Election 2008: Heated rhetoric against Obama continues, sparking concerns of violence

The Secret Service is blaming Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's harsh attacks on Barack Obama in the final weeks of the campaign for triggering a dramatic spike in death threats against the future president -- but that revelation hasn't stopped a Georgia politician from further ratcheting up the rhetoric against the nation's next chief executive.

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun Jr., a physician from Athens, Ga., told the Associated Press yesterday that he fears Obama plans to establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist dictatorship on the American people:
"We can't be lulled into complacency," Broun said. "You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I'm not comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I'm saying is there is the potential of going down that road."
Broun cited a speech Obama gave in July in which the candidate called for a civilian force to take some of the national security burden off the military, which Broun likened to actions taken in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. An Obama spokesperson told the AP that the senator was referring to a civilian reserve corps that could take on postwar reconstruction efforts -- an idea also supported by the Bush administration.

A former Democrat turned Republican in the 1990s, Broun originally won the seat in a special election held last year following the death of Rep. Charlie Norwood. He was re-elected last week with 61 percent of the vote.

The private intelligence firm Stratfor recently warned that Obama is a high-risk target for assassins, according to the Telegraph. Stratfor noted that two plots to assassinate Obama were disrupted during the campaign -- including one involving Southern white supremacists who also planned to murder black students -- while others remain under investigation. In addition, the Southern Poverty Law Center has documented instances of racist verbal attacks at McCain-Palin rallies and a recruitment surge among white supremacist groups following Obama's win.

The day after the election, graffiti stating "Shoot Obama" and "Kill That N-----" appeared in the Free Expression Tunnel at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Four students have admitted to painting the graffiti, which the school immediately painted over. The incident sparked a protest rally that drew some 500 students as well as calls for action from the NAACP. The Secret Service has reportedly determined there was no actual threat to Obama in that case.