CONGRESS PROBES JAILING OF BORDER AGENTS
Prosecutors who sent border cops to jail grilled over possible wrongdoing in cases
By Jim Tucker Jr.
Angry lawmakers and experts, during a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on July 17, demonstrated the utter hypocrisy of federal bureaucrats who railroaded two brave Border Patrol agents into long-term prison sentences for lawfully pursuing a fleeing drug dealer who illegally entered this country from Mexico.
Responses by government apologists were weak and incoherent.
This “is the worst miscarriage of justice I have witnessed in the 30 years I’ve been in Washington,” said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.). He cited numerous “lies” by the federal government in the prosecution of agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who are serving sentences of 11 and 10 years for shooting Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila as he fled back across the Mexican border, abandoning 743 pounds of marijuana near Fabens, Tex.
Johnny Sutton, the U.S. attorney in San Antonio who prosecuted the case, stood by as Congress was “lied to” and repeatedly referred to the agents as “corrupt” in broadcast interviews, Rohrabacher said.
“Congress was lied to with the claim that these two fine Americans of Mexican descent supposedly claimed they wanted to go out and ‘shoot a Mexican’ that day. . . . This was later proven to be a bold-faced lie. Who is being prosecuted for lying to Congress?
This lie was in print on numerous occasions. Why did Mr. Sutton let such a vicious lie stand? Why didn’t he correct the record?
“Let us not forget the worst lie of all, the one to the jury, when the U.S. attorney’s office permitted the prosecutor to describe the drug smuggler as a onetime criminal trying to earn enough money to pay for medicine for his sick mother,” Rohrabacher said. “His prosecutors insisted to the judge that the jury not be permitted to hear information about a second narcotics shipment in which the drug smuggler in question was clearly identified.”
Sutton’s office stonewalled the House investigation “even telling us to get a privacy waiver signed by the drug smuggler before they will release information,”
Rohrabacher said. “The decision to give immunity to a drug dealer and throw the book at the border patrol
agents was a prosecutorial travesty. . . . The whole episode stinks to high heaven.”
Other legislators assailed the Justice Department, too.
“The U.S. government sadly decided to side with the drug dealer and prosecute agents Compean and Ramos for simply fulfilling their duties as Border Patrolmen,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) “The drug smuggler walked away from the incident with only a wound in his rear end, only to attempt another drug run soon after. It troubles me to think that questionable testimony by a drug smuggler, who was granted immunity and free medical care for his cooperation, was put before the two Border Patrol agents who willingly accepted this inherently dangerous responsibility.” He called for a presidential pardon.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who has supported proposed amnesty for illegal aliens, sharply criticized the prosecution of the two agents, saying it has a “chilling effect” on the Border Patrol’s ability to carry out its duties and undermines morale. “I am extremely concerned about how this case continues to unfold,” she said.
T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents 11,000 front-line agents, destroyed the government’s arguments with testimony that, at times, was highly technical—tracing the path of the bullet that struck the fleeing felon showing his body was twisted in a manner indicating that he was pointing a gun at his pursuer, among other things.
“There is no credible evidence” that Ovaldo was unarmed, as the government claimed, he said. “It is also important to dispel the ridiculous notion put forth by Sutton that the drug smuggler tried to surrender,” he said. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
In an effort to defend himself, Sutton spent much time reciting the events, and, toward the end, noted that “we have chosen not to prosecute this statute in some cases.” But it remained unclear why he chose to do so against the agents cited above.
AFP correspondent James P. Tucker Jr. is a veteran journalist who spent many years as a member of the “elite” media in Washington. Since 1975 he
has won widespread recognition for his pursuit of on-the-scene stories reporting the intrigues of global power blocs. Jim’s book, Bilderberg Diary: One Reporter’s 25-Year Battle to Shed Light onto the Global Elite, is considered about the best book available on what really goes on at Bilderberg meetings. Softcover, 270 pages, $18 until supplies run out (reg. $25). Call AFP toll free at 1-888-699-6397 to charge a copy of Bilderberg Diary to Visa or MasterCard.
(Issue #31, July 30, 2007)