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Alleged Barack Obama death threat leads to arrest in Miami

The fear that is not very far beneath the surface for some Barack Obama backers no doubt became more palpable today with word that the Secret Service has arrested a 22-year-old man in Miami on charges he threatened to kill the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

As the Associated Press relates, a Secret Service affidavit charges during a class for bail bondsmen last month, Raymond Hunter Geisel "allegedly referred to Obama with a racial epithet and continued, 'If he gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself.' "

As is often the case with those who rail about killing politicians, Geisel may have been bipartisan in his rants. According to the AP story:

"Another person in the class quoted Geisel as saying that 'he hated George W. Bush and that he wanted to put a bullet in the president's head,' according to the Secret Service.

"Geisel denied in a written statement to a Secret Service agent that he ever made those threats, and the documents don't indicate that he ever took steps to carry out any assassination. He was charged only with threatening Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, but not for any threat against President Bush."

The Secret Service recently re-upped its budget request for the costs of providing protection to both Obama, who due mainly to racially motivated threats has been assigned a security detail since May, 2007, and John McCain, who has had agents traveling with him since the early spring of this year.

Clearly, it is money well spent.

-- Don Frederick

Comments () | Archives (97)

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Hopefully this means he won't get to be a bail bondsman. We don't need racist criminals like that to be charged with upholding law & order.

Racially-motivated? Yeah right. The man has plenty of other qualities to be hated for without even considering what color his skin might be. Give me a break.

You know what will happen if this clown gets elected? Whenever he doesn't get his way as president, it'll always be the race card. "Oh, the congress won't work with him because he's black." Who wants to look forward to four years of that? I guess the only good thing would be it might run this race card nonsense into the ground and finally make undeniable what most people have known for a long time--those who bring up race all the time are racists, whatever the color of their skin.

It is disgusting that this starts to surface. There is very little comfort in thinking that among 300 million Americans; it only takes one deranged mind to get the imagination going. No matter how much one may detest a sitting president or the next one, killing solves nothing. All you have to do is look at the Islamic world. Killing there is an age old solution.

That anyone could look on Obama, a Harvard-educated law professor from the University of Chicago, and direct an epithet that presupposes he is lacking in intelligence and/or grace, is absolutely absurd.

Now, the rube he's running against ... that's pure HICKory. Hillbilly John, let's go to war! Yee haw!

I agree with you Bob, I doubt that Obama has received a single racially motivated death threat. Those made by the KKK clearly had other motivations. You are definitely not a cretin.

Too many racists in USA. What a shallow country.

Yeah, SD-mouth, I totally agree with you. Just look to our friend bob and his comment here, and you can see that our country still got plenty of mentally disturbed, KKK/Aryan Nation types like him. Long time that we had a election with evil and good so well defined. Everyone that is against Obama candidacy, is an Evil Minion, an enemy of the United States, a traitor and shall be treated as such...

Bob, your overtness is stunning. I do so look forward to a bi-racial president who can hate each of his races on a daily basis. Every hour his white half can hate his black half and the next his black half can hate his white half.

Then he can take both sides of his hatred for the other to the Congress where the democrats will have veto proof majorities due to the corrupt right wing's inability to get re-elected.

There he can rail against both races out of each side of his mouth, equally hating blacks and whites, pulling race cards non-stop. Then when the ranting against himself calms he can present his agenda to the majority and the legislation will sail through without threat of veto, since all race cards will then be on the table.

The blogosphere is teeming with these kinds of rants about Sen. Obama pulling the race card. The problem is that so few seem to recall that he is bi-racial, not black only, so the arguments about his racism just don't fly.

Nice try, though.

Don, I think you're being a little misleading. All presidential candidates are eligible for SS protection. McCain simply refused it until a few months ago. You make it sound like Obama needed the protection more than McCain, and that's why they chose to give it to him, when in fact, it is a decision that's left up to the individual candidates.

Bob, learn how to read. "allegedly referred to Obama with a *racial epithet* and continued, 'If he gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself.'"

I have to wonder what is up with these people who think that there is so much to hate Obama for... what has he done that deserves hatred and death threats? These same people who encourage hatred of him, will often turn around and denounce his 'lack of experience', despite him having supposedly done so much to deserve to be hated.

Obama didn't fill the publics heads with lies about Iraq, getting us involved in a trillion dollar quagmire while managing to tank the entire economy, including our currency, in the process. Yet people are so filled with hate for Obama? Kinda hard to see how it isn't at the very least partisan hysterics, if not racist.

Response to Bob: Racism is a real problem in America. Pretending that it is not is naive to the extreme. Of course there are still racially motivated threats and attacks in America. We are a long way from the utopia that you imagine, where racism is a thing of the past.

Your statement that indiduals who mention race the most often are the most racist is simplistic. It's also wrong. The people on the front lines of the civil rights movement tend to be those that mention race most often.

