Letter to editor brings Secret Service visit

An elderly man who wrote in a letter to the editor about Saddam Hussein’s execution that “they hanged the wrong man” got a visit from Secret Service agents concerned he was threatening President Bush.

The letter by Dan Tilli, 81, was published in Monday’s edition of The Express-Times of Easton, Pa. It ended with the line, “I still believe they hanged the wrong man.”

Tilli said the statement was not a threat. “I didn’t say who — I could’ve meant (Osama) bin Laden,” he said Friday.

Two Secret Service agents questioned Tilli at his Bethlehem apartment Thursday, briefly searching the place and taking pictures of him, he said.

The Secret Service confirmed the encounter. Bob Slama, special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s Philadelphia office, said it was the agency’s duty to investigate.

The agents almost immediately decided Tilli was not a threat, Slama said

“We have no further interest in Dan,” he said.

Tilli said the agents appeared more relaxed when he dug out a scrapbook containing more than 200 letters that he has written over the years, almost all on political topics.

“He said, ‘Keep writing, but just don’t make no threats,'” Tilli said of one of the agents.

It wasn’t Tilli’s first run-in with the federal government over his letter writing. Two FBI agents from Allentown showed up at his home last year about a letter he wrote advocating a civil war to unseat Bush, he said.

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press


  1. Arthur

    I cannot believe the gestapho hassled that old man. But then again it is a sign of the times that our so called congress and senate has messed up the constitution so bad that Bush could be our new king of kings. SIEG HEIL MEIN FUROR BUSH!

  2. Ted

    Ok thanks.

    However, from my perspective, because I have not heard or read about it before, I consider the statement to be hearsay. No offense intended to you or your Dad.

    I am sceptical that the DOD, etc… would be willing to admit to or publicize such a gruesome statistic as well.

    I did a search on the net and on the DOD web site and found nothing.

    I agree with your Dad about the Army. How about NASA?

  3. Seth Freed

    My father, who is a retired Col. of the Air Force of 23 years and currently works with everything space information related. He told me in one of many discussions on me possibly joining the armed forces, in an attempt to get me to stop thinking about the Army.

  4. Ted

    OK I cannot listen using this medium but I look forward to reading your response to the following:

    What is your source for the “the majority of casualties have been from friendly fire” comment?

  5. Seth Freed

    To those who apparently do care and think I recieve my information from the media sources that you so highly praise, you are unfortunately wrong. Accusing me of things based on assumption, the same thing you accuse the leaders of this country. I am in the know and have knowledge of things that would probably change your minds, if indeed you cared to listen. By the way, sheeple, that’s really cute.

  6. Ted

    @Seth – whether you care or not-

    “the majority of casualties have been from friendly fire”

    Your statement is absurd. Ever heard of an insurgent, a sniper or an IED???????

    Are the sheeple at Fox news really proposing garbage such as this or did you make it up all on your own???

    Unbelievable!!! You and Bush/Cheney live in a fantasy

  7. Seth Freed

    To Bat, if he cares, I agree he’s stubborn, but would you want a leader who is a total pushover. And think that FDR or ‘Teddie’ was the most stubborn, three terms in office during the depression, that’s persistance. And if you want to blame anyone, go after congress. Bush just approves some of the things they do, but they could still go around him when he doesn’t. Troops can only be deployed for up to three months without declaring war, which can only be done by congress, and this is what year know. I wish we could live in a world without war, but that is either impossible or damn near. War should never be excepted, no matter the necessity. But this war might be the worst, the majority of casualties have been from friendly fire. When I say majority, I mean mostly all of them.

  8. Ray

    Mr. Freed
    Obviously you live in a shell and aquire your view of the world from fox news.

    Beginning with GW’s non-election, the manufacturing base in this nation has become nearly non-existant. More workers are on unemployment of welfare or even homeless than ever before. Education has been gutted. Medicare, social securety, health care, all programs that help the poor have been reduced or eliminated. The military spending has gone ballistic, you have had your rights taken, the army can now do law enforcement as in check points, there are concentration camps being built or are built all across the country. Illegal immigration goes unchecked while homeland security cannot function intelligently. Thousands upon thousands of americans have died or are misplaced as result of Katrina and a totally inept FEMA ( instructed by Bush ) and to this day have not resumed a normal life. Thousands died in false flag operation known as 911 for the sole purpose of scaring americans into submission of our rights and freedoms in the phoney war on terror. You can be locked away forever simply on suspicion or accusation of supporting a cause deemed terrorism. One of the points given to policemen for signs to watch out for is if someone mentions the constitution or the bill of rights, that that person could be a terrorist. Over three thousand soldiers are dead and many more will die in an illegal war undeclared based upon lies by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfelt, Rice, etal. And YOU SAY YOU THINK THIS PRESIDENT IS JUST FACING CIRCUMSTACES THAT JUST HAPPENED ALONG!

    Sheeple wandering about believing the big lie and so complacent and gullible is beyond belief.
    Are you in for the shock of your life! Wake up fool.


