Several decisions have cast light on the scope of 18 U.S.C. § 871 and the requisite intent which must be proved in prosecutions thereunder. Proof that threatening words were uttered in a context such that a reasonable person would interpret them as mere political hyperbole, idle talk, or jest indicates that the words do not constitute a threat within the scope of the statute. However, it is the view of the Department that an actual intent to carry out a threat is not a requisite to violation of the statute.
[cited in JM 9-65.200]