One soldier goes to Afghanistan, deserts his post (more than once); on his last AWOL meets with or is captured by the Taliban; spends five years, sometimes in captivity, sometimes not; fellow soldiers search for him, risk their lives and some die to find him; rises to rank of sergeant while in captivity (he’ll get back pay); is released in exchange for the release of five terrorists; his parents are given a Rose Garden reception by the president in his honor; is hospitalized, interrogated, treated; returns to a desk job while his case is being reviewed. His name is Bowe Bergdahl, from Idaho.
One marine sergeant serves two combat terms in Afghanistan; is decorated, injured and credited with saving lives; returns to the U.S.; is treated for PTSD; makes a wrong turn at the Mexican border near Tijuana; is questioned by Mexican authorities and he tells them he has weapons in his truck (he had all his possessions in his truck); he is arrested, placed in jail on March 31; he remains there. His name is Andrew Tahmooressi, originally from Ohio. Over 100,000 people petition the White House about his case. There is no response. Several Republican congressmen go to bat for him; Democrats are silent.
Bergdahl may be court martialed. Tahmooressi, who earned his stripes in combat and stuck by his men in Afghanistan, has been in a Mexican prison since March 31. One closed-to-the-public judicial hearing has been held. Sgt. Tahmooressi was sent back to jail. He has no police record. There may be more to the story, but the Mexicans aren’t saying and no US government administration official seems to be speaking out either way. The sergeant complained about mistreatment, but is suffering from PTSD and paranoia may play a part. But, prison conditions are generally miserable. He has been allowed to have a lawyer and has been allowed to speak to the US press. He says that his PTSD is better because of the imprisonment.
The president, when Bergdahl was released, said that the US doesn’t leave its soldiers