This guy in Florida is being used as a "whipping boy", pure and simple. These high level candidates receive threats all the time and the Secret Service has the huge task of tracking down those who make these threats.

It is amazing to me that there are people out there walking among us who will risk throwing away their futures by making threats against presidential candidates such as Barack Hussien Obama; undeniably an empty suit and a mental midget.

The selection of a president should never be determined at the end of the barrel of a gun; rather, in a democratic and civilized society, we will make our decision in the voting booth in November.

Vote wisely.


Don't believe all you hear abouit the race card. That is only another campaign trying to get you worked up. The Obama campaign knows that every day anyone talks about race it is a bad day for the campaign. McCain's group knows that and they are playing it up. What happened to the John McCain of 2000? I liked the man and I hate that he is playing this game.


Do you know what "racial epithet" means?

Personally if I heard someone use a racial slur and then threaten someone I would reasonably assume it was racially motivated.

You also said: "...most people have known for a long time--those who bring up race all the time are racists, whatever the color of their skin."

Since YOU chose that topic as your focus, we can understand the source of your "reasoning".

Finally, the mere fact that you choose to "hate" someone because they have a different opinion than you suggests you urgently need psychiatric help.

In reference to Bob's comment...

The race card has rarely been played and the times that it was made to seem that it had, it was quickly quashed. There is no need to turn to issues of race when you have two highly qualified individuals.

And second, the type of color-blind logic that you seem to imply is nothing but a thinly veiled mask of racist rhetoric. Why would you assume that a black candidate would readily use his race to counteract the actions of some agent? That's quite a general assumption to make about a particular individual. Are you making that generalization based upon the group that Mr. Obama belongs to? And, finally, someone who employs the race card cannot be a racist. A racist is someone who actively engages in the direct defamation or subordination of a particular group or member of a group based on innate charactersitics of that group. Someone who simply uses the "race-card" willi-nilly might do so because they feel they're being singled out because of their race...thus making them misinformed...maybe even ignorant in extreme cases, but not racist.

Sorry, Jimi Mosey...."a rose is a rose, is a rose....."

What is really amazing is the fact that no one seems bothered that a man was thrown in jail for his words, not his actions. His words don't even reach the level of a disorderly conduct charge in any of the states. Yet the author and every comment so far seem to have no problem with this. I'm thinking that everyone on this page would feel quite comfortable living in China. Move fast and maybe you can catch some of the olympics while you erase any last vestage of the meaning of the 1st Amendment from your minds.

"What is really amazing is the fact that no one seems bothered that a man was thrown in jail for his words, not his actions. His words don't even reach the level of a disorderly conduct charge in any of the states."

Really? So if I were to claim in front of a group of people that I was going to murder you, and they corraborated it, you say there's no law against that, so the cops wouldn't charge me?

Pull yer head out, willya?

You are now one of the most ignorant people i know.

86% of blacks are voting for Obama according to the polls, You think they all are politically moved? NO, they want a black man. I'm tired of being called a racist because I don't want a socialist president!

Hopefully this means he won't get to be a bail bondsman. We don't need racist criminals like that to be charged with upholding law & order.

Posted by: Moe | August 07, 2008 at 02:58 PM

You mean like Dog the Bounty Hunter?

hey Bob

This is just a wild guess, but you're White right?



You just knew this was coming, I just wonder how many more of these nuts are out there.

I have only read one comment that makes any since to me. WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR FREEDOM OF SPEACH??? I my self have said in anger or discuss that I wanted to kill someone our hurt someone. That doesn't meen I would do it only that I want to. I can't remember the last time I said I wanted to kill a polition. Hell Nancy would be at the top followed by Obama. That doesn't meen I would do it. It is only a awy of blowing off anger and I would rather see someone say it than do it. His arrest is a clear violation of his rights to FREEDOM OF SPEACH. Does that meen I agree whit him. You be the judge. Remember no one anonoced they were going to kill JFK or shoot any of the other's it is the ones that don't blow off steam I worrie about, and a country that stands up for our rights of speech being denied

Apparently this nutjob was after President Bush too. Does that make Obama and Bush best pals now?

To Larkin:
So, you think Barack Obama is a "mental midget"?
Columbia University graduate.
Harvard Law graduate and passed the bar. Top of his class and President of Harvard Law Review.
Not a rich kid who got in because of any rich daddy. Didn't put his race on his law school application because he didn't want it considered.
Taught law at the prestigious University of Chicago law school for 12 years, and was a very successful and popular professor. Was offered tenure but turned it down because he wanted to serve his country in public office.
Wrote two beautifully written books himself. No ghost writer.
If you disagree with his policy stands, fine. I can respect that. But to call Barack Obama a "mental midget" is absurd.

