Personal threats a job perk for Congress

Growing hazard for members of Congress: Threats — both real and perceived.

Pennies tinged in red, purported to be in blood, arrive at the office of outgoing speaker Nancy Pelosi, along with a message that says “no more blood for war.”

The red turned out to be paint but the message is clear.

FBI documents obtained by Politico under the Freedom of Information Act show the agency has investigted 236 threats against members of Congress over te last decade and while some, like the red-tinged Pelosi pennies, are more nuisance than threat, many others are serious threats.

“It’s interesting that specific events and legislation can trigger death threats,” said Darrell West, vice president and director of governance studies at the Brookings Institutions, told Politico.  “The popular image is that these people are crazy, not they they have policy motivations behind their anger.  it’s interesting to see that connection.”

Threats nowadays, however, are more connected to major issues before Congress, including economic issues, abortion and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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