On Friday, the White House finally responded to a petition to free jailed Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, after putting off the matter for months. Tahmooressi has been sitting in a Mexican prison ever since taking a wrong turn at the border and being detained by the Mexican police over the firearms in his truck. Back in May, the petition was filed and quickly garnered well over the 100,000 signatures required for a response from Obama. But, as usual, the President was more concerned with hitting the golf course than the welfare of an American hero.
The petition, titled “Demand Release of U.S.M.C. Sgt. Tahmooressi Suffering with PTSD from Mexico Imprisonment”, was filed on May 1, 2014. It reads:
Sgt. Tahmooressi, living in a truck having just arrived San Diego to seek VA assistance with PTSD supported by a Purple Heart veteran Marine; a 2 tour OEF meritoriously promoted Sergeant gets lost at the border and with one wrong turns ends up in the Mexico customs lane with no way to turn back. His truck piled high with possessions as he searched housing including his U.S. legally purchased firearms/ ammunition. Not intending to drive into Mexico he explains he is lost. Arrested since 4/1/2014, since incarceration his life has been threatened; sustained a neck wound requiring hospitalization and chained in a 4-point restraint, 26+days. The affect of this unjust incarceration on a decorated combat Marine is despairing. Tahmooressi supported by U.S. Consular Services yet low hope.
(Read More: Obama Blows Off Jailed Marine’s Mother)
Although 134,935 people signed this plea in hopes that Tahmooressi might be saved before falling victim to the treacherous Mexican prison system, the response from the White House was underwhelming:
The U.S. State Department continues to provide extensive consular assistance to Mr. Tahmooressi, and will do so until his case is resolved. As in all cases when a U.S. citizen is arrested overseas, our goal is to see that Mr. Tahmooressi is treated fairly during the judicial process with the hope that he can receive the support, both emotional and medical, that he may require now and at the conclusion of the proceedings.
Mexico is one of the United States’ most important partners. We have close economic and cultural ties, and we work closely with them on numerous sensitive issues. While we will not go into detail about our private diplomatic discussions on this case, U.S. officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, have spoken to Mexican officials at the highest levels regarding Mr. Tahmooressi’s case.
Mexican authorities have been very willing to engage on this issue. They have provided prompt and continued consular access and visitations. As a result, the State Department has been able to provide regular updates on Mr. Tahmooressi’s condition to his family, Members of Congress, and the press.
We respect the rule of law and expect the judicial process of sovereign nations to protect other U.S. citizens who might find themselves in similar circumstances in the future. We will continue to monitor the case and work with the Mexican authorities as this case proceeds through the Mexican judicial system. We continue to urge the Mexican authorities to process this case expeditiously.
Tahmooressi has not been treated “fairly”, as the Obama Administration suggests. He put life and limb on the line for our country and he was repaid by being left behind at the moment he needed help the most. That is not fair, Mr. President.
The White House’s response appears to lay the blame on Secretary of State John Kerry, claiming that he is the one who has been handling Tahmooressi’s case. Clearly, Kerry has been doing a piss poor job, as the soldier has not been freed and has gone through three separate teams of legal professionals up until this point in an effort to be released. Those attorneys were secured by the Marine’s family, not the Obama Administration, further evidence that our government is not doing their due diligence.
Sgt. Tahmooressi suffers from PTSD, which has been heightened by this horrific ordeal. At one point, he even attempted to commit suicide while sitting in the deplorable Mexican prison. He has since been moved to a better facility, which isn’t saying much, as prisons south of the border are not known for their accommodations.
Ironically, Obama found the time to negotiate the highly controversial trade of five Taliban terrorists for the traitor Bowe Bergdahl, yet he has done absolutely nothing to assist Tahmooressi, even though helping this poor Marine would take nothing more than a phone call to the Mexican President. After all, Mexican authorities have in the past crossed over the U.S. border by accident and were graciously allowed to return to their country, even when armed to the hilt. It would only make sense for the same Mexican authorities to show Tahmooressi similar courtesy.
What do you think of the White House’s lackluster response to the petition to free Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi? Sound off in the comments section.