  9. Ted


    Your proposed bet is pointless.

    I would not provide leadership through promotion of an ajenda to invade, occupy and conquer the soverign nation of Iraq on the pretense of “links to al qaeda” and “WMD” especially without agreement from the majority of members of the UN and the legal authority only the UN can provide. I agree with Bush regarding our invasion of Afganistan but not the invasion, occupation and conquest of Iraq.

    Bush earned the scorn of the majority of US and world citizens. He wet the bed and now has to lie in it and so do we!

  10. Bat

    “How hard would your job be to do if the majority of the people you did the job for hated you and disagreed with everything you did?”…

    Seth, I do believe he has asked for and deserves all the disapproval he gets from the thinking citizens of our country.

    …”I’m betting you’d quit, disappear, and get a new job.”

    But he ran again, won, and is probably the most stubborn man ever to hold the office, so I don’t expect him to just up and quit.
    We should be so lucky.

  11. Seth Freed

    To Michela, if you care, that document was indeed against a tyrannical government to set up a government that could be changed to fit the times at hand. Instead of overthrowing the government, make efforts to change it.

    To Ted, if he cares, I have no arguement against the current government and my only complaint in this instance is against some of the people on this comment list. As far as being proactive, I vote for my representatives and senators. Other than that, I have no want to change the government. No other president has ever had to deal with what things have taken place since 2000. Let’s critsize when, only if when, certain events do happen again with a different president. How hard would your job be to do if the majority of the people you did the job for hated you and disagreed with everything you did? I’m betting you’d quit, disappear, and get a new job.

  12. Ted

    @Seth Freed

    What are you doing that is productive?

    Appears you are just complaining like the rest of us.

    I present the following for your consideration:

    1. The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness. 2. An act or instance of such falseness.

  13. Michela Colosimo

    To quote from The Declaration of Independence: “…Governments are institued among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness….But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.”

    The above quote refers to Great Britain, but we have a very similar situation here today. And you all know that our new government of the people by the people and for the people came about only through the loss of many lives. So do we have the right to overthrow our government? Reread the quote above.

  14. There is nothing wrong with advocating anything including assassinations or violent overthrows. Those things have become against the law because timid bureaucrats want easy arrests based on easy evidence. The best way to improve all of our law enforcement would be to force them to watch Andy of Mayberry instead of Law and Order. Also, it might help to give them some workshops on how to overcome boredom. Law enforcement has become make work without common sense.

  15. Ted,

    The Secret Service may have a tough job but they should also be able to read!

    Kent, I don’t think you should have to worry about Bush’s life. We are providing a flipping army just to protect that imposter. Based on articles I have read in the past couple years, there are more people protecting that coward than the last dozen or more “real” presidents combined.

    Our best bet is to pray for a multi-pronged bolt of lightning that would take out him and his cohorts!

  16. Kent Shaw

    “So get off your high horses, all you UNIFORMED (emphasis mine, k.s.) belligerent people and do something productive.”

    Seth, I couldn’t agree more!! Or maybe you meant something else??

    I do not advocate violence of any kind. I will not participate in violence of any kind. Having said that, I know that not all people think the same way. I fear for our president’s life if he does not change his ways. As someone said previously, it may be some of his own kind that do away with him if the money stops flowing.

  17. Seth Freed

    I am tired of all the people who simply complain about how things are being handled. If anyone thinks they can do the job better, get yourself on the ballot for senator and work your way up. Sitting on your but and critiqueing those in power never and will never bring about change. Change is brought about through sweat and blood, not through word of mouth. And now with all the open insulting and threatening of those in power, why? You don’t even know these people. All you know is through the media, which is not the best source. Why, because they are in the business of making money. Not telling the whole truth, only what sells. So get off your high horses, all you uniformed, belligerent people and do something productive.

  18. Teresa

    “Chilling stupidity and aggression” eh? Hmm..sounds like their fearless leader, the CIC. They must be chips off the old blockhead.

  19. Shagnaski

    How does “they hanged the wrong man” equate with “I am/we are going to hang/kill Bush?” Yes, the Secret Service has a job to do, but it does it with chilling stupidity and aggression.

  20. JimZ

    Hierodule, how do you know you “didn’t get a visit”?

    Because of the Patriot Act, they probably already rummaged through your house when you went to the grocery store the other day. After all, WE ARE ALL enemies of the state, now, are we?

    Back to the article…

    The “Black Suits” come to your door when they just want to scare you. The “Brown Shirts” show up when they come to take you away.

    The sadder thing is, the shirts for the “Brown Shirts” will be made in China.

  21. Ted Remington

    Hold on a second, folks. There are federal laws about threatening the life of the president, and others about advocating violent overthrow of the Government.

    Whether you like it or not, free speech is not an absolute right. If you want to go in that direction all you have to do is get Congress to change the laws.

    The Secret Service has a tough job, and if they don’t follow up on these things they may miss a real problem. I don’t think second guessing them is at all appropriate.