The Obama administration apparently is stonewalling pleas for help for an American Marine who said he took a wrong turn and ended up over the Mexican border, and in possession of several guns that were legal in the United States but illegal in Mexico.
That’s according to members of the family of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi.
In an exclusive interview with WND, Jill Tahmooressi described her son, Andrew, as “despondent” right now because there has been no word from Washington on help for his case.
She said he has lost significant hope, and that she can hear it in his voice, now that so much time has passed with no word on his release, and especially no word from Obama.
“We are very disappointed in the White House,” said Jill Tahmooressi. “We did what they said we had to do to get a response from the White House, but we have not heard a thing.”
It has been almost a month since the necessary signatures were received by the deadline, and this is
Tahmooressi’s third month in the Mexican prison.
“But we are confident in our new legal team, and we have reason to believe that the Mexican judge wants to see progress, as well,” she said.
She was referring to a petition on the White House website which calls for intervention in Tahmooressi’s case. The White House was supposed to respond if 100,000 people signed. The total online as of this writing is 124,795, but there has been no comment.
According to Mrs. Tahmooressi, the Mexican judge said he expects the defense team to get moving on this case. He placed an order to expedite the case.
She sounded hopeful as she said, “It certainly seems like the Mexican judge is ready to get this all going.”
She described more communication on the part of Mexican officials than that of her own government, in terms of the Obama administration. But she hasn’t lost hope, and won’t let up pressure, she assured WND.
Sgt. Tahmoressi has spent almost three months now in a Mexican prison for accidentally crossing the Mexican border with guns and ammunition. He had to fire his first two legal teams, and is now on his third. The first attorney, Alejandro Osuna, allegedly told Sgt. Tahmooressi to perjure himself and say that he had never been to Mexico, and he refused. The reasons for the firing of the second attorney, Lamberto Esquer, were unclear, but Jill Tahmooressi told WND that her son’s legal defense file was virtually empty.
She consulted California defense attorney, Phil Dunn, who is now acting as Sgt. Tahmooressi’s consigliere. Dunn helped her find a new attorney, Fernando Benitez Alvarez del Castillo. He is a very high profile Mexican attorney, and in a lighter moment, she quipped to WND that she has more confidence in him than she does her record in the past of hiring competent Mexican attorneys.
She said Dunn’s help in getting Andrew’s legal team to this level of competence was instrumental. She expects to know more soon, although new hearing dates have not been set.
But confidence in her own government is waning.
She told WND that she looks every night for a response from the president at WhiteHouse.gov, and “last night there was still nothing there.”
She doesn’t understand why, even after she and an entire grassroots effort worked to get the required 100,000 plus signatures to free the Marine, he still sits in a Mexican prison, and there has been no response at all from anyone in the White House. She cited a statement that Hillary Clinton directed at John Kerry, saying if she were Secretary of State, she would be “burning up the phone lines” and sending envoys. She said that Hillary Clinton said she would have been much more proactive than the Obama/Kerry administration has been.
When WND asked Mrs. Tahmooressi how it felt that five hand-selected terrorists had been traded for the safe return of suspected deserter Bowe Bergdahl, she said the family felt ignored.
“But we are of course happy for the family to have Mr. Bergdahl home. How could we not be? We know how they feel,” she said.
“But Andrew keeps wondering, ‘what about me?’”
She said it is heartbreaking, and family members really are hoping to hear from the Obama administration soon.
She told WND that she was pleased that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson took time to meet with the governor of Baja, reportedly asking for a pardon for Sgt. Tahmooressi based on humanitarian reasons.
“His human rights are being violated,” Mrs. Tahmooressi said. “He has PTSD resulting from fighting for this country (on two separate tours of duty in Afghanistan), and yet he is getting no treatment for it at all.”
She met recently with the Mexican prison director, and she is grateful that Andrew is getting pastoral services twice per week.
“His faith is all he has right now,” she said.
So even though she said he is discouraged by his own government’s lack of attention to his case, and he is suffering with PTSD, she is thankful that he gets to speak regularly with a pastor.
WND reported when a week ago, a team of bikers rallied on the border and made a statement in support of Sgt. Tahmooressi.
“We’re proclaiming that the occupant of the White House … no longer speaks for us. The American people will speak for themselves,” John Harrington, president of gun seller Shield Tactical, told WND at the time.
Harrington said the activists want to “remind the world, one citizen at a time, that we are still the greatest nation.”