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Semper Fi, Unless It's Not Convenient
Townhall.com ^ | December 29, 2012 | Bill O'Reilly

Posted on 12/29/2012 5:23:51 AM PST by Kaslin

Jon Hammar saw combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, but his most brutal foreign experience was in Mexico. Last August, the 27-year-old former Marine corporal was incarcerated by Mexican authorities in Matamoros for trying to register an antique shotgun with customs agents. Foolishly, Cpl. Hammar followed instructions given to him by U.S. Border Patrol agents in Brownsville, Texas. He registered the gun with them and brought the paperwork to the Mexicans to get their stamp of approval in order to carry the gun through the country. Hammar and a friend were driving a Winnebago, hoping to have a nice surfing vacation with some hunting on the side.

Even though the Mexican authorities clearly saw that Hammar was trying to follow the rules, they seized the Winnebago and locked the corporal up in the notoriously corrupt CEDES prison anyway. There he was threatened by other inmates and told by guards that he could buy his way out of the hellhole by paying money to the "right people."

Hammar's parents, who live in South Florida, immediately contacted the State Department and were told to be patient. And so they were. Three months later, Hammar was still incarcerated and had not even seen a judge, and things were becoming increasingly desperate.

That's when his parents gave up on the State Department and contacted the media.

When the story crossed my desk, I found it hard to believe. Cpl. Hammar had served his country honorably, returned to the USA with post-traumatic stress disorder, been treated for nine months in California and simply wanted a vacation after his ordeal. It was obvious that he was being held on bogus charges, and the State Department seemed impotent. When we asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for a comment, she refused to say anything about the case. A few of her deputies visited Hammar in prison, but the official line was that State could do nothing more.

Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen raised some hell about the situation, but things continued to deteriorate. Mexican authorities actually chained Hammar to his bed. Another inmate sent a picture of that out to the press.

In mid-December, the Fox News White House correspondent asked press secretary Jay Carney about the case. President Barack Obama's spokesman looked perplexed and said he did not know anything about it. As unbelievable as that sounds, I believe that Carney was telling the truth. And by telling one truth, Carney indicated another truth: Neither Obama nor Secretary of State Clinton had come to the aid of an American combat veteran who was being abused by Mexican authorities.

Disgusted by our apathetic government, I took the case directly to the government of Mexico. On national television, I bluntly told the new Mexican presidente, Enrique Pena Nieto, that if he did not release Hammar by Christmas, I would lead a boycott of Mexican tourism and products. The next day, Hammar was released after a Mexican judge ruled there had been no intent to commit a crime.

The ordeal cost the Hammar family tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and untold emotional damage. Thankfully, the corporal did arrive home to South Florida in time to have a nice Christmas with his family. But this story is a cautionary tale for any American traveling outside the USA. If you get into trouble, you will be essentially on your own, even if you are a combat veteran. Our leaders in Washington are basically bureaucrats with short attention spans. If they couldn't work up the energy to help Jon Hammar, they are not going to help you.

True leadership means helping those who are powerless and sincerely need help. That takes time and energy. President Abraham Lincoln set aside one day a week to answer calls for help from the folks. The current administration would not answer a desperate call for months.

As for Mexico, it remains a corrupt country hostile to the rule of law. Let the buyer beware.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: barackobama; foreignaffairs; hillaryclinton; jonhammar; mediaandculture; mexico

1 posted on 12/29/2012 5:24:07 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
If you get into trouble, you will be essentially on your own, even if you are a combat veteran.

We swear oaths and lay our lives on the line. The higher-ups in the military and the government then do whatever they like, when they like. One phone call could've solved this. Instead, it was "be patient."

There is no amount of laziness that can cause this, only pure apathy. These folks had best remember what it is they've trained us to do.

2 posted on 12/29/2012 5:29:29 AM PST by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: Kaslin

He was foolish for attempting to take a gun into Mexico.