I don't get it, why is everyone so crazy about Obama?? Didn't your parents ever teach you not to trust politicians... I mean, of course racial attacks and death threats against the man are reprehensible, but so many people are just in thrall of him, hero-worshiping blindly. if it's too good to be true, it is! remember this guy comes out of chicago/illinois politics. what does that say? you don't get anywhere in that state legislature without burying some bodies.

This comment may seem off topic, but it's directed more by people's responses to this article...boy this united we stand divided we fall stuff just goes out the window when you start talking politics right?

It doesn't matter who you vote for in November. Dem or Rep, they are all the same, the only difference is the color tie they wear. They are all motivated by personal gain and self interest. There is no voice of the people and this country was bought and sold a long time ago. Just step back, take a look at this ridiculous politic system...its sooo funny to watch!

Either you're a crazy hippie liberal or you are a tight ass conservative...

There's no room for objective rational thought and no such thing as "in the middle." All you can do is remove yourself from the game.

Give Bob a break. Or should I say Archie Bunker. Racists need love too. Bob and people like him are indeed thinly veiled racist. The hide under the cover of proclaiming some of some sort of double standard. Sure, an African American or anyone for that matter can be a racist. But take it from me Billy Bob, I know racism. I've been the target of idiots like you. I've been threatened. Beaten. And called "epithets" by guys like you. White guys. And have I played the "race card." You bet. You will never know what means to be non-white. If you are indeed one. Perhaps you are not. I'm making an assumption. And that's pretty bad of me. I apologize to all caucasions. But you can get off your high and mighty soap box of racism in America and just say that you are a tired Repulican who wants 4 more years of George Bush. A 100 year war in Iraq. Bigger deficts. Loopholes for the rich. And believe in silly tax rebates and and gimmicks. And pay more at the pump because George Bush and Phil Gram created the Enron energy loophole. So now Exxon Mobil and Shell can post a billion dollar profit. So Obama is for taxing these guys. And McCain is not. Who's looking out for us little guys. Not McCain.
So race card or not. This country is in deep caca if we keep the couse we are right now. Wake up Bob before it's too late.

Is it just me, or did Bob really not saying anything that inflammatory? I think you guys are just arguing with him because his comment was ambiguous and conservative-sounding

"Bob" is right. African-Americans are the racists because they are the ones who incessantly bring up race and cry racism every time things don't go their way.

Obama has run his campaign the same way. Crying racism to damage his opponent, when no racist slurs have been made. Then he dances away once he's accomplished what he needs and says, "Oh, let's not make this about race."

Obama tried to bury both Clintons with bogus accusations of racism. Both Clintons have every right to be disgusted and furious at these phony and politically calculated accusations. Bill Clinton has been laser accurate in his criticism of Obama's tactics.

Bob is right that with Obama as Pres, the American people would never be able to criticize or risk being called racist. Or risk riots which seems to be what law enforcement prepares for every time African-Americans are mad about something.

"Casey" is right in pointing out that this guy was arrested for his alleged words. There is definitely a double standard with Obama. Those who threaten a white candidate aren't arrested. And, it is not right that we taxpayers have to fund extra Secret Service for Obama. Let Obama fund extra security from his vast donations resources rather than further burden the American people during a budget crisis.

The commenter who stated that someone who threatened to murder him would be arrested is living in a fantasy world. The LAPD does nothing about murder threats (or most anything else.)

You can't trust anyone these days. So if this kid did simply orally threaten killing Obama or Bush or Pauly Shore, we do need to really take these threats seriously. There are plenty of deranged people out there. Now we find out that the culprit for the 2001 anthrax killings were purportrated by our own military scientst, Dr. Ivins. And even before this event occured, be exhibited mental illnes.The shootings on college campuses or high schools. These kids are mentally insane. And there were clear signs. John Wilkes Booth made statements before he shot Lincoln about how he wanted him dead. So let's not take these events lightly.

This is stupid. Listening to you under evolved barely conscious apes squabble over these politicians... ahem, POLITICIANS... is sad. None of them have been honest and I guarantee you will be kicking yourselves in the future should your candidate be elected.

So instead just vote for Paris. Shes hot.

Uh... is there anybody except morons who have been living in caves for the last few decades who *doesn't* know it is a federal offense to make death threats against the POTUS? If this is a "freedom of speech" issue for somebody, go to the Congress and get the law changed. Good luck with that. Our freedom of speech is guaranteed for the purpose of public debate. Threatening to kill a public official hardly constitutes a reasoned argument.

Somebody who makes threats like these... you have to deduce they never finished grade school and don't know how to read a newspaper, or they are serious about the threat -- either because they psychopathic or otherwise mentally disturbed.

If you are of the "didn't finish grade school" variety, you'd do well to take note of what's going to happen to this guy and maybe, you know, finally learn something.

