Beyond the controversy surrounding the president’s illegal exchange of 5 dangerous Gitmo terrorists for an apparent military deserter is the backdrop of a story that has captured the hearts of Americans, while providing a much-needed contrast: the Mexican government’s jailing of Marine Corps Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi.
Independent Journal reported , that on March 31st, 2014, Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi was driving near the U.S.-Mexican border near Tijuana in his pickup truck with three legally registered firearms – a shotgun, a rifle, and a handgun. Legally registered in the U.S., just to clarify.
Mexico, a nation overrun by drug cartels and run by one the most corrupt governments in the West, turns out to have strict gun control laws.
Sgt. Tahmooressi, an Afghan war veteran, may not have even intended to drive into Mexico. While serving overseas, he sustained a serious concussion from an IED roadside bomb that left him with “directional dysfunctionality,” a form of disorientation that can lead to one easily becoming lost.
This is the Sergeant’s statement:
“I accidentally drove into Mexico with 3 guns … a rifle (AR-15), a .45 cal pistol and a 12 gauge pump shotgun with no intensions (sic) on being in Mexico or being involved in any criminal activities,” Tahmooressi wrote in a statement of innocence to U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter. “I have rights to all 3 weapons. They are under my name … Please help me.”
Sgt. Tahmooressi has reported abuse while being held in the Mexican prison, including being punched, slapped, deprived of food and water, and being shackled to his bed with a four point restraint for over a month. After being placed in the general population, Mexican criminals threatened to rape and torture him to death, compelling him to escape – only to be placed into solitary confinement.
Despite his mother’s petition to free him and numerous rallies on his behalf, the Mexican Attorney General is yet to expedite his case, and the president has yet to take decisive action to free the imperilled veteran, who still rots in a Mexican prison with his life constantly endangered.
Contrast that grim situation with the case of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was recently released from the custody of the Taliban after the alleged deserter was swapped in an illegal exchange at the sole behest of the President of the United States for 5 hardened Taliban terrorists being held at Gitmo.
On the night of June 30, 2009, then Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl disappeared from his military base in Southeast Afghanistan after reportedly making careful plans to desert his platoon.
Such plans include: allegedly mailing his belongings back mid-tour; asking questions about and leaving behind military firearms; purchasing an AK-47 rifle (which he reportedly did not have with him when he left base); taking water, a compass, knives, journal, and digital camera; and reportedly leaving behind a note not available to the public explaining why he left, as well as renouncing his American citizenship.
While President Obama moved heaven-and-earth to free Bowe Bergdahl from captivity, and it is understandable that he would desire to do so, he violated the law regarding the consultation of Congress during hostage exchanges and negotiation with terrorists.
In a move that may jeopardize future military soldiers, he has established the precedent that America will trade very high level terrorist detainees for any U.S. soldier captured.
While Obama’s current National Security Adviser Susan Rice claims that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl “served honorably,” his alleged desertion appears to have cost the lives of six U.S. military members who went into the dangerous terrain of Afghanistan in a desperate search for him.
Several of Bowe Bergdahl’s fellow platoon-mates have come forward with stories alleging that he is a deserter; and there is no reason to doubt that veterans who put their lives on the line for the U.S. are dishonorably making unfounded accusations. Nevertheless, the current administration has accused such men of having no idea what they’re talking about.
The timing of the controversial exchange may have been for political expediency purposes only, and it is plausible that the administration doesn’t really care about either men. The much-needed distraction from the VA scandal, another case of the Obama administration neglecting our vets, is all-too-convenient.
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Unfortunately for the administration, the narrative of the president suddenly caring about our vets, after leaving men behind in Benghazi with no rescue attempt, and leaving a Marine behind in an infamous Mexican prison system, is defeated by the actual circumstances surrounding his illegal publicity stunt.