4 Arrested in Possible Assassination Plot Against Obama
In Denver, four men have now been arrested in connection with an apparent assassination plot against Obama (9 News.com). The police are downplaying the threat, saying that the man who made the threat was trying to sound important. (9 News.com) A press conference is scheduled for 4 pm today.
The four men were arrested following a “fortunate traffic stop.” (Politics West) The first of the four men who have now been arrested was stopped for driving erratically. The driver, Tharin Gartrell, was stopped for driving erratically. (Political Radar) “Gartrell is being held in the Arapahoe County jail in lieu of $50,000 bond and has a felony criminal record.” (9News.com)
Since then, there have been three more arrests. The second man was arrested at a Denver hotel. (9New.com) The third was arrested at a different Denver hotel. (9News.com) The fourth is underage and his name is not being released. (9News.com)
Aurora Police held a news conference Monday to announce the arrests and said that during their investigation officers seized a bullet-proof vest, two rifles — one of which was stolen; another had a hunting scope — plus ammunition, drugs and walkie-talkies….
Aurora police seized weapons and drugs, which included methamphetamine, from the suspect’s rental pickup….
CBS4 had reported one of the suspects told authorities that they were “going to shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a … rifle … sighted at 750 yards.”
Law-enforcement sources told CBS4 that one of the suspects “was directly asked if they had come to Denver to kill Obama. He responded in the affirmative.”
A second source told CBS4 News that they are concerned they may have come upon a possible “assassination plot.” (Rocky Mountain News)
Federal authorities are refusing to comment about why they believe the case is possibly tied to an assassination plot, but scheduled a news conference for 4 p.m. Tuesday. (Politics West)
Is it a real assassination plot?
“This is a methamphetamine and firearms case that arose from a traffic stop made by an Aurora Police officer,” a spokesman for the joint law enforcement information center told ABC News. “Firearms and methamphetamines were seized, and a number of individuals are in state custody. The matter continues to be under investigation. We’ll provide more information as it becomes available.”
The Obama campaign declined to comment on the situation.
The incident comes on the heels of an alleged threat against Obama’s rival, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Last Friday, prosecutors charged an inmate at the Arapahoe County, Colo. jail for allegedly mailing a threatening letter laced with powder to the McCain’s Denver campaign office. Investigators later determined that the suspicious powder was not toxic. (Political Radar)
The suspects “ had tattoos and jewelry popular with white supremacists.”(9News.com)
The fact is, nobody except the investigating officers knows exactly what was happening here. But to the ignorant layperson, meaning me, the inferences appear straightforward. They also appear straightforward to the always-reasonable Justin Gardner at Donklephant.
Wonky Muse points out the alternative interpretation: “Sounds more like a bunch of wasted, racist wackos than an organized assassination attempt, but still alarming.”
Some of the details are definitely worrying—the guys staying in the Denver hotels, the white supremacist angle, the guy fleeing the cops by jumping out of a window four stories up, and the very fact that they seem to have been racist wackos as well as wasted….but we’ll see.