Jeff Kropf: Bush wrong on border agents case

My oh My how this president is one stubborn, bull headed Texan. Yesterday he praised the lying, deceiving (words used to describe him on the floor of the US House) US Attorney Johnny Sutton who successfully prosecuted two border patrol agents for doing their job to stop an illegal alien drug smuggler. The President said that people should look at the facts of the case and we at Weekend Edition Live have done so, along with a lot of Congressman and Senators. It is obvious that the President doesn’t have a clue or he himself hasn’t looked at the facts, because he cant seem to see what most of US citizens see.

These two agents were railroaded and aggressively prosecuted by a US Attorney who suppressed evidence that would have proven not only the innocence of these men, but that he himself (and his office) was responsible for allowing more drugs to flow into America by this same drug smuggler later on. What is this President thinking?

I urge all who read these words to look into the true facts of the case, contained in the transcripts and judge for yourself. Then when you are convinced as I am (and most of Congress now) that these convictions are wrong and send the wrong message to the druggies that offer up drugs to our children, you should contact our Congressman and Senators and tell them to support a Presidential pardon for these two agents.

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Posted by at 07:05 | Posted in Measure 37 | 15 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jerry

    This proves that you can not trust ANY politician. Period. Point of fact.

  • Lars

    Under U.S. law the fleeing felon rule was limited to non-lethal force in most cases by Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985). The justices held that deadly force “may not be used unless necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.”

    Lets talk about the facts

    The jury did not believe the story of the gun The agents did not report the existence of a gun at the time of the shooting (they did report the existence of a gun one month later but only after being arrested) Drug dealers who come into this country routinely do so without guns (check the interview with sutton on what happened when the border patrol checked seizures of drugs from illegals at the border and found very few carried guns) There’s good reason to believe that illegal drug dealers avoid carryng guns to avoid the five year sentence for gun poss None of the agents fellow agents saw a gun…even when the illegal was at gunpoint and had his hands up and shirt open The agents who claimed a gun was pointed at them (a month later) didn’t warn their fellow agents on the scene of a
    fugitive illegal with a gun (why wouldn’t they have)

    The agents gathered up their shells after firing 15 shots and hid them (why would they do this if the illegal had a gun and they had been threatened).
    The agents failed to report to their supervisors that they had been threatened…or that they had shot (if they had been threatened…shooting at the illegal wouldnot have been illegal and would have been reported)

    Ask yourself…if the bad guy had a gun

    why didn’t the agents warn their fellow agent
    why didn’t they report the fugitive illegal with a gun
    why didn’t they report the shots they fired

    Ask yourself…if the bad guy DIDN’T have a gun
    there’s good reason not to warn agents about a gun that doesn’t exist
    there’s good reason not to report the fugitive with a gun
    there’s good reason not to report shots fired

    • je

      Mr. Larson:
      You asked a series of questions. The questions deserve an answer.
      “Ask yourself…if the bad guy had a gun”
      “Why didn’t the agents warn their fellow agent”
      “Why didn’t they report the fugitive with a gun”
      Why didn’t they report shots fired”

      Compean and Ramos were the first on the scene. Compean caught up to the drug smuggler, there was an altercation. Compean fell down into a 11 foot deep ditch and Ramos chased after the drug smugler, at which time the drug smuggler turned toward Ramos as he was running away(forensics back this up), according to Ramos, the smuggler had a “shiny object.” Shots were fired by Ramos.

      Compean and Ramos were the farthest out(away from the other agents) and the smuggler was gone over the border being no threat to their fellow agents.

      Compean and Ramos come back, the smuggler is long gone(last seen well into Mexico). Ramos is not sure if there was a gun(Remember Ramos said “shiny object”) or if he had hit the smuggler(the smuggler had been down and up out of an 11 foot deep ditch).

      If your not sure there is a gun, but the guy has what could be a gun in his hand as he’s turning back at you, and he’s already left your partner down…”officer down”: Do you protect yourself or take your chances and assume the “shiny object” is not a gun?

      I don’t know about you, but I’m not taking any chances, I fire my weapon.

      Now you’re coming back to the rest of the agents who heard the shots fired and your looking at 5-6 hours paperwork with no drug smuggler in hand, in essence an empty bag, a failed bust.

