Better than nothing, but they should have been fully pardoned. God bless them.
(This was an email note from Laura Ingraham, you can sign up for her e-blast on her website. After that, there's a transcript from a House record of a Rep. Jones R-NC that is interesting. I can't imagine my neighbor, who is a police officer, being in jail and being kept from his two children and wife, for doing his JOB! Please pray for these two men and their families.)
January 16, 2009
Like every history-conscious president before him, President Bush has spent his final weeks in office shaping what he hopes to be his legacy. In short, he wants to be remembered for advancing America's security. In last night's final primetime national address, he described how after al Qaeda attacked America, "most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before Nine-Eleven. But I never did. Every morning, I received a briefing on the threats to our Nation. And I vowed to do everything in my power to keep us safe." He's taken this message of protecting Americans to interviews with Mike Wallace, Brit Hume, and Sean Hannity.
He even sat down with Larry King.
Yet there's one thing he's still not done: Commute the sentences of U.S. Border Patrol Agents Ignacio "Nacho" Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean.
As Laura Ingraham Show listeners already know, Ramos & Compean were arrested and jailed after shooting an illegal alien along the El Paso border in 2005. The victim, not that he deserves such a label, was a drug smuggler fleeing for Mexico. He wasn't badly hurt, yet after a problem-riddled trial, the agents received 11- and 12-year sentences. (By comparison, radical attorney Lynne Stewart received 28 months for providing material support to anti-American terrorists.) Since then, Ramos & Compean have been locked up in solitary confinement; Ramos has been beaten by fellow inmates, his home has been burglarized and vandalized; both agents' children are being raised without a father, and their wives have been deprived of their husbands.
Again, all of this comes as payment for their attempts at securing America. Commuting Ramos and Compean's sentences would hardly be partisan or even controversial.
Democrats like Reps. Bill Delahunt (D-Ma.), Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) support commutation, as do all but three of Texas's 34 congressmen. Even Johnny Sutton, the U.S. Attorney who tried the case, has said the decade-plus sentences are excessively harsh.
Last night President Bush acknowledged the importance of immigration and border control (homeland security) to American security: "America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil. This is a tribute to those who toil day and night to keep us safe - law enforcement officers, intelligence analysts, homeland security and diplomatic personnel, and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces."
President Bush has shown, time and again, his reservoir of compassion for U.S. troops is bottomless. Yet the Border Patrol is no less deserving. Already Ramos and Compean have served three years behind bars. Before departing, Bush must right this grave wrong - by issuing a final reminder that he always stood behind those serving on behalf of America's security.
(Mr. Walter Jones, R-NC)
Mr. Speaker, tonight I won't take nearly the 5 minutes that I have allotted, but I and many Members of the House have been trying to help two border agents, Border Agent Campean, and Border Agent Ramos, who are now serving 1 to 11 years in Federal prison, the other for 12 years in Federal prison for shooting a drug smuggler.
What makes this so sad, quite frankly, Mr. Speaker, is these men have had a wonderful record of serving the American people on the borders of this country, trying to help defend America from those who want to come to this country illegally, and especially those who have drugs or may be terrorists, quite frankly.
But these two men were found guilty in a Federal court, and I am afraid that all the information that could have been used to help these two men not go to prison was under seal. That is a legal issue, and I won't speak to that, but I will say that I want the people to know tonight, my colleagues here in the House, that the drug smuggler who had a record of smuggling drugs from Mexico to America was the one that they shot when he was trying to escape after his van crashed with 743 pounds of marijuana. These men thought they were doing their duty for this country, and therefore they shot at this drug smuggler as he was leaving. The bullet actually went through the buttocks and went out, and according to the medical examiner that meant that he was turned like he was going to face them and possibly, if he had a weapon, fire at them. They thought he had a weapon.
Mr. Speaker, the sad thing is that Agent Ramos 2 weeks ago was beaten in a Federal prison. These men, their lives are at stake, and we call upon the White House to look seriously at this case.
We think there are legal questions as to the indictment and to the process itself. We would like for the White House and the Attorney General's office to look seriously at whether these men should at least be given some type of pardon while their hearings are being heard. But we are calling on the White House to please look seriously at giving these two men an opportunity for pardon, because I do not know how we can say to the American people that our law enforcement, who are trying to protect this country from those who are invading this country, whether they be from Canada and Mexico, and yet with our border agents do the best job they can under very, very difficult situations, then they end up spending 11 and 12 years in Federal prison.
Again, in closing, and I will be closing, we are asking the administration to look carefully at the possibility of a pardon. There are many Members of the House, both Republican and Democrat, that are concerned about this case.
In fact, today, Senator Feinstein from California, a Democrat, called upon Mr. Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to look into this case.
Mr. Speaker, with that, I will close by asking the President to please show the families of Mr. Compean and Mr. Ramos that justice does prevail in America if you are trying to defend the Constitution and defend the people of America.
(this just found in the news...horrible)