BORDERING ON INSANITY
By Chip McLean
January 20, 2007
The imprisonment of two Border Patrol agents for shooting an illegal Mexican alien who was attempting to smuggle 750 lbs of marijuana into the country, has prompted outrage among those who have kept up with this saga. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R- Cal) called President Bush a �disgrace� for refusing to pardon the agents. The President, apparently feeling the pressure, indicated Thursday that a pardon may be possible, saying �There's a process for pardons.�
The story of Border Patrol agents Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos is probably known to you by now, but for those of you who rely on the MSM for your news, here�s a brief summary. On Feb. 17, 2005, Compean and Ramos, along with a third agent, attempted to stop a suspicious van on a levee road along the Rio Grande river. The driver jumped out, attempting to escape, refusing the agents� orders to stop in the process. The driver, an illegal alien named Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, pointed something that looked like a gun, according to Ramos. Shots were fired by the agents, with Aldrete-Davila escaping through the brush and being whisked away in a van that was waiting for him.
The agents made a procedural mistake in the aftermath, by gathering and disposing of the spent shell casings. Because they didn�t believe they had injured Aldrete-Davila, they didn�t mention the shooting in their report. The U.S attorney for Western Texas, Johnny Sutton, wound up prosecuting Compean and Ramos who then received prison sentences of 12 and 11 years respectively. Border Patrol regulations provide for a five-day suspension for the false report. Mr. Sutton, however charged the agents with numerous crimes, including violating the �civil rights� of Aldrete-Davila, who, lest we forget, was in the country illegally, transporting illegal drugs and who illegally fled the agents when ordered to stop. In some sort of alternate universe in which Mr. Sutton resides, it is Aldrete-Davila who needs to have his �civil rights� protected. Oh, and by the way, Aldrete-Davila is taking steps to sue the Border Patrol, to the tune of $5 million, for these civil rights �violations.�
Mr. Sutton seems to be a tad resentful of the negative press he has been getting, claiming in various interviews that he had no choice in prosecuting the agents. In fact, Mr. Sutton was so determined to �get� Compean and Ramos that he managed to track down Aldrete-Davila, in Mexico, and offer him immunity from prosecution, in order to testify against the agents. In addition, Aldrete-Davila was given medical care by the U.S. for a gunshot wound he received in the buttocks.
It is a known fact that Aldrete-Davila attempted to smuggle 750 lbs of pot into the country, but Sutton claims there was �no way� he could prosecute the illegal alien lawbreaker on drug charges. But as Jerome Corsi pointed out in a WorldNetDaily article, how were government investigators able to track down the drug smuggler in Mexico when Ramos and Compean could not identify him in the first place and there were no fingerprints on the van? Apparently it depends on your priorities.
The agents contended all along that they thought Aldrete-Davila was armed, and that they were in danger. Mr. Sutton doesn�t believe Ramos and Compean. Apparently he would rather take the word of an illegal alien drug smuggler than those who are on the border, doing the job of keeping such scum out of the U.S. This entire episode sends a very disturbing message to other Border Patrol agents � that rather than risk being sent to prison for doing their jobs, they should just look the other way and just say, in the immortal words of Sgt. Schultz, �I see nothing, I know nothing.�
As for President Bush using his powers to pardon the two agents, I can only go by his track record on border security. He has �talked� occasionally about border security, and as noted in the first paragraph, he mentioned pardons for the agents, saying there is a �process� for them. What do I expect? I expect him to do exactly what he has been doing for the last six years.
� 2007 Chip McLean - All Rights Reserved
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Chip McLean is the editor/publisher for Capitol Hill Coffee House. Chip is a former broadcaster.
His interest in politics began at the age of eight, when his parents took him to a Barry Goldwater rally during the 1964 presidential election. In addition to his work at CHCH, Chip's columns have appeared in a number of online conservative publications.
As for President Bush using his powers to pardon the two agents, I can only go by his track record on border security.