3 posted on 12/29/2012 5:32:31 AM PST by txnativegop (Fed up with zealots)
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To: All

Thanks Bill O’Reilly, for helping this vet out.


4 posted on 12/29/2012 5:36:35 AM PST by mickie (My grandson is a Marine...God Bless them all!)
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To: txnativegop

“He was foolish for attempting to take a gun into Mexico.”

He was foolish for entering Mexico; it is notoriously corrupt (which is why most car insurance companies, while providing coverage for Americans in Canada, won’t do the same in Mexico). During the few times I’ve been to other countries (English-speaking neighbors), I’m on my best behavior - I’m outside of the protection of our legal system.


5 posted on 12/29/2012 5:44:45 AM PST by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: txnativegop

Dude,

Mexico advertises hunting trips in all of the major hunting magazines. They want Americanos to come down there to spend money.

Corruption is the reason for their season. They wanted bribe money to allow him to pass.

It is so common. I know friends who have traveled there on vacation who hand over twenty dollar bills with their pasaportes just to keep things moving.


6 posted on 12/29/2012 5:45:48 AM PST by onona (Happy New Year.)
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To: Kaslin

For once I can honestly say, Thank You Bill O’Reilly.


7 posted on 12/29/2012 5:46:54 AM PST by onona (Happy New Year.)
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To: Kaslin
Since this is from O’Reilly, I take it with a few grains of salt.
8 posted on 12/29/2012 5:48:37 AM PST by Tupelo (I'm an old man and most people hate me, but I don't like them either so that makes it all even.)
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To: Kaslin
The “right people” of course, being friends of Obama.
9 posted on 12/29/2012 5:49:18 AM PST by Happy Rain (Outlawing firearms because of Adam Lanza would be like outlawing free speech because of Bill Maher.)
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To: Kaslin

Another reason for Clinton to pretend concussion.


10 posted on 12/29/2012 5:59:12 AM PST by FES0844
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To: txnativegop
"He was foolish for attempting to take a gun into Mexico."

No, he was foolish to believe that the US Government had the slightest idea about what it is doing vis-a-vis the US-Mexican border and regulations concerning the citizens of two countries in the others territory.

Here is a fairly comprehensive recap of the story: " Gun that landed Marine Jon Hammar in Mexican prison was legal, says veteran guide"

The "Official" word is here: "Guns are Illegal in Mexico"

My guess is that the US Consulate webpage was added AFTER L/Cpl Hammar's case went big in the press.

Some think otherwise. "http://www.mexonline.com/huntmex.htm"

"A Maximum of 2 Rifles or Shotguns per hunter is allowed, guns may be accompanied by no more than 2 boxes of American Shells per gun (50 shells per gun). With the proper hunting permit, additional shells may be purchased in Mexico through various Licensed Sporting Goods Dealers. Only .22 caliber bullets and 12, 20 and .410-guage shotgun cartridges are available. Cost is somewhat expensive, but when measured with the risk of going to prison for smuggling shotgun shells into Mexico to save a few lousy dollars, the cost is cheap.

Do's & Don'ts

Do use Common Sense; remember you are in a foreign country, with their own set of laws. It's not important, if you think you are in the right or not.
Remember, you're guilty till proven innocent in Mexico.

Do follow Mexican Laws.
Do carry your passport, hunting license and gun permit at all times.
Do be patient and respect the Mexican people, they intern, will respect you.
Do double-check your car or truck for extra ammo or unlicensed weapons, prior to your entry into Mexico. Most people get into trouble for this single reason.
Do watch where you walk. Rattlesnakes in Mexico are large enough to kill a person.
Do remember to check references.
Don't be stupid. If you have trouble differentiating what "stupid is" in the United States, that should raise a "red flag" to not attempt to hunt Mexico.
Don't even try to smuggle unlicensed guns or ammo into Mexico. It's not worth the penalty. The Mexican prison system is full of stupid American's, wishing they had been smarter.
Don't walk in high grass without snake leggings on and watching where you step. For some reason, in 20 years of Hunting Mexico, I have never seen a small rattlesnake. "

11 posted on 12/29/2012 6:02:28 AM PST by BwanaNdege ("To learn who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize"- Voltaire)
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To: txnativegop

He registered the gun on the border and was told it would be okay to take it with him through Mexico.


