6:57 p.m.
By Garance Franke-Ruta
President Obama said he was "shocked and saddened" by today's shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where an elderly man described by police as a white supremacist fatally wounded a security guard before being shot by other guards.

"This outrageous act reminds us that we must remain vigilant against anti-Semitism and prejudice in all its forms," the president said in a statement released early Wednesday evening. "No American institution is more important to this effort than the Holocaust Museum, and no act of violence will diminish our determination to honor those who were lost by building a more peaceful and tolerant world."

Stephen Tyrone Johns of Temple Hills, identified by police as the injured guard, died at George Washington University Hospital. He had worked at the museum for six years, officials said.

The president offered his condolences and prayers for Johns' family. "Today, we have lost a courageous security guard who stood watch at this place of solemn remembrance. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this painful time," he said.

Earlier, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had described at the daily briefing Obama's reaction to news of the shooting. "I walked in and told him there had been a shooting at the museum," Gibbs said. "Obviously concerned, and concern for the security guard that appears to have been hurt. I gave him mostly a factual briefing of the facts as we knew it, or knew them at that point, and that's about it. Obviously, saddened by what -- what has happened."

The White House is continuing to monitor the situation through the Situation Room updates from the Homeland Security Council, Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies, Gibbs said.

Asked by a reporter at the briefing if today's shooting, combined with "the shooting of Dr. Tiller, as well as the shooting of the military recruiter" left the White House "at all concerned that there is some sort of trend of political violence or domestic terrorism going on," Gibbs demurred.

"I don't think it would be wise for me to surmise something like that," he replied. "I think, as the president said in his statement after the shooting of Dr. Tiller, that regardless of disagreeing or disparate viewpoints, that, obviously, in our society, this is not in any way the type of action that anybody wants to see in settling even the most vehement disputes.

"But I -- it's hard for me to surmise without having a more in-depth conversation with law enforcement."

Posted at 3:54 PM ET on Jun 10, 2009  | Category:  National Security
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

I am also deeply saddened by Mr.Johns' death.
My heart goes to his family. We can only take consolation that these acts from the far right must be seen as a backlash to the fact that true social progress is being made in this country. Judging by some of the comments on this blog, a lot more needs to be done.
God help us all.

Posted by: Franktheliberal | June 11, 2009 10:44 PM

Jesus sternly warned us of severe consequences if we caused others to stumble by our examples. Rush, Hannity, O'Riley, Beck, Fox News, you will answer to God for what you've done.

Posted by: rooster54 | June 11, 2009 8:30 PM

Statement from Governor Palin on the shooting at the National Holocaust Museum

As first reflected upon through Twitter, Wednesday, June 10, 2009:

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the shooting victims at the National Holocaust Museum. The museum itself remembers and honors the lives lost in one of the world's most horrific genocides. To have an act of intolerance further spread hatred at this place of reflection, further adds to the grief. My heart goes out to all those impacted, especially the brave guards who acted so selflessly to prevent further injury. May God Bless the Jewish community."

Posted by: JakeD | June 11, 2009 3:11 PM

Holocaust Museum Shooting: Emboldened By a Federally-Enabled American Gestapo?



This writer has been stalked and harassed and persecuted in multiple states by organized vigilantes, some of whom have menacingly uttered to my face the phrase, "Jesus Christ is the way." That's just the tip of the iceberg, as readers of WaPo political blogs may know.

Yet the FBI refuses to open a civil rights investigation -- a probe that I have requested in repeated personal visits to FBI's Philadelphia office over the past two years. Nor will local authorities open a formal investigation.

Vigilante neo-Nazis are stalking, harassing and torturing unjustly "targeted" Americans -- in Bucks County, PA, in Maryland, in D.C. and its suburbs -- and in communities across America.

They think they are above the law. Could that be because certain powerful, secretive federal agencies knowingly countenance vigilantism in America -- and refuse to investigate credible complaints of harassment, physical abuse and worse that appears to be in part ethnically-based?

What is the role of a secretive federal "multi-agency coordinated action program" in fueling this hate machine?

Prsident Obama, Vice President Biden, Attorney General Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano:

Summon the following officials to the Oval for a thorough grilling about policies and programs involving

• Extrajudicial targeting and punishment, including organized citizen community "stalking," harassment and financial exploitation of unjustly targeted individuals and their families;

• Covert implanting of GPS tracking devices on innocent but "targeted" citizens by persons affiliated with law enforcement agencies or citizen volunteer programs;

• Covert use of microwave radiation "directed energy weapons" on American citizens and their families.

Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan; FEMA Director Craig Fugate; FBI Director Robert Mueller; Defense Secretary Robert Gates; (outgoing) NSA Director Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander; Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, former Army JSOC commander; CIA Deputy Director Steve Kappas; (outgoing) DARPA Director Tony Tether; IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman; former IRS commissioner Mark Everson.


