From the San Diego Union-Tribune:
Marine veteran freed from Mexican jailTIJUANA — A Mexican federal district judge in Tijuana on Friday ordered the immediate release of a U.S. Marine veteran being held in Baja California on federal weapons charges.
By Sandra Dibble | 4:55 P.M.OCT. 31, 2014 | Updated 10:38 P.M.
Andrew Tahmooressi, who was on trial for crossing the border with ammunition and three loaded weapons on March 31, returned to the United States Friday night and flew to his family’s home in Florida.
The decision by the Mexican Attorney General’s Office to cease its prosecution of Tahmooressi brings to a close a high-profile case that has resounded far beyond the border.
In the United States, it prompted calls for Tahmooressi’s release from politicians, veterans groups and conservative talk show hosts. But for months there had been an impasse, as Mexican federal prosecutors insisted that the case be resolved through the courts — not through diplomatic or political pressure.
Tahmooressi, 25, claims he drove into Tijuana by mistake on a Monday night after taking a wrong turn near the Mexican border in San Ysidro. He had recently moved to San Diego from Florida, and says that he was driving out of a parking lot, intending to head north. But instead he drove into the El Chaparral Port of Entry, where Mexican customs inspectors examined his pickup truck and found more 400 rounds of ammunition and three loaded firearms: a .45-caliber pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun and a 5.56 mm assault rifle.
His release was ordered by Judge Victor Octavio Luna Escobedo of the Sixth Federal District Court in Tijuana. Had Tahmooressi been convicted, he would have faced seven to 21 years behind bars.
Luna Escobedo declined to comment. A statement from Mexico’s Federal Judicial Council said the judge ordered dismissal of the case after federal prosecutors withdrew their accusation in closing arguments. The judge ordered Tahmooressi’s “immediate and absolute liberty.”
There’s more at the link. But let me be clear about his: the Obama Administration didn’t care about Sgt Tahmooressi being jailed in Mexico because they think that is exactly what ought to happen to American citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights. Oh, I can’t prove that, they’ll never say that, and I’m almost certain that they will claim the credit for his release, citing “confidential, quiet diplomacy,” but you can count on it: I’m dead-on right about this.1
Just one word from Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto would have been enough to get prosecutors to have dropped the charges months ago, and all that President Obama would have had to have done was asked him.
“Quite frankly, Mr. Tahmooressi’s case has gotten a tremendous amount of attention from the State Department,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State John D. Feeley, the No. 2 official in the department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and former Marine Corps officer. “This is a case we have raised repeatedly and at high levels with the Mexicans. Secretary [John F.] Kerry did it in May. I have raised the case with the Mexican ambassador in Washington, our ambassador in Mexico has raised it with the [Mexican] foreign secretary and we have had excellent cooperation in that we have had access to him on a regular basis.”
But this Administration lies through its collective scummy teeth;2 if they had really been concerned, President Obama would have raised the issue directly with President Peña Nieto; he never did, despite a summit meeting which occurred during Sgt Tahmooressi’s incarceration. That would have resulted in Sgt Tahmooressi’s release months ago, because it really didn’t gain Mexico anything to continue to hold him. Instead, our good and noble President gives a free pass to illegal immigrants crossing into the United States from Mexico, but remained wholly unconcerned about the imprisonment of an American Marine Corps veteran, who had honorably served two tours of duty in Afghanistan.
President Obama and his Administration went all out to ransom captured soldier Bowe Bergdahl, a probable deserter, releasing five top Taliban leaders, even though the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff admitted, just a few days ago, that some of the released Guantanamo detainees have returned to the battlefield, but didn’t seem to be willing to do much of anything to get Sgt Tahmooressi out of jail.3 So much for not leaving any soldier behind!
Well, we’re stuck with our utter disgrace of a President for another 810 days. After that, perhaps our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines will have someone with actual honor as their Commander-in-Chief.
- I’d guess that it won’t be long before there are efforts to strip Sgt Tahmooressi of his Second Amendment rights, since his release was based on a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. ↩
- President Obama has accomplished the seemingly impossible; he has made Richard Nixon look like an honest man! ↩
- SGT Bergdahl was, and remains, on active duty, while Sgt Tahmooressi was a reservist prior to his mistaken border crossing into Mexico. ↩