President Abraham Lincoln had not a drop of protection in place on the night he was assassinated. This is almost incomprehensible given his importance to the nation and the savagery and scale of the Civil War which was barely ended – many Confederate troops remained in the field and many hostile people lived in and near Washington DC.
If not for good fortune that night would have also featured the demise of Vice President Andrew Jackson, Union Army General Ulysses S. Grant and Secretary of State William Seward because Booth’s goal was not simply revenge but “shock and awe” that would have permitted, at the eleventh hour, a reversal of fortune and installation of the Confederate Government in Washington DC.
Our critical infrastructure industries including banks, utilities, healthcare and others are under a much subtler form of attack. Recent successful attacks on several of the largest banks proves that they are not adequately protected. Those who intend to do harm are getting smarter and more sophisticated and we have yet to raise our game adequately to the challenge. I believe that we will but hope that it happens before rather than after something truly horrible happens.
James Swanson’s “Manhunt” describes the assassination and “12-day chase for Lincoln’s Killers.” I recommend it to every C level Executive and Director as a wake-up call to protect your house.