Exclusive: Man Who Wrote McCain Letter Explains Actions

Marc Ramsey Says He Was Concerned About His Viet Vet Father

The man accused of sending a threatening letter to John McCain through McCain's Colorado headquarters office detailed the contents of his letter in an exclusive interview with 7NEWS Friday.

Marc Ramsey, an inmate in the Arapahoe County Jail, admitted that he sent the letter.

On Friday afternoon, the US AttorneyTroy Eid announced Ramsey will be charged with knowingly threatening to harm or kill through the U.S. mail. The charge is punishable up to five years in federal prison and up to $250,000 fines.

"We won't stand for threats of this kind in Colorado," Eid said. "A death threat is not a legitimate form of political expression," Eid said.

Ramsey has been held at the jail since Sept. 17, 2007, on a $350,000 bond, on allegations of felony menacing, harassment and felony second-degree assault on a peace officer.

Deputies said he is a prolific letter writer. Ramsey told 7NEWS he wanted to tell McCain about his father -- a Vietnam war veteran who is served at the same time as McCain, and who is suffering from two types of cancer.

"I referred to the situation in Vietnam. 'You're not the only one that was in the jungle, buddy,'" he said he wrote to McCain. "My point being that when election time comes, we're going to need somebody to take care of the soldiers. Not somebody who wants another war."

He said that he was upset that the government takes care of McCain, but not his father, who he said suffers from Agent Orange.

Ramsey said he didn't put white powder in the envelope. When asked, the only white powder he could think of that is available to inmates is baby powder.

His exact letter read:

Senator McCain,

IF you are reading this then you are already Dead! Unless of course you can't or don't breathe. There are numerous substances which are deadly for humans to inhale. There are just as many time periods for signs of illness to show, by which time it's to late. Who expects to develop cancer 40 years after Vietnam? Only those that knew the risk and side effects of Agent Orange. DoD, DOW, Diamond Shamrock, U.S. Surgeon General You're out of time. Allahu Akbar

Akeem Ramsel El

Ramsey said he is a terrorist sympathizer.

He said he didn't threaten McCain, but just wanted him to be aware that there are former soldiers out there who still need help.

"This is the greatest country in the world and we can't take care of our folks," he said.

On Thursday, McCain staffers at the Centennial office notified the Secret Service that it had a "threatening letter" against McCain and the letter contained some type of white powder.

The call prompted a full-scale hazmat alert as staffers evacuated the building.

The Secret Service, the Army National Guard's Weapons of Mass Destruction First responder team, the FBI, the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, the South Metro and Parker Fire departments and the U.S. Postal inspectors responded to the Centennial office.

Five McCain staff members were taken to area hospitals as a precautionary measure and 12 staff members were quarantined outside the Centennial office after the scare.

Seven people drove themselves to Sky Ridge Medical Center, but none showed any symptoms of exposure to a toxic substance, hospital spokeswoman Linda Watson said.

All patients were released Thursday night when the white powder was determined not to be hazardous.

Colorado National Guard spokesman Rick Breitenfeldt said the Civil Support Team completed its testing of the powder early Friday. It is not anthrax or another lethal or toxic substance, he said. However, the exact substance is not known.

McCain officers across the U.S. were alerted to be on the lookout for similar letters. A threatening letter with a Colorado mailing address was sent to McCain's campaign office in Manchester, N.H., but it has not been positively linked backed to Ramsey.

"Our guys did not find any powder. There were maybe a couple of grains of something inside an envelope and they had to kind of work to get a sample," said Andy Lyon of the Parker South Metro Fire Rescue Authority. "It was described to me as maybe they found a couple of granules of something. It tested positive for protein, what was described to me as a weak positive. Well, protein could be a protein shake."

The Denver threat came four days before the Democratic National Convention opens in Denver.

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