• Ortega-Hernandez Charged In White House Shooting

    Courtesy of Associate Press & U.S. Park Police

    The scruffy bearded feller in the photo is Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez. Yeah, he doesn't look all that Hispanic, but that's beside the point. Here is the man responsible for attempting to assassinate President Barack Obama. Although some people wouldn't call it an attempted assassination. After all, the president was nowhere near the White House when this happened:

    Federal authorities charged a 21-year-old Idaho man on Thursday with trying to assassinate President Obama. They said he had told friends that he believed the president was “the Antichrist” and that he “needed to kill him,” according to a complaint filed in federal court.

    The man, Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, of Idaho Falls, who is accused of firing a semiautomatic assault rifle at the residential floors of the White House last week, was also “convinced the federal government is conspiring against him” and had become “increasingly more agitated” before he disappeared from Idaho last month, the complaint said.

    Law enforcement authorities had been hunting for Mr. Ortega-Hernandez since Friday night, after discovering evidence linked to him in a car abandoned about seven blocks from the White House.

    The black Honda Accord with an Idaho license plate — which had been seen speeding away after gunshots were heard near the presidential mansion just after 9 p.m. that night — had a Romanian-made semiautomatic rifle inside. Mr. Obama was out of town at the time.

    The complaint filed in federal court said that Mr. Ortega-Hernandez’s friends said he owned such a weapon. It also cited several witnesses who saw the sedan stop in front of the Ellipse — a grassy field between the White House and the Washington Monument — and saw or heard someone fire gunshots through the passenger window at the White House before the car sped away.

    It was not clear for several days that someone had deliberately fired at the White House. But the Secret Service has now found at least two bullets. The agency would not say where the White House had been struck, but workers on Wednesday were examining a window overlooking the Truman Balcony, an area outside the second-floor residential quarters where the first family sometimes relaxes or hosts guests. A second round was found outside.

    The shooting came from roughly 750 yards south of the White House, just outside the outer security perimeter. The security perimeter extends to the south edge of the Ellipse, where the National Christmas Tree is displayed. It is across Constitution Avenue from the more distant Washington Monument.

    It's being said that Ortega-Hernandez is most likely schizophrenic and in need of psychiatric help. So was John Hinckley Jr., but that didn't stop the courts from sentencing him to life imprisonment.

    And for those who want to discount this act of terrorism because the president wasn't around, don't. Even firing into an president-less White House is intended to send a message. It doesn't matter whether the president was around to bear witness to it or not. I'll count this as an attempted assassination.