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The Colorado 3 Stooges vs Tennessee's Laurel & Hardy

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On August 24, 2008, Nathan Johnson, 32, and Tharin Gartrell, 28, were stopped in Aurora, Colorado for driving erratically. A Remington 721 with scope and Ruger M77 Mark II bolt-action rifle with attached scope sniper rifles, cartons of Remington and Winchester ammunition, bulletproof vests, walkie-talkies, camouflage,  wigs and 4.4 grams of methamphetamine were found inside their pickup truck.


When police accompanied the two men back to their hotel, a third man, Shawn Adolph, 33, jumped from a fourth floor window, but was easily captured when he tried to flee on a broken ankle.


Federal records have disclosed that the three men had done meth inside the hotel with two women the day before the arrests and discussed assassinating United States Senator Barack Obama. DenverPost09/04/08


The story received little press coverage. According to The Brad Blog: "MSNBC barely edged out CNN for burying news of these arrests....At the same time, the story didn't make the cut at all on MSNBC's homepage." The Brad Blog also asserted that ABC World News, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News and PBS NewsHour did not even mention the story; that The New York Times buried the story at the bottom of page A18 and The Washington Post on page A23.

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Whatever the coverage, major media attention vanished within forty-eight hours.


Tharin Gartrell, 28, appeared in court September 2nd  on a methamphetamine possession charge. He waived his right to a preliminary hearing. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to two years for the drug charges. His bail was set at fifty-thousand dollars.


Nathan Johnson was charged with possession of methamphetamine and of possession of a firearm prohibited a convicted felon. He was placed on a ten-thousand dollar bond. He was subsequently ordered held without bail at a September 17th hearing. He was scheduled to appear in court on the 17th of October, but the writer of this article has been unable to determine if that court appearance occurred.

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Shawn Adolph was charged with possession of a firearm and body armor prohibited a convicted felon, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and violations of his parole. Due to his outstanding warrants, he remains imprisoned on a one million dollar bond.


None of the Denver 3 stooges have been nor are likely to be charged with any crime of conspiracy to assassinate Barack Obama.  Why? Apparently the current Bush Administration appointed U.S. Attorney in Colorado Troy Eid evaluated these 3 stooges as never having been a serious threat to Barack Obama.

Examine the 360 degree difference in the case of the Laurel and Hardy would-be-Obama-assassins of Tennessee: Danial Cowart, 20, and Paul Schlesselman, 18. Not exactly household names, either, thanks again to the mainstream news media's misplaced or deliberate lack of interest. Remember them as the punks who planned to dress in white tuxedos and top hats and drive their vehicle at top speed toward a President-elect Obama motorcade, shooting at him from their open car windows according to court records.

By their own accounts, both had accepted that they would die in the assassination attempt, accepting that price for placement in the Hall of Fame of Historical Assassins.

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Instead, Cowart and Schlesselman were arrested October 22, 2008. They were originally charged with conspiracy, interstate unlawful transportation of an unregistered firearm, interstate transportation of a firearm with the intent to commit a felony, transporting a short-barreled shotgun across state lines without a license, unlawful possession of a short-barreled shotgun, and threatening to kill and inflict bodily harm upon a major presidential candidate. On November 20, 2008, a federal grand jury in Memphis issued a ten count indictment with additional charges against Cowart of damaging religious property and using a firearm during a crime of violence. Allegedly, these young white supremists shot at the Allen Baptist Church of Brownsville on October 21, 2008. They are also accused of conspiring, from the beginning of September and until the time of their arrest, to engage in a killing spree of African-Americans on streets and sidewalks, simultaneously plotting to steal firearms from a licensed firearms dealer.  

Cowart and Schlesselman have pleaded not guilty to the new charges. They are held without bond. As of this writing, no trial date has been issued, but they are scheduled, December 12, 2008,  to appear in Jackson for discussion of a timetable for further court proceedings.

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Retired, Robert Arend was president of an AFSCME local from 1997-2007.

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