Jarod Perkioniemi.

On Thursday, a man was charged with threatening to assassinate United States (U.S.) Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

The suspect, Raymond Hunter Geisel, was arrested on Saturday by the U.S. Secret Service in Miami, Florida. Geisel, 22 years old, was found to have in his possession weapons as well as military type gear. He is being held without bail in Miami’s downtown detention center.

Geisel was attending a bail bondsman training course when he, according to a Secret Service affidavit, stated “that nigger, if he gets elected, I’ll assassinate him myself” to class-mates.

One witness said he additionally threatened current President George W. Bush by stating that “he hated Bush and wanted to put a bullet through his head.” In a written statement, Geisel denied making either of the threats, and according to the reports he never took any action to carry out his assassination threats.

Geisel, a native of Bangor, Maine, reportedly had in his 1998 Ford Explorer — as well as in the hotel room at which he was staying — body armor, a 9mm pistol, dozens of ammunition rounds including armor piercing bullets, military-like fatigues, a machete, as well as knives. His SUV was equipped with red and yellow emergency lights.

US Secret Service star logo

In a interview with the Secret Service, Geisel stated that “if he wanted to kill Senator Obama he simply would shoot him with a sniper rifle, but then he claimed that he was just joking,” according to reports. Geisel claims that he suffered physical as well as emotional abuse earlier in life, and that he had admitted himself to a mental clinic for treatment of post traumatic stress disorder.

Geisel is being prosecuted exclusively for the threat against candidate Barack Obama, and not for the threat against President Bush. Ed Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman refused to comment on the number of threats to political candidate and government officials, but did go as far as to say that this “might be the first arrest” in regards to this political election.

Source : wikinews

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White House photo by Eric Draper.

Bush making the speech
Image: White House photo by Eric Draper.

George W. Bush, the current President of the United States yesterday claimed that the level of violence in Iraq has decreased to the lowest level since Spring 2004. In a speech made yesterday, Bush claimed that “Violence is down to its lowest level since the spring of 2004, and we’re now in our third consecutive month with reduced violence levels holding steady.” He then said that “a significant reason for this sustained progress is the success of the surge.”

Bush also praised the security forces of Iraq. He cited their “increasing capability” as another reason for the reduction in violence. “We saw the capability of those forces earlier this year, when the Iraqi government launched successful military operations against Shia extremist groups in Basra, Amarah, and the Sadr City area of Baghdad,” he said. “Because of these operations, extremists who once terrorized the citizens of these communities have been driven from their strongholds.”

The President continued by stating that the Iraqi government has made progress. “Iraqi Council of Representatives has passed several major pieces of legislation this year, and Iraqi leaders are preparing for provincial elections,” he said, listing ways in which he believed the Iraqi government have progressed.

Bush continued by discussing the withdrawal of troops:

Bush claims violence in Iraq down to lowest level for four years
The progress in Iraq has allowed us to continue our policy of ‘return on success.’ We now have brought home all five of the combat brigades and the three Marine units that were sent to Iraq as part of the surge. The last of these surge brigades returned home this month. And later this year, General Petraeus will present me his recommendations on future troop levels — including further reductions in our combat forces as conditions permit.

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Jul 28 – Gilani, on his first official visit to the United States offered assurances on Pakistan’s commitment to combat terrorism.

Gilani held talks with Bush hours after a suspected U.S. missile strike killed six people, possibly including an al Qaeda chemical and biological weapons expert, in a Pakistani tribal region. The strike underscored U.S.-Pakistani tensions that Gilani’s visit was intended to dispel.

Deborah Lutterbeck reports.