12 posted on 12/29/2012 6:06:43 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them.)
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To: Future Snake Eater
Good morning.

These folks had best remember what it is they've trained us to do.

Those folks do remember, that's why Napolitano put us on a list for terrorist.

5.56mm

13 posted on 12/29/2012 6:07:04 AM PST by M Kehoe
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To: Kaslin
Even though the Mexican authorities clearly saw that Hammar was trying to follow the rules . . . Three months later, Hammar was still incarcerated and had not even seen a judge, and things were becoming increasingly desperate. That's when his parents gave up on the State Department and contacted the media.

The parents are foolish for waiting so long. Obama is an evil thug who hates white people, hates our military, hates guns, and hates America. The parents should have recognized who was in our White House and immediately tried another route. A real president would have gotten our Marine out immediately; the drug-addled communist we are stuck with needed to be forced.

14 posted on 12/29/2012 6:12:21 AM PST by Pollster1 (Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. - Ronald Reagan)
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To: kearnyirish2
He was foolish for entering Mexico

How was he and his friends get to Costa Rico with their Camper other then through Mexico? I have never seen a Winnebago with wings.

You might want to check the map out


15 posted on 12/29/2012 6:22:02 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them.)
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To: Kaslin
Cpl. Hammar had served his country honorably, returned to the USA with post-traumatic stress disorder ... and simply wanted a vacation after his ordeal.
First of all, I believe Hammar was a Lance Corpral (E-3), not a Corporal.
Second, I'm getting a little tired of hearing about PTSD as an excuse for everything and anything that happens to every vet who ever put on a pair of boots.
Third, Hammar was discharged five years ago in 2007. O'Reilly makes it sound like he needed a vacation from a combat experience that was recent. From another source: More smoke and mirrors - the inactive reserve is just that ... inactive. He had nothing to do with military during those four years.
As a former Marine I appreciate all Hammer went though, but the story being told sounds like one excuse after another.
16 posted on 12/29/2012 6:22:53 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Pollster1

Very well said. You are exactly right


17 posted on 12/29/2012 6:24:12 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them.)
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To: Kaslin

1. Gun control laws used as a pretext for corruption. Who’d a thunk it? Obama and the Democrats were too busy taking notes to squander political capital saving a US Marine.
2. Beyond the shakedown aspect, I suspect making examples of Americans on gun charges is a form of payback for Fast & Furious (not for giving guns to murderous narco thugs — for not cutting Mexican officials in on it).


18 posted on 12/29/2012 6:28:14 AM PST by Chewbarkah
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To: Kaslin
O'Reilly did a great thing by using his show to help this Marine out, but should also show some humility.

Patting yourself on the back diminishes and cheapens a good deed.

19 posted on 12/29/2012 6:34:15 AM PST by DTogo (High time to bring back The Sons of Liberty !!)
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To: Kaslin
>"Our leaders in Washington are basically bureaucrats with short attention spans.

They're the best form of representative govt. that money can buy.

20 posted on 12/29/2012 6:37:24 AM PST by rawcatslyentist ("Behold, I am against you, O arrogant one," Jeremiah 50:31)
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To: Kaslin

Thanks for the graphic; it cleared up nothing. How’d that work out for him?

Why would anyone willingly enter Mexico (unless they are buying drugs, guns, or trafficking in humans)?

(I know, to get to Costa Rica)


21 posted on 12/29/2012 6:41:24 AM PST by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: Kaslin

?????

0’Pinhead!!!!!

A classic example of adding insult to injury.

Hopefully, he’ll go the way of Dan Rather, soon.

Semper
*****


22 posted on 12/29/2012 6:47:28 AM PST by gunnyg ("A Constitution changed from Freedom, can never be restored; Liberty, once lost, is lost forever...)
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To: Kaslin

?????

