Poison letter sent to President Obama, may be ricin

A day after Sen. Wicker received a poison letter, one was intercepted by the Secret Service. Photo: President Obama has been sent a letter with ricin inside AP photo

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2013 — Just one day after Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) received a ricin-laced letter and two days after the double bombings of the Boston Marathon, President Obama was sent a letter, intercepted by authorities, that tests positive for ricin poison. Further testing will be done to double verify it’s ricin.

The letter was discovered at the Secret Service’s mail screening facility after being sent to the President on April 16. The facility, which checks all incoming mail and packages to the President, is not near the White House and he was not imminent danger.

Ricin is made from the castor oil plant

The Secret Service, FBI and the U.S. Capitol Police are all investigating, although at this point they are not linking the terrorist attack in Boston to the two letters sent Sen. Wicker and President Obama.

According to Fox News, this latest letter has many similarities to the one sent Sen. Wicker:

* both letters came from Memphis, Tenn.

* both letters were sent on April 16

* both letters contained similar language

* both letters are signed identically.

Like the letter Sen. Wicker received, which has tested positive for ricin, the latest letter will undergo further extensive testing as well.

Ricin is a poison made from the castor oil plant and a dose as small as a couple grains of salt can kill an adult. Dangerous and deadly, ricin can kill if inhaled, injected or ingested. An antidote has been developed, but survivors suffer long-term organ damage.

Meanwhile suspicious packages were spotted at the Capitol building, including a suspicious envelope on the third floor of the Russell Senate Office Building.

In 2004, then Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) received a letter at his office in the Dirksen Senate Office Building that also tested positive for ricin. The office building was shut down for decontamination and the case was never solved.


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Catherine Poe

Catherine was named one of the top Progressives in Maryland along with Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congresswoman Donna Edwards. She has been a guest of President Obama in the Rose Garden.

As past president of Long Island NOW, she worked to reform women's prisons in New York, open the construction trades to women, change laws to safeguard battered women, and protect the rights of rape victims. 

Long active in Democratic politics, she served as the presidentof the Talbot Democrats in Maryland for six years and fought to getthe Health Care Reform bill passed.

Catherine has been published in a diverse range of newspapers and magazines, including Newsday, Star Democrat, Rocky Mountain News, Yellowstone News, and the Massachusetts Review.

If Catherine has learned anything over the years it is that progressive change does not come easily, but in baby steps. 

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