The release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for 5 top Taliban terrorists held at Gitmo has led to some mixed and hostile reaction.
Meanwhile, across the Mexican border near my home town of San Diego, another American sergeant is languishing as a prisoner.
The border crossing is undergoing construction, and the warning signs that indicate you are entering Mexico are not terribly visible. So when former active-duty U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi wanted to head back home with several guns in his vehicle, he actually began a now two-month journey into the Twilight Zone of Mexican justice.
As Tahmooressi explained, out of a parking lot, “I just made one wrong turn, and then that one wrong turn that I thought was going to take me north to San Diego was actually an on-ramp that swooped around back to the south and to Mexico.”
… According to Jill Tahmooressi, her son immediately disclosed to the border guards that he had weapons and requested that he be allowed to turn around, she said.
“The first thing he said to the first person that stopped him was, ‘I got here accidentally; please let me turn around. I have three guns in my truck,’ ” his mother said.
A 911 tape released by U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, appears to support his version of events.
FNC’s Greta Van Susteren had a heart-wrenching interview with the mother, who indicates that American bureaucrats are not moving and shaking the Mexicans to get the decorated serviceman back home.
According to the reports, Tahmooressi has been subjected to punching, slapping, deprivation of food and water, and being chained to a bed with a “four-point restraint for almost a month.” It appears that the Mexican officials are treating him as a gunrunner.
As more Americans became aware of Tahmooressi’s predicament, there have been a wide array of very measured responses from fellow citizens:
- Rallies were held May 31 in California, Texas and Florida. (Click HERE for video of the 100-person rally at the border community of San Ysidro.
- There is a petition to the White House: Demand Release of U.S.M.C. Sgt. Tahmooressi Suffering with PTSD from Mexico Imprisonment. The petition has already collected over 100,000 signatures — which is usually the number need to evoke a response from the Oval Office.
- There is a Faceook Page with updates and other information: Free USMC Sgt Tahmooressi from Mexican Jail
- The Twitter Hashtags: #BringBackOurMarine, #MarineHeldInMexico
After 59 days in Mexican custody, and a non-stop barrage of misinformation and anti-Mexican propaganda from the U.S. media, Andrew Tahmooressi walked into a Tijuana courtroom on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 to have his day in court. But the marine pulled the rug out from under the proceedings by firing his lawyer at the eleventh hour, thus buying at least another week in his El Hongo (the mushroom) prison cell to get his story straightened-out with his new attorney and figure out his next move.
The Wednesday hearing was set so that Tahmooressi could at last tell his story to the Mexican authorities, hear the evidence against him and cross-examine witnesses. The transportation of guns and ammo into Mexico are strict liability crimes: the harm is presumed. Tahmooressi’s only real defense is mitigation, articulated frequently by his mother Jill — that her son inadvertently crossed the border through “directional dysfunction” brought on by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by his service as a decorated U.S. Marine during two tours of duty in Afghanistan.
There’s also some claims surfacing that a Mexican hotel receipt disproves elements of the sergeant’s story.
A published report in a Mexican magazine article reveals that Andrew Tahmooressi actually stayed in a hotel room in Tijuana on the day he was arrested. The report in Zeta, a Tijuana newspaper, goes on to says he returned to the U.S. for his truck, and the newspaper claims to have a hotel receipt as proof.
Receipt or not, it is obvious to anyone with common sense that our serviceman is no gunrunner and has been abused by the Mexican legal system.
Those in our government who are engaged in “Smart Power” need to stop patting themselves on the back for freeing Bergdahl and use their phones and pens on behalf of the US Marine.
(Featured image courtesy of Facebook)