Years ago, I began a TV news story with the words, “The sound of silence.”
It was about a devastating plane crash in San Diego – a commercial jet collided with a small plane, killing all on board plus seven on the ground. A total of 144 people were killed.
Debris was spread for miles, and there was just silence.
I thought of that yesterday because that’s what we’re getting from the White House and the man in charge of the place concerning the latest outrage from Mexico.
All we’ve gotten from Barack Obama is nothing. Not a word.
Not a demand. Not any kind of reaction whatsoever.
We’re getting nothing but silence as he and his wife and family and entourage flew to Martha’s Vineyard for their summer vacation at a multi-million-dollar estate the rest of us can only dream about.
It makes we wonder what the family of Enrique Camarena, a U.S. drug enforcement agent, must be thinking.
Camarena was investigating undercover and exposing the multi-billion dollar marijuana operation of Rafael Caro Quintero, the man known as the godfather of Mexican Drug Cartels. He began the Sinaloa cartel that spread later into other operations, including the Juarez operation.
The exposure by Camarena is said to have cost Quintero and his gang more than $8 billion, a loss in sales that, to say the least, did not sit well with the boss and he got his revenge.
Camarena and his Mexican pilot were kidnapped in February 1985 and their bodies found weeks later in shallow graves. It was clear they had been brutally tortured before being killed.
Accusations flew that Mexican officials allowed the killers to get away. There was such distrust that U.S. officials almost blocked the border as all Mexicans attempting to cross were searched.
Quintero was eventually tracked down in Costa Rica, tried in Mexico, found guilty and sentenced to 40 years in prison.
So far so good, even though the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says that while Quintero was serving time, he continued money laundering operations and drug operations with the cartels.
But so far no good, because late Friday, a three-judge panel overturned Quintero’s conviction and released him from prison. He had served only 28 years.
Reason for the release? The court threw out the conviction because it decided Quintero was improperly tried in a federal court for a crime that should have been handled in a state court.
Friday, he walked out of a Jalisco prison a free man. Such is Mexican justice. Should we be surprised?
It’s well known the Mexican justice system is rife with corruption. The Association of Former Federal Narcotics Agents in the United States is “outraged” and was blunt, referring to Quintero as a “violent butcher” and spoke of “powerful dark shadows that work in the shadows of the Mexican justice system.”
We’re told U.S. law officials are also outraged about the release, but the official response from the Justice Department is insipid.
It said it found the decision “deeply troubling,” and in a statement said “the Department of Justice, and especially the Drug Enforcement Administration, is extremely disappointed with this result.”
Wow, I’ll bet that has the Mexican officials shaking in their boots, and I’m sure Quintero is laughing in his tequila, even though he faces charges in this country.
It doesn’t help that the man who is president hasn’t seen fit to issue a statement or actually make an in-person statement about this situation.
At a time when the issue of immigration is so high on the list of issues for the upcoming elections, it’s disgusting to hear the silence from the White House as well as Congress concerning this turn of events.
To make it worse, Associated Press reports that Attorney Jose Luis Guizar says his client, former cartel head Enrique Fonseca Carillo, jailed in the same case, will also be released in weeks, and he believes everyone imprisoned in the case will be set free.
Talk about blind justice.
If you ever needed a reason to know why we’re losing the “drug war,” go no further.
What makes it worse is that it makes the United States look like a paper tiger. Where have we heard that before?
Edward Heath, DEA regional director for Mexico at the time of Camarena’s killing, is blunt. He said this shows a lack of respect for our government by the new Mexican government.
Worse is the opinion of Samuel Gonzalez, former top anti-drug prosecutor for Mexico. He says the U.S. is promoting and partially financing Mexican judicial reforms “aimed at respecting procedural guarantees for suspects.”
The result, according to Gonzalez, is that the balance is weighted against the prosecutors and victims.
“This is all thanks to the excessive procedural guarantees supported by the U.S. government itself.”
In other words, we pressure the Mexicans to be so “fair” to criminals that they get away with murder.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Obama says nothing. He probably agrees with what we’re doing and, by golly, we don’t want to do anything that might make Mexicans upset – after all we want them to come here, be happy and vote.
This administration has “Benghazied” us again!