Skip to comments.Bush Slammed as Border Patrol Agents Begin Prison Terms
Posted on 01/17/2007 4:24:55 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
(CNSNews.com) - As two U.S. Border Patrol agents surrendered to federal marshals Wednesday afternoon to begin serving more than a decade in jail for shooting an illegal drug smuggler, a federal lawmaker and conservative advocacy group expressed outrage at President Bush for not pardoning the men.
"This is the worst betrayal of American defenders I have ever seen," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said of the president.
"It's shameful this was done by someone who is in the Republican Party," the California Republican added in comments coinciding with the jailing of agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.
Rohrabacher said Bush "obviously thinks more about his agreements with Mexico than the lives of American people and backing up his defenders."
Ramos and Compean reportedly handed themselves over to the U.S. Marshal's office in El Paso, Texas, early Wednesday afternoon, facing the prospect of 11- and 12-year prison terms, respectively, for a string of offenses including the use of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence.
Steve Elliott, president of the conservative group Grassfire.org, also lashed out at Bush on Wednesday.
The American people "have a vivid picture of where the Bush administration really stands on border security," Elliott charged in a news release.
He described the crimes committed by Ramos and Compean as "so-called civil rights violations against an illegal alien drug smuggler who has been smuggling drugs into this country for years and was smuggling 743 pounds of marijuana at the time of the confrontation."
Elliott also argued that the U.S. attorney's office did not have to pursue the case, prosecute the men, "take the word of an illegal alien drug smuggler over that of our border agents" or give the illegal alien immunity.
"President Bush could have spoken out publicly in support of these agents and how their incarceration could further cripple our border security efforts," he added.
Instead, Elliot said, "when it came time to stand and be counted on the side of our border agents, the president's administration chose to side with a career illegal alien drug smuggler."
As Cybercast News Service previously reported, Ramos and Compean encountered Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila while on duty on Feb. 17, 2005. When they tried to stop him, he fled and was shot and wounded. Aldrete-Davila was treated at a hospital in El Paso and then returned to Mexico.
After learning of the shooting, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton sought out Aldrete-Davila in Mexico and offered him immunity from prosecution if he would return to the United States to testify against Ramos and Compean.
Sutton later defended the decision, arguing that the agents did not have knowledge of any criminal activity involving Aldrete-Davila at the time they shot him.
Ramos and Compean were charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with serious bodily injury, discharge of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, willfully violating Aldrete-Davila's Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable seizure and obstruction of justice for intentionally defacing the crime scene, lying about the incident, and failing to report the truth.
During a press briefing last Friday, White House spokesman Tony Snow addressed the case and criticism at some length.
"According to the facts presented in court, you had an incident in which there was an attempt to pull somebody over. He finally got pulled over; somebody holds out a gun. Sort of scuffling ensues," Snow said.
"And what happens is you've got a fellow running away, and a couple of agents eventually in pursuit, firing 14 shots at him - I think 15, actually. Fourteen by one agent missed, one did strike him in the fleshy hindquarters," he added.
"Now, at the time this happened, they did not know if he was an illegal," Snow continued.
"They did not know that there were 700 pounds of marijuana [in Aldrete-Davila's van]. They didn't know any of those things. But instead you had this. They also had received arms training the day before that said if you have an incident like this, you must preserve the evidence and you must report it promptly," he said.
"Instead, according to court documents, they went around and picked up the shell casings. Furthermore, they asked one of their colleagues also to help pick up shell casings. They disposed of them," Snow added.
Snow noted that a jury convicted the agents on 11 out of 12 counts and defended the government's stance.
"This is not the case of the United States saying, we are not going to support people who go after drug dealers. Of course we are ... we also believe that the people who are working to secure that border themselves obey the law," he said.
Is everything Bush's Fault (rhetoric)
January 20th, 2009 can't come soon enough!
Is President Bush the only guy involved in this case. Do Democrats get any blame here at all.
I'm sick of crybaby Republicans almost as much as I am of liberal Democrats.
This is currently the biggest lie in America, that these Border Patrol Agents don't deserve to go to jail. I live right here in San Diego County, and I am telling you, I have not seen more misreporting on an issue since the Iraq war.
These agents were found guilty of first shooting another human being in the back, then trying to cover up the crime.
No one ever asks why if they are so innocent, why they tried to hide what they did. They got lawyers who tried wrap them in the flag to cover up their behavior. Legal or illegal, you don't shoot someone in the back. This country is about due process, not vigilante justice.
The agents were convicted by a jury of their peers. Bush was right to do nothing about it because they are GUILTY. Lets not lose our morality and respect for the law, just because the alien and those who shot him did.
Shame on the Congressmen trying to cover up for these men.
do not overestimate the democrats logic. even if they hadn't covered it up the dems would be trying to get thim locked up. it wouldn't matter if the illegal was bringing nukes into the country, according to the liberals, they shouldn't shoot him
Whatever happened to "Stop, or we'll shoot" at the border? You can smuggle 1/3 ton of weed and just run away if intercepted?
Bush isn't showing much leadership in this case. Or anything to do with the border, for that matter.
question, how do you shoot people in the back in the first place?
That's right, they're running away. due process is kindof hard when the criminal gets away
Was he a "guest worker" illegal drug smuggler?
"Legal or illegal, you don't shoot someone in the back."
That's not true... Cops shoot people in the back all the time who are running away, and they are never prosecuted for it.
If that's the day you stop bitching about President Bush, I agree with you.
Bush seems almost aimless in his wanderings. I miss Ronald Reagan.
You either believe in the rule of law, or you don't.
If you don't, you are no different than Bill Clinton.
If the law does not allow for an exception, it means THERE IS NO EXCEPTION.
How many of you are willing to be hypocrites to defend a couple of law-breaking agents?
Talk is cheap.
And I will defend the law more than I will a drug smuggler!
An ILLEGAL alien drug smuggler!
Those Border agents did their job, you weren't there nor was I but when an AMERICAN says they defend a bum drug smuggler and NOT the law and those who upkeep the law it is a sad day in America!!
Anymore than those that tried to convict our Military not to long ago when they were accused. We all supported and stood by our military and I would do it again just as I stand by the BORDER PATROL AGENTS!
Anyone can come over the OPEN border, terroists with suitcase nuclear weapons and stinking drug smugglers!
Why doesn't Rohrbacher slam the jury of the agents peers that convicted the two border agents.