0’Pinhead!!!!!

A classic example of adding insult to injury.

Hopefully, he’ll go the way of Dan Rather, soon.

Semper
*****


23 posted on 12/29/2012 6:48:45 AM PST by gunnyg ("A Constitution changed from Freedom, can never be restored; Liberty, once lost, is lost forever...)
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To: Kaslin

?????

0’Pinhead!!!!!

A classic example of adding insult to injury.

Hopefully, he’ll go the way of Dan Rather, soon.

Semper
*****


24 posted on 12/29/2012 6:50:14 AM PST by gunnyg ("A Constitution changed from Freedom, can never be restored; Liberty, once lost, is lost forever...)
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To: gunnyg
*rme* That is rolling my eye.

All you read was that Bill O'Reilly is the author of the article. Read the article next time and comment on it and not the author.

Also go see a shrink who can help you to get over your BOR derangement symptom. You need help. Serious

25 posted on 12/29/2012 6:59:47 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them.)
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To: mickie

Very well said


26 posted on 12/29/2012 7:00:52 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them.)
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To: oh8eleven
First of all, I believe Hammar was a Lance Corpral (E-3), not a Corporal.

I don't think Bill O'Reilly knew that, so don't criticize him for that

27 posted on 12/29/2012 7:04:37 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them.)
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To: Kaslin
I don't think Bill O'Reilly knew that, so don't criticize him for that

Then how about if we criticize him for being a self-important RAT who tries to so hard to convince us that he is neutral, that he usually looks like an idiot with zero credibility.

28 posted on 12/29/2012 7:08:40 AM PST by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate "Republicans Freed the Slaves" Month)
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To: BwanaNdege
Mexico isn't the only place with BIG dangerous poisonous reptiles ~ growing up in Indiana I learned to identify 6 different species at a distance ~ 4 types of rattlesnakes, copperheads and the infamous water moccasin, and that's the REAL DEAL, not the fake moccasin wannabees that you find splashing around.

It only gets worse as you go South and get into warmer country, and finally you hit Mexico. Warmer climate, more game, sharper fangs ~ looking up some lists of poisonous snakes in Mexico and every genus has a representative there, and every species has one or more subspecies lurking around.

And lots of them I've heard!

29 posted on 12/29/2012 7:10:55 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: Kaslin

The ineffectual State Department is a primary reason I am not allowing my kids to go overseas on class trips—these idiot teachers want to take them to places like China and Morocco (so they can go there on the parents’ dime) and I highly doubt if any kid got disappeared that we would get any help from State.


30 posted on 12/29/2012 7:15:58 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Kaslin
I don't think Bill O'Reilly knew that, so don't criticize him for that
Why not? It took me less than two minutes to determine his rank and I'm not a "journalist."
Besides BOR not getting the facts straight, it also tells me that Hammar couldn't even make Cpl in four years.
That he wasn't NCO material and/or he got busted is as much a part of this story as is what he did between 2007 and this latest fiasco.
31 posted on 12/29/2012 7:18:56 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: oh8eleven; Kaslin

Don’t bother oh. Kaslin gets paid by Townhall to repost their “articles” - not evaluate whether they’re full of bovine excrement.


32 posted on 12/29/2012 7:44:35 AM PST by KantianBurke (Where was the Tea Party when Dubya was spending like a drunken sailor?)
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To: oh8eleven

Good, Lord!

Here we have an outrageous story of corruption, incompetence, apathy, and injustice committed against an American veteran.

An American who was completely innocent, jailed in one of the worst Mexican prisons, allowed to wallow in said jail by our completely worthless and apathetic State Dept, and was eventually helped and released due to the efforts of the media, and one Bill O’Reiley in particular - who got him out of that hellhole back to his family, and all you can do is bash O’Reiley and this poor vet because some minor facts were not completely in place????

Yeah, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, too!