      What do you do? Compean and Ramos make a mistake. But anybody who does paperwork routinely will tell you that they avoid 5-6 hours of paperwork when they can.

      Answers: No threat to fellow officers; 5-6 hours of paper work; fellow officers knew shots were fired because they heard them and they helped you pick up the shell casings and casually threw the casings into the ditch.

      Nobody testified about a verbal conspiracy. The other border patrol agents knew a long stint of paperwork could be avoided by just thowing the casings over the side.

      Supervisors were there too(saw the shell casing being thrown over the side). And there was no testimony at trial about the supervisors asking questions of Compean and Ramos at the scene.

      Apparently, the supervisors at the time thought it no big deal because they asked no questions of Compean and Ramos at the scene, or asked them to fill out paper work.

      So there you have it Mr. Larson. I answered your questions, now answer mine.

      Why have you shut down debate on your show on this subject?

      Why do you support the commutation of Libby and dispute the Jury’s verdict(even Bush doesn’t dispute the verdict)?

      You look like a hypocrit.

      Why are you against even commutation of the Compean and Ramos sentence when almost everyone says the sentence was too harsh?

      Why do you ignore the damage done to border patrol agent’s morale this has caused(that alone is reason to pardon or commute the sentence)?

      Why do you ignore the evidence of pressure applied by the Mexican government on this case and the Bush Administration responding to this pressure with this prosecution(or at least seem curious)?

      Why do you believe a drug smuggler that lied on the witness stand about being a career drug smugler…”I did it this one time to help my mother with medical bills.” But was implicated in October ’05 on another drug smuggling operation?

      Why do you continence the jury not hearing about that episode?

      Why do you ignore the fact that 80 Congressmen want to pardon Compean and Ramos?

      I’ll give an answer: You want to stay on the good side of this Administration so you can get interviews particularly for your national show.

      Yes, Mr. Larson you have shown your true colors in this episode.

      And your colors are not pretty. What they are is petty and centered on your own desires.

      Not what is right for this Nation or the border or these two men.

      Pathetic if you ask me.

      What a phony.

  • NME

    Great Point Lars!
    Furthermore, I am always weary when people ask the President of the United States to weigh in on individual court cases.

    • je

      I just hope you don’t find yourself sitting in a jail cell for something you didn’t do.

      You’d have a different attitude about pardons then, wouldn’t you?

  • Wayne Brady

    I think it is ridiculous to claim that picking up the shell casings was a cover up. There were 7 people there including supervisors.

    Even if they broke some rules, 11 and 12 years are not reasonable sentences.

    The whole case against them makes no sense to me.

  • NME

    If the President were to inetervene would that be a form of judicial activtism — otherwise known as executive activism?

    • je

      Bush had no problem stepping in on the Libby commutation, didn’t he?

      If an injustice is done, then shouldn’t the president use his constitutional power to pardon or commute a sentence?

      I care about individual injustice to a citizen of the United States, even if you don’t.

      Lars Larson had no problem saying the jury verdict in the Libby case was wrong and should have been given a full pardon.

      Looks like a double standard to me.

      What about you….or do you just suck up every thing Larson says?

  • Rick Hickey

    This case has further de-moralized our much need Border Patrol Agents, is my big concern here. I read an Agent survey of over 10,000 conducted by their Union (T.J.Bonner Pres.)last year and almost 1/2 were on the verge of quitting already without seeing their fellow Agent’s sent to Prison(general Pop.) for a decade for shooting a known Drug Dealer in the rear. I don’t care if he had a Gun or not, there are a bunch of real Bad Guys (Think Midle Eaterners are paying $50K to be snuck in for a low paying Job?) using the same network as the “workers” and anybody Running away from our Homeland Security should realize that they will be STOPPED!

    That would be called a deterrent(fear of injury from fleeing), like the bad guys taking a chance that you have a Gun in your house, some areas they know you don’t and are not as easily deterred, are they?

    Instead these two should be treated by the Pres. & the Press as Hero’s.
    Next time it could be a group of Islamist extremists with Bombs.
    It is much easier to walk or drive in with Bomb parts than get them through on a plane these days.

  • Homerf12

    If Border Agents are demoralized by the case, it may be because they had two guys who screwed up. It is one thing to have an accidental bang bang, it is another thing to have an old fashioned cover up. If the pieces don’t fit, it aint legit.

