The Border Agents: justice and truth still elude us
0 comment Wednesday, September 17, 2014 |
Is anybody surprised?
Judge denies freedom plea by jailed ex-agents
A federal appeals court judge yesterday denied a motion by former U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean that they be released from prison pending appeals in their convictions for shooting a drug-smuggling suspect.
They sought release pending the outcome of their appeals, but the motion was denied by U.S. District Judge Fortunato Pedro "Pete" Benavides of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting in Austin, Texas, who said the men "had not shown unique or unusual circumstances that justify their release based on an exceptional reason."
Judge Benavides granted a motion by Ramos that his appeal be sealed and ordered the government's response to both men's motions sealed. ''
And here, there are allegations that another Border Patrol officer, who was a friend of the drug smuggler Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, was a double agent:
I believe Rene Sanchez acted as a 'double agent' in the Ramos-Compean case," Joe Loya, father of Ramos's wife Monica, told WND. "He was doing everything he could to protect his life-long friend, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, but at the same time he was working with Johnny Sutton to make sure Ramos and Compean were convicted."
Loya further charged that he had reason to believe "Rene Sanchez's actions make it look like he could have been in the drug business with Aldrete-Davila all along.'
But the possibility of ascertaining the truth of this whole matter, much less of obtaining justice, looks more remote all the time, as the system seems to thwart every effort made to determine what really happened, and why.
Doug Patton, in this piece at Human Events, argues for a Presidential pardon for Ramos and Compean:
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, two former border patrol agents, are now serving hard time in prison. If you are unfamiliar with these two men, you are getting far too much of your news from the mainstream media, which has virtually ignored their story. Ramos and Compean were on duty along the Rio Grande in Texas when a Mexican drug smuggler named Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila tried to flee back across the river into Mexico. Aldrete-Davila brandished what the agents thought was a gun. Ramos and Compean fired their firearms at the suspect, but when he continued to flee, they logically assumed he had not been injured.
Fast forward two weeks, and our tax dollars were being used to transport the drug smuggler back into the United States, where he was given full immunity to testify against Ramos and Compean -- for shooting him in the buttocks! They were tried and sentenced to 10 years each.
Subsequent information has shown that "evidence" brought against Ramos and Compean was fabricated by officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
So let�s review: Two border agents shoot a drug smuggler and end up serving time in federal prison. A bounty hunter brings a dangerous serial rapist to justice and gets extradited to face the hell of a Mexican prison. And Scooter Libby faces a possible sentence of 20 years in prison for leaking the name of a CIA employee whose name was already known, while Bill Clinton�s former security advisor, Sandy Berger, gets a slap on the wrist for stuffing Top Secret documents in his pants and stealing them from the National Archives.
Pardon these men immediately, Mr. President.''
Meanwhile, Ramos and Compean have their own song now. Michael Britton, a Southern California musician, has recorded a song he wrote about Ramos and Compean.
Michael Britton, who makes a living performing an acoustic one-man-band show, said he was inspired to act when he learned details of the case. Ramos and Compean were convicted and sentenced to 11 and 12 years in prison respectively after a drug smuggler they shot fleeing across the border was given immunity to testify against them.
"I'm upset that men like Ramos and Compean are sitting in federal prison simply for doing their jobs, while drug smugglers are allowed to go free and sue the Border Patrol for violating their 'civil rights,' he said.
You can hear the song here.
And last, this op-ed piece implies that many immigration-restrictionist conservatives are rallying behind Ramos and Compean not because they are truly thought to be innocent, but because of frustration and anger towards our government in its refusal (I started to say failure, but decided refusal was correct) to enforce our laws.
Could the movement around Ramos and Compean simply be a byproduct of the American people�s frustration toward their government? Are Americans capable of excusing the actions of these men to make a statement to an administration that seemingly cares more about Iraqi confidence in their government�s ability to protect and preserve Iraq, than the American people�s confidence in its own leadership to protect and preserve America?''
The writer of this op-ed makes the same unconvincing arguments which I have read and heard from the usual 'respectable Republicans'; his supporting evidence being the U.S. Attorney's Office transcripts.
The writer points out that the official version of the story contradicts the version given by Ramos and Compean and other skeptics of the administration's version. But as usual, the administration, and Johnny Sutton's office, must be right, and the opposition wrong. Obviously this op-ed writer has not chosen to read any of the voluminous evidence, which I and others have linked to previously, casting doubt on the 'official' version of events. Even if one believes that the agents are guilty as hell, which the op-ed writer apparently believes, the fact remains that Ramos and Compean seem to have been way more important than they seemed, since the government seems to have gone to extraordinary lengths to see that they were made an example of and punished to the full extent of the law and more. I invite anyone who doubts that to check the records concerning the prosecution and sentencing of Border Patrol agents accused of wrongdoing. There are a number of such cases, involving agents who colluded with human smugglers, illegal aliens, and drug lords, often for an extended period of time, flouting the laws of the land, the laws they are sworn to uphold, and who received milder treatment from our government, and lesser sentences. How does that work? How do the knee-jerk defenders of the administration account for that? Surely men who may have gone a little overboard in doing their job should not be punished as harshly as agents who knowingly broke our laws and colluded with drug lords and illegals. It should give people pause that men who are trying to uphold our laws and protect our borders are made an example of, while rogue agents, with a long pattern of corruption, are given lesser sentences. It shows the priorities of our administration. But the op-ed writer's argument, following the usual pattern, is thus:
Either the US Attorney General for the District of West Texas, 12 jurors, two additional border patrol agents, and one judge are heartlessly lying to "get" these two agents for some dark motive or agenda, or these cause groups are using this event to elicit donations and pull media attention back to the border. Media attention that was lost when the majority of the politicians who responded to their pressure lost their offices in the last election.''
This writer is either being disingenuous or he has obstinately refused to read the many reports which cast doubt on the administration's case. I am not going to repost all the links I've previously posted here on the subject, but there is plenty of evidence of irregularities in the government's case. That is not the same as saying, in the straw man argument above, that Johnny Sutton, a judge, 12 jurors, and various others all 'lied' in a plot serving 'some dark motive or agenda.' Various people involved may have lied for venal ends of their own, and it is hardly unknown for the government to deceive in the name of 'secrecy' or in the name of plain old CYA. The op-ed writer surely does not think that people in official positions are scrupulously honest at all times; they are as human as anyone else, and government officials can and do lie and obfuscate. Homeland Security officials admitted during recent Congressional hearings on the Ramos-Compean case, that they did in fact 'mislead' the Congressmen in previous statements, admitting that the evidence they claimed to have never in fact existed.
And the stories of overzealous prosecution of law enforcement officers like Gilmer Hernandez and David Sipe should confirm that there is a pattern to these kinds of incidents: the message seems to be that those who are zealous in going after drug smugglers and illegals are going to be made an example of. As to what the 'dark motive or agenda' is, I can only guess, as can the rest of us; we need to examine this pattern and determine where the orders are coming from.
But the need of some people to defend their anointed elected leaders, and to defend their Party, often trumps the desire to know the truth, or to seek justice. It must make life incredibly simple, when your only concern is the well-being of 'your' political party our 'your' guys in office.

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