OR if link is corrupted / disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | June 11, 2009 11:13 AM

Interesting to note:
The President expressed "shock and outrage" at the death of the abortion doctor murdered in a church.
The President expressed "shock and sadness" at the death of a security guard murdered yesterday.
I've searched the www but I can't find what the President said when a US Soldier was murdered and another wounded in the USA by a self-confessed muslim terrorist. Nothing ?

Posted by: carindrbev | June 11, 2009 10:11 AM

Yes, since you asked, I do care about our military (I served in the Army during the Korean War) -- just using your "logic" about blaming Obama -- we will have to agree to disagree on the rest.

Posted by: JakeD | June 11, 2009 6:09 AM

Boy, it's pretty easy to see what Rush Limbaugh's favorite talking point today must have been, based on the wing nut comments here.

Posted by: nodebris | June 11, 2009 1:10 AM

Is Fox News helping to create far-right extremists like James Von Brunn?

Posted by: usadblake | June 11, 2009 12:30 AM

Thank God we have Heroes like Mr. Johns.
His family will remain in my prayers.

Posted by: sandiecv | June 11, 2009 12:02 AM

Jake D

I do blame Bush!!
He was a terrible President and person.
All the innocent men, women, children,
died, maimed by him.
You do not take our military into a war
that is unjust. Do you care about them
at all?
What a mess!!!
Bush Blame Bush!!!
Bin Laden still free!!
Wonder Why??

Posted by: sandiecv | June 11, 2009 12:00 AM

Quit blaming Bush ...

Posted by: JakeD | June 10, 2009 11:36 PM

When everyone in the world is yelling for
Peace God will come back.
How much worse can this world get.
We will fall like the Roman Empire.
How I long for the Clinton era.
Things were so wonderful for us all.
Obama will try to bring us back.
I just hope and pray it is not to late
for us. We are a great country.

Posted by: sandiecv | June 10, 2009 11:22 PM

Why do some on here say such terrible things
about Obama, he is your President and a
good one at that.
Quit blaming Obama, there is evil in the
By the way your Bush didn't do anything at
all except make a mess for you.
This blessed security guard laid down his
life for others.
The shooter was full of hatred. I would hope that before this evil man dies that he accepts Christ as his Savior and prays for God to forgive him for his evil ways.
I'm so thankful for men like Mr. Johns.
By the way thank Bush for all the evil in
the world, look at all he did for eight years. We are hated. Obama will bring us
back to respect and get rid of all the evil.

Posted by: sandiecv | June 10, 2009 11:12 PM

Capital Punishment!

Posted by: FutureJumps | June 10, 2009 9:17 PM

Who knows where evil comes from.
It walks inside us and among us.

More than anonymous.
Worse than useless.

I'm so sorry for the family of Stephen Jones. I'm just so sorry.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | June 10, 2009 8:53 PM


Are you a registered Democrat?

Posted by: JakeD | June 10, 2009 7:42 PM

He is a real hero.
May Peace be with you Mr. James Von Brunn.

Posted by: fan2lee1 | June 10, 2009 7:34 PM


If he's going to issue immediate statements on SOME shootings, then it's a legitimate question as to others.

Posted by: JakeD | June 10, 2009 7:28 PM

Why is this of interest? Are there those who thought that: the president was pleasently supprised, annoyed, totally unconcerned? Is the president required to share his off the cuff reaction to every anomaly?

Posted by: roy4076 | June 10, 2009 7:25 PM

"What does "44" refer to?"

The number of Administrations (some will say the number of men, but that count includes Grover Cleveland twice; there have been 43 Presidents and 44 Administrations).

Posted by: SeanC1 | June 10, 2009 7:15 PM

its interesting that the obama administration's had a much stronger reaction to george tiller killing than either this or the killing of two army officers in georgia by a mulsim extremist on the same day as tiller was killed.

Posted by: dummypants | June 10, 2009 6:49 PM

...and so a black security guard, Stephen Tyrone Johns, is dead...doing his job, defending thousands of museum visitors, children and tourists.

Johns was killed by an old fool who has spent his entire life hating...hating jews, blacks, catholics ...jews 'cause they control the mass media and interest rates and are planning to have blacks overwhelm white people...this old fool was convicted back in the '80s of trying to take the Federal Reserve governors hostage with a weapon.....he was covicted "by a jew/negro jury" and spent 4 years in federal prison.....his website spews nothing but white supremacist venom and Halocaust denial.....his ex-wife called him a drunk abuser who did nothing but rant about how jews were taking over and soon all the state governors would be this old fool is able to get a gun and kill an innocent security guard at the meseum memorializing the killing of innocents....

