Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, is a U.S. Marine veteran who has post-traumatic stress disorder after serving two tours of duty in Afghanistan.
On March 31, 2014, Tahmooressi was headed to dinner with friends in San Ysidro on California’s border with Mexico, when he missed a freeway exit and mistakenly wound up at a border crossing point in Tijuana. Mexican authorities found three guns inside the truck he had recently driven from Florida to make a new start in San Diego.
Tahmooressi was denied bail and thrown into Tijuana’s La Mesa Penitentiary where, according to his friends, the former Marine was tortured and threatened with rape and death.
On November 31, 2014, after being incarcerated for 214 days, Tahmooressi was released upon a Mexican judge’s order, after a psychiatrist confirmed the Marine suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Obama had gone to great lengths, including violating a federal law (Section 1028 of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act), to free U.S. Army deserter and traitor Bowe Bergdahl from the Taliban, in exchange for the release of five senior Taliban terrorists from Gitmo. At least seven U.S. soldiers had been killed in the fruitless search for deserter Bergdahl. (See “Impeach Obama for breaking federal law exchanging 5 jihadists for deserter Bowe Bergdahl”.)
Nor will Bergdahl ever be tried in a military (or any) court for his desertion.
But when it came to an honorable ex-Marine, Andrew Tahmooressi, Obama did not lift even one of his bony fingers to secure the sergeant’s release from his Mexican prison.
Citing an article from The Washington Times, Stephen Frank of the California Political Review writes on Nov. 2, 2014:
Obama would not make a single phone call in eight months to the President of Mexico to get a U.S. Marine from being held hostage by the nation of Mexico. The Commander-In-Chief decided to leave a man behind. If he were an officer in the military he would be court martialed for dereliction of duty. Barack was so arrogant he never offered an excuse for his lack of action. In the end it took three Republican members of Congress and a former Democrat Governor to get Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi back from Mexico.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) was one of the three Congressmen. He told The Washington Times that he and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Arizona), and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson took it upon themselves to fight for Tahmooressi when Obama did not.
Rohrabacher said that while the U.S. Counsel General in Tijuana and members of Congress were mobilized to try to save Tahmooressi, Obama was “AWOL” throughout the process.
Rohrabacher said, “The president, who is also the commander in chief, didn’t do his job. There is a lack of concern for this man, for this American hero who served our country. As commander in chief he showed a total disdain and non-interest in an American hero who served us in Afghanistan and a total disregard for the fact that he was suffering. The president not stepping forward was a slap in the face to veterans. The president didn’t care about it enough to make a simple phone call.”
Congressman Royce told the Times that he had spoken with Vice President Joe Biden requesting a phone call be arranged between Obama and Mexican officials. But Royce learned later that the conversation never occurred, “I think the phone call occurred but I think the issue was never brought up.”
Royce said that the president did not seem to put as much effort into securing Mr. Tahmooressi’s release as he had for the exchange of five Taliban prisoners for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. “A great deal of time and effort was exercised on that case, but in this particular instance where you have a marine that was decorated for valor in Afghanistan, that was wounded there, there wasn’t that much focus on a senior level.”
During a phone conversation with the Counsel General in which the latter indicated that the line had been bugged by Mexican officials, Rep. Rohrabacher conveyed to Mexican officials the consequences for Sgt. Tahmooressi’s imprisonment. The Congressman said, ““I detailed for him our plan for rallies at the Tijuana border crossing with American veterans and we estimated that thousands of Americans would be there.” (See “Bikers en route to rescue Marine from Mexican prison“)
Knowing that officials were listening in, Rohrabacher said his office would be drafting legislation that would cut remittances from Mexican workers in the U.S. to their families back in Mexico, estimating that it would stop billions of dollars from going across the border. “We needed the Mexican authorities to understand what was going to happen, but to tell them to their face might have been an insult.”
Rohrabacher also said that he had re-traced Sgt. Tahmooressi’s route to determine how the Marine got lost and said that the road was very poorly marked. “You couldn’t tell that you were going in to Mexico and once you were on that road you couldn’t get off of it,” he said, adding that Tahmooressi had “no intent of breaking any Mexican law.”
Rep. Royce, who had visited with Sgt. Tahmoressi during his imprisonment, said he is now working with Mexican officials to improve the signage on the road and to add a turn-around point for anyone who mistakenly takes the route to the border crossing.
Note that it was three Republican members of Congress who did the work of Obama in securing Sgt. Tahmooressi’s release. Why didn’t Democratic members of Congress do something?
Today, you have a chance to vote them out.
Dr. Eowyn’s post first appeared at Fellowship of the Minds.