Mr. Bush, please listen to your federal prosecutor who doggedly tracked down a convicted drug smuggler in Mexico to convict Border Agents Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos for allegedly over-zealously shooting at the smuggler after a car chase and then a foot sprint back across the border.
To many supporters of the Border Patrol, Prosecutor Sutton himself was guilty of overzealousness in pursuing a criminal conviction of these agents.
But this is what Sutton says about the two agents rotting in prison after two years separation from wives, children, parents and life (with nearly a decade still to serve):
I think a legitimate question, is: 'Is the punishment too harsh?' I have always said the punishment in this case was harsh.
If you haven't sent Pres. Bush a last-minute fax begging for a pardon, please do so.
At stake is the morale of our Border Patrol and their ability to protect us from massive armies of illegal workers coming to steal jobs and put Americans out of work, from drug smugglers, from violent cartels, from terrorists, from slavery rings and from murderous para-military squads.
OBAMA'S NEW ATTY. GENERAL MAKES CASE FOR RAMOS-COMPEAN PARDON
While not mentioning this travesty about Border Agents Ramos and Compean in his Senate hearings yesterday, Eric Holder nonetheless made the case for their pardon.
As you know, Holder was involved in helping Pres. Clinton provide an incredibly controversial pardon of a group of terrorists. Holder yesterday said he stood by the pardon for two reasons:
- The terrorists didn't kill anybody.
- The terrorists' sentences were far longer than those of other people with comparable convictions.
The U.S. Senators hearing this, for the most part, seemed to accept that explanation.
Well, those are exactly the conditions for Ramos and Compean -- except they never threatened the United States but were trying to protect the country.
True dirty agents who take bribes to help smugglers deliver their human and narcotics cargo don't get sentences like this. The illegal aliens and smugglers almost never get sentences like this.
WIDESPREAD CALLS FOR THEIR RELEASE
Crack journalist Sara Carter wrote a detailed story about this case yesterday. Here are a few of the key parts I want you to consider if you have doubts about asking for the freedom for Ramos and Compean.
There's no longer any question about the character and lack of credibility of Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila,. He's a career drug smuggler who was undoubtedly armed, and the physical evidence proves that he was pointing a weapon at Agents Ramos and Compean when he was shot."
-- T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represent 15,000 Border PatrolBoth Ramos and Compean live in solitary confinement.
The conditions of solitary confinement are deplorable, and these men are effectively serving a double sentence. Each man spends 23 hours a day in his cell, gets one phone call to his family for 15 minutes once a month and has no television. When Ramos is moved from his cell, he is shackled and handcuffed.
-- Tara Setmayer, communications director for U.S. Rep. Rohrabacher, who has visited Ramos on many occasions.
At the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, a dozen House members held a news conference to urge Mr. Bush to commute the sentences of the agents before he leaves office Tuesday. 'They were not in the commission of a crime; they were in the commission of defending our borders, and they should have been acknowledged for having done that,' said Rep. Louie Gohmert, Texas Republican. The lawmakers - 11 Republicans and Rep. Bill Delahunt, Massachusetts Democrat - also said U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, whose office prosecuted the case, should urge the president to pardon the men.
-- Washington Times
You can read other thoughts I have on this case in my earlier blog.
Some people have confused Ramos and Compean with other Border Agents found to have been taking bribes. Ramos and Compean have nothing but exemplary records with the Border Patrol until this incidence of shooting the drug smuggler in the buttocks.
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA
Updated: Wed, Jan 21st 2009 @ 10:32am EST