Letter to President tests positive for ricin

White House spokesman Jay Carney revealed that a letter addressed to President Obama tested positive for ricin. It’s a nasty substance:

USA Today — The U.S. Secret Service is investigating a letter containing a “suspicious substance” that was addressed to President Obama, the agency confirmed on Wednesday, and at least three U.S. senators also reported receiving suspicious mail. FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said the letter to Obama tested positive for the substance ricin. The letter was sent to Obama on Tuesday, and was intercepted at the White House mail screening facility, according to Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary.

Ricin is toxic at the microgram level because it disrupts the ability of RNA to maintain and repair cells. It acts like a low abundance protein, actually it is a low abundance protein, just a deadly one rather than a helpful version. Other letters have also tested postive, one sent to Sen Shelby (R-AL). If those results are confirmed, this is not a partisan effort. It remains to be seen if these letters have anything to do with the Boston bombing.


  1. stever says

    A spectacularly stupid attack. The number of people who could write a letter that the President would personally read can probably be counted on one hand. A random, not-a-public-figure writer is lucky if his missive is read by someone who reports to someone whose name the President recognizes.

  2. says

    If this isn’t related to the Boston bombings, it’s a HELL of a coincidence. If those letters were just recently intercepted, they would have had to be in the mail before the bombs went off; so they can’t have been sent by a copycat. A loony, yes, but not a copycat. (And what kind of person is able to get ricin and handle it without ketting himself killed, but can’t think of anythying more imaginitive or effective to do with it?)

  3. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    …which proves, PROVES, that this is actually merely a deception by Obummer to throw investigators off of the trail. He KNEW he wasn’t in danger!1111!!!ones!!

  4. left0ver1under says

    Reports I’ve seen say that both letters – one to Obama, and one to republican Roger Wicker – containied ricin and contained the same words, the same message.

    And yet, the rightwingnuts at several sites are trying to claim this is an “attack on freedom by libruls”. After mentioning that the letter to Obama had the same poison, one of two replies came: total denial (“That didn’t happen!”) or conspiracy “theories” (“The democrats sent one to Obama only to cover for their actions”).

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