Filed under: Foreign Policy, Law, Mexico, Politics | Tags: Close Neighbors, International Relations, US Marine Andrew Tahmooressi
As President Obama said last week when he held a photo-op in the Rose Garden with the Bergdahl parents:
As I said earlier this week, we’re committed to winding down the war in Afghanistan, and we are committed to closing Gitmo. But we also made an ironclad commitment to bring our prisoners of war home. That’s who we are as Americans. It’s a profound obligation within our military, and today, at least in this instance, it’s a promise we’ve been able to keep.
I am mindful, though, that there are many troops who remain missing in the past. That’s why we’re never going to forget; we’re never going to give up our search for servicemembers who remain unaccounted for. We also remain deeply committed to securing the release of American citizens who are unjustly detained abroad and deserve to be reunited with their families, just like the Bergdahls soon will be.
It amazes me that our foreign relations with our close neighbor to the south are so poor that the U.S. Marine, Andrew Tahmooressi, has been held in Mexico for more than two months after taking a wrong turn at a confusing border crossing with registered guns in his car. He was held for seven hours in custody, but without charges, at the border between San Ysidro, CA and Tijuana. According to Andrew he felt something was fishy when the military showed up and wanted to arrest him after customs officials were willing to accompany him back to the U.S. He felt there was an implied expectation of a bribe of some sort, but nothing was directly requested.
Extortion in such cases is not unusual. Help from our federal government has not been forthcoming, in spite of Mr. Obama’s deep commitment.