Sen. Bentsen’s FOI files reveal the creepy side of public life…

McClatchy made an FOI request for Sen. Bensten’s files, and they unveiled a tumultuous series of threats against the Texas lawmaker:

Lloyd Bentsen was a patrician yet popular politician, tall and dignified, a U.S. senator from Texas for 22 years, a presidential candidate in the 1970s and the 1988 Democratic vice presidential nominee.

It turns out he was also the target of a series of death threats and extortion plots throughout his public career.

Bentsen’s FBI file documents more than a dozen threats from the 1970s to 1991, including one in 1988 simultaneously against Bentsen, when he held the second spot on the Democratic ticket, and Sen. Dan Quayle of Indiana, his Republican vice presidential rival.

Among the threats was also a plot to kidnap Bentsen’s father in 1978 and apparently hold him for ransom.

Others included threats from two different Fort Worth, Texas, letter writers, as well as an inmate in a Gatesville, Texas, prison.

Bentsen died in 2006 at age 85. McClatchy was able to obtain his FBI file through the Freedom of Information Act because he is deceased.

The twin threats against Bentsen and Quayle in September 1988 came via identical anonymous letters sent to their respective Senate offices in Washington, postmarked from Illinois.

They were decorated with an abstract drawing and in block letters said: “Prediction: ‘Assassination’ in the news soon!”

 

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