33 posted on 12/29/2012 7:46:14 AM PST by rusty schucklefurd
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To: KantianBurke

re: “. . . not evaluate whether they’re full of bovine excrement.”

Does that include yourself as well? Why don’t you give us the full story then? Truly, some of you guys “strain at a gnat” but completely miss the camel!


34 posted on 12/29/2012 7:51:31 AM PST by rusty schucklefurd
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To: rusty schucklefurd

Saints are guilty until proven innocent.


35 posted on 12/29/2012 7:52:31 AM PST by KantianBurke (Where was the Tea Party when Dubya was spending like a drunken sailor?)
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To: rusty schucklefurd

If one wants the full story, you’re NOT going to get it from RINO Townhall drek or Bill O’Reilly.


36 posted on 12/29/2012 7:55:22 AM PST by KantianBurke (Where was the Tea Party when Dubya was spending like a drunken sailor?)
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To: Kaslin
Mexico is such a safe and clean place, he shouldn't need to bring such an “assault rifle” with him in this peace loving place. Those gun crazed Americans- I mean, if something would have happened, he could have always called the Mexican police for help, right?
37 posted on 12/29/2012 7:57:08 AM PST by Red6
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To: KantianBurke

re: “If one wants the full story, you’re NOT going to get it from RINO Townhall drek or Bill O’Reilly.”

Give us all the REAL facts to this story since you say we can’t trust ANYTHING that Kaslin or O’Reilly says.


38 posted on 12/29/2012 8:02:31 AM PST by rusty schucklefurd
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To: Kaslin

Oddly enough, I lay the fault of this at the feet of the Marine. There is a State Department travel warning, entitled “Guns are Illegal in Mexico” (and it mentions knives, too.):

http://tijuana.usconsulate.gov/tijuana/warning.html

It is *essential* for visitors to Mexico know that you do not *ever* bring a gun, gun parts, bullets or even shell casings or gun accessories, *or* knives, with you when you visit Mexico.

Ever. I don’t care if there is an “official process” and paperwork that will supposedly let you do so.

IT IS A LIE. You CANNOT EVER bring a gun, gun parts, bullets or even shell casings or gun accessories with you when you visit Mexico. Not EVER.

And this applies to anyone and everyone. (If not Obama and Holder, with their Fast & Furious gun exports.)

The Mexicans WILL arrest you and put you in prison. They will do so if you are a decorated Marine, or if you are an elderly grandmother, or one of your buddies left a shell casing in your car when you went hunting, or even a small child with a pocket knife. NO excuses.

They WILL arrest you.

This is why before you go to Mexico, you get every inch of your car vacuumed, even removing items that might *look* like gun parts, like loose metal tubes not part of the engine.

You check every inch of your luggage. And every inch of the luggage of friends and family coming with you.

“Don’t carry a knife, even a small pocketknife, on your person in Mexico.”

“Claiming not to know about the law will not get you leniency from a police officer or the judicial system. Leave your firearms, ammunition, and knives at home. Don’t bring them into Mexico.”

This is as clear as it gets. Like “Do not bring Bibles to Saudi Arabia.” The Saudis probably have an “official process” and paperwork, by which you could legally import Bibles. DON’T DO IT.


39 posted on 12/29/2012 8:23:51 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Pennies and Nickels will NO LONGER be Minted as of 1/1/13 - Tim Geithner, US Treasury Sect)
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To: rusty schucklefurd

Your elevating BOR and former L/Cpl Hammar to near sainthood merely shows your arrogance and ignorance.


40 posted on 12/29/2012 9:44:46 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: oh8eleven

re: “Your elevating BOR and former L/Cpl Hammar to near sainthood merely shows your arrogance and ignorance.”

Good grief! If that’s what you think, then so be it.


41 posted on 12/29/2012 10:14:46 AM PST by rusty schucklefurd
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To: Kaslin

Bush, again, a no show.


42 posted on 04/29/2013 9:51:42 AM PDT by First_Salute (May God save our democratic-republican government, from a government by judiciary.)
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