If you are of the mentally disturbed variety, I think it's great the federales have the authority to take you off the streets. I mean, *sheesh*.

No matter what a persons race is I would hope that if this happens to a white person that we would have the same results, PROTECTION!

i bet Mr. Bob is a hardcore redneck and just know how to use internet. Am just sad to have such ppl around.

What percentage of us can honestly say we are better off than we were 8 years ago? Nothing about neo-conservatism even resembles the republican platform. By the time McCain is done kissing up to the so called conservative 'base' you see how much he'll resemble your ideals. By 2012 you'll be learning Cantonese. These guys don't care about you, they will sell you and your families to the highest bidder.
Just keep voting for the people they tell you are republican, get some more ARM loans, buy some more mortgage backed bonds. -And watch the world as you know it fall apart faster than you ever imagined.
Did any of you even imagine Bush and his people could mess so much up so fast?
Partisan is one thing, just stop being misinformed and distracted. Abraham Lincoln was a republican. McCain was around then, and he knows he's no Abraham Lincoln.

To Alice and your lack of spelling skills: Only people like you who have no idea of how to spell correctly would be dumb enough to threaten Nancy and Obama online.



If Obama gets elected, you have another Jimmy Carter and liberalism dies forever. If you kill Obama, you make him a martyr and that will give liberalism enough fuel to burn for decades.

Pencil them both out and write in Ron Paul for President.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Geisel's likely nothing more than a loudmouth.

Wait a minute... maybe this J@ck@^ss was just reciting the lyrics to his latest eminem or 50 cents song!

Why does he/everyone else refer to him as African-American when he is 1/2 Caucasian and was raised by caucaisans? Seems like he would be classified as Caucasian just as easily. Duh! What an obvious question!!!

I doubt this stupid guy was really serious about his ridiculous threat, but it feeds nicely into Obama's phony psychological complex about being a target just because of his skin color. He's so important that he needs lots of extra protection from the Secret Service. Everybody who doesn't support him will be branded a racist by his followers. Even some who do support him, like Bill Clinton, will also be called racist, just because they dared to challenge the affirmative action candidate who has been ordained to lead the country out of its racist past.

I'm tried of listening to Americans pretend that racism no longer exists, and if it does, it's because African-Americans continue to use a 'race card'.

Racism did not end in the 1960's, it simply got pushed below the surface, and there will be people who will vote against obama simply because of the colour of his skin. Many interviews with voters in West Virginia during the democratic primary proved this.

Racism is still a real issue, and its time for Americans to began discussing this topic like ADULTS, which many people in this discussion have been. And the hatred is still current enough that Barak's life is endanger every single day. So Bob, wake up.

Maybe you 1st Amendment enthusiasts should read the Associated Press version of this story. Here's a little tidbit for you: "A search of Geisel's SUV and hotel room uncovered a loaded handgun, knives, dozens of rounds of ammunition, body armor and a machete."

So if death threats against a presidential candidate/public official weren't enough, this reinforces the theory of probable cause.

And just for clarification, I'm sure our Founding Fathers did not envision the freedom of speech to include death threats.....

I thought the US had freedom of speech.
I believe no body should be arrested for saying something no matter what awful.
Should we arrest my wife every time she says: " I hate you I am gonna chop your balls" ?

I can not believe you guys are saying race is not an issue. It is a BIG issue. 100% of the black people will vote for Obama only because he is BLACK not because he is the best candidate. Is that not racist?

The Federal Prison System has a fair share of prisoners doing 5 years for threatening to kill the President. Rest assured that if "Anyone" makes a death threat against the President they will get a visit from the Secret Service like Geisel did; wherein, he will be given an opportunity to explain what he meant by that threat to a Federal District Judge. After a fair trial he will get the standard 5 years minimum case closed.

The statements that Obama made that I find interesting are " people have a moral right to health care" & "I will re-appropriate wealth" That sounds like... hmmmm. socialism! Marx would be proud! We are only 20 years or less behind the socialistic European union! yeah for the dems!!! A couple of facts on "free health care" Germany's income tax 45%; 20% vat tax on everything,$10 gasoline. How can anybody logically look at obama and vote for him??? btw, a friend is working in Germany, so these are FACTS! So according to my math, I pay about $3000 a year for health care, make about $80k a year so under socialism, "free health care" will now cost me about $44k a year!!! Does anybody have math skills out there and can justify that???

If I had to pick the candidate that constantly brings up race up out of ALL the men and woman who ran for the last TWO years ad naseum, it is Barak Obama - over and over and over...second only to that lovable guy, yes his "pastor" of 20 years -Jeremiah Wright

I have heard his two vapid books and can't believe anyone thinks of them as partucularly well written or enough people bought them to make him a millionaire.

I'm like the lady who said she didnlt want a Socialist as President only I will call him what he actually is...a MARXIST.

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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