    • je

      Compean and Ramos made a mistake on not reporting the incident.

      But Homer1f12, let me ask you a question: Should these two Border Patrol Agents be sentenced to 11 and 12 years on a gun minimum where the statue’s intent involved having an underlying crime? Here there was none.

      Answer to Mr. Larson’s second question can be more complete.

      “Why didn’t they report the fugitive illegal with a gun”?

      5-6 hours of paperwork for a situation where you’re not even sure he had a gun(again “shiny object” and no way to prove it. And you don’t know if the drug smuggler was hit, and you don’t have the drug smuggler at hand.

      Mistake yes, criminal no.

  • Philo

    This ordeal makes me suspect. I know of no authority that is standing up for these two agents outside of a few talk radio hosts, and even they are divided. Does not sound like a clear case of misjustice to these ears.

    • je

      Wrong, there are 80 congressman calling for a pardon.

      Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee had a hearing for this case. After hearing the testimoney of U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas Johnny Sutton and the head of the Border Patrol and others, the chair called the sentence unreasonable and harsh.

      The Chair also called the handling of this case “prosecutorial overrech”

      There is a U.S. House committee hearing scheduled for July 31st to look into the issue of the Mexican government contacting the Justice Department (or other branches of government) to apply pressure to prosecute these two Border Patrol agents.

      To ask the question: What was the nature or extent of these contacts and who was the Mexican government contacting in the Bush administration?

      So yes, elected officials in the Conress(authority) are standing up for these two agents.

      Maybe you haven’t heard of it is because all you listen to is Lars Larson who wants to bury it because he wants to preserve his access to administration personalities for interviews on his show.

      You say “But Larson took Bush on over immigration.” Yes, but Larson had to, he had no choice, immigration is his big issue for ratings…and at one point Larson was even saying “it looks like a done deal,” in a kinda resigned passive way. Larson just wanted to bitch about it, although after callers jump up and said “Call your Senators, call your Congressmen.” Larson got with the program and joined the chorus, and yes he did his part.

  • happypacy

    In the past year, we heard of the controversy over the firing of U.S. Attorney’s by this administration. Oh, the barrage of criticism that was sent. Now, it appears we have a perfect example why the administration maybe needed to do some housecleaning…unfortunately they missed one—Sutton!

    • je

      I agree with your comment. You bring up another point: President Bush said last week that Johnny Sutton is a personal friend. We know how Bush is with his personal friends. He sticks by them even after they’ve been exposed,ie, “Brownny you’re doing a heckofa job!” Only when the political pressure was like a vise did Bush get rid of Brown.

      Add on top of the personal side, the political side where Bush broke his pick on pushing amnesty, even to the extent of jeopardizing political support for Iraq(reckless to risk support for Iraq).

      Bush also wants to curry favor with the Mexican government, which as earlier stated had made contact with the Bush administration over this incident(Sutton is refusing to appear before the House committee).

      For Bush to give a pardon or commute the sentence would disgrace his personal friend, Johnny Boy.

      Don’t get between Bush and a personal friend, that’s when Bush gets vindictive. Larson knows that.

      Finally, for sake of argument, what if Larson is right and these agents in the heat of battle on the border, defending our country, with Ramos seeing his partner Compean, down an 11 foot ditch, bleeding, not knowing exactly what happened, broke and discharged his weapon. That’s a tough situation all the way around
      (again, I hold to my above argument: I give the benefit of the doubt to Compean and Ramos, not the drug smuggler).

      Mercy and compassion and recognition of the tough situation would dictate commutation if not outright pardon.

      But no, Larson has no mercy or compassion, its’s just not in him to have some christian kindness for these border agents.

      Yet, Larson always gives the benefit of the doubt to local cops in similar situations, but not here. No, Larson takes the word of a career drug smuggler(after he lied on the stand about “one time for his sick mother”) over the word of sworn Border Patrol Agents.

      Why? Because he just doesn’t have the balls to take on Bush over an issue he knows is peronal with Bush, and could have enormous political impact, particularly if it dries up his interview source.

      I want to know what kind of contacts the Mexican government had with who in the Bush administration, and what did the Bush administration do in response?

      Don’t you?

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