What a sad individual and what a sad life to have lived.

...and some on this board are are rationalizing these actions? Sad. Same crowd which rationalized the killin in Wichita.....

Posted by: toritto | June 10, 2009 6:39 PM

Thank God it didn't take Obama several days to react to this death, as it did when one of the soldiers under his command was murdered in cold blood.

And is he going to condemn the latest anti-Semitic comments of his old friend, Jeremiah Wright, complaining that "them Jews" are keeping Wright away? Is is Wright off limits, because it's not PC to admit that lefties can be Jew haters, too.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | June 10, 2009 6:34 PM

44 is the number of men who have served as U.S. President (if you believe Barack).

Posted by: JakeD | June 10, 2009 5:58 PM

What does "44" refer to?

Posted by: BaracksTeleprompter | June 10, 2009 5:55 PM

How does an 88 or 89 year old man run, lets be truthful here that in it's self would be an eye opener and plus he is carrying a rifle and no one saw this?
As far as the soldier shot and killed by a black terrorist on US soil, well lets just say that would not bode well with the left now would it...but hey when Dr. Tiller was also shot and killed by a christian well that was like throwing the Christians to the lions aka liberals of this country. Now just who do you think the press would cover it sure would not be some one protecting this country it would be some one ruining it. The only time the press reported on the military was the daily death count, ever notice you do not see that any more, and we are in two wars and on the cusp of three but the deaths are not important why is that?

Posted by: Immanurse | June 10, 2009 5:29 PM

Oh, yes, maddymappo -- of course you must be right about The One -- the far-left "base" has been perfectly calm about Dr. Tiller's murder.

Posted by: JakeD | June 10, 2009 5:10 PM

It is refreshing and commendable that Pres. Obama's administration is not whipping his base up into a frenzy of fear and partisan politics over these incidents. In the past, a tragic event such as this, would be used as amunition against the opposition, and to fuel the fires of blame and anger that strengthen the unquestioning resolve of the conservative base and to deepen the partisan divide in order to further the Bush/Cheney political agenda.

Posted by: maddymappo | June 10, 2009 5:04 PM

It appears that such crimes have skyrocketed since Obama took power. If he is truly sorry, perhaps he should consider moderating his extremist policies !

Posted by: gjdagis | June 10, 2009 5:00 PM

"There isn't much difference between the far left and the far right" on abortion, for instance?

Posted by: JakeD | June 10, 2009 4:50 PM

BTW: where is the official statement about that shooting at the recruiting office? William Long, 24, of Conway, died, and Quinton Ezeagwula, 18, of Jacksonville, was wounded.

Posted by: JakeD | June 10, 2009 4:08 PM


I don't remember anything from Obama on that one, but in fairness he was on vacation in Egypt and then France at the time.

There isn't much difference between the far left and the far right.

Posted by: alstl | June 10, 2009 4:48 PM

Oh, that's right, there was none until TWO DAYS later:

[The murder] was the first terrorist attack on U. S. soil since 9/11 and yet the media largely ignored it.

Granted virtually all the mainstream media in America are unrepentantly Liberal. And, granted, they were all in a frenzy about the murder of George Tiller, the abortion doctor, because abortion rights are a big liberal cause. But even so, the story of the first terrorist act on U. S. soil in over eight years should have at least appeared on the radar.

Yet it did not.

Only Fox News and bloggers reported it. If you watched mainstream network TV or read your local paper, you never heard of Pte. William Long.

President Obama released a passionate statement about Doctor George Tiller within two hours of his death: "I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence."

For Pte. William Long, however, Obama, Long's Commander in Chief, had absolutely nothing to say for two full days, and finally issued this tepid statement: "I am deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence against two brave young soldiers who were doing their part to strengthen our armed forces and keep our country safe. I would like to wish Quinton Ezeagwula a speedy recovery, and to offer my condolences and prayers to William Long's family as they mourn the loss of their son."

Up to now it was sort of funny to watch how the mainstream media monkeys were hearing no evil, seeing no evil and reporting no evil about Obama. They didn't see any problem with Obama spending trillions or nationalizing banks and car companies. Huge protests, like the Tea Parties, where hundreds of thousands turned out to voice their displeasure at Obama's out of control spending, were dismissed as racist or not reported at all. Even committed Liberals, like Jim Cramer, who said anything bad about Obama, were vilified.

Posted by: JakeD | June 10, 2009 4:19 PM

BTW: where is the official statement about that shooting at the recruiting office? William Long, 24, of Conway, died, and Quinton Ezeagwula, 18, of Jacksonville, was wounded.

Posted by: JakeD | June 10, 2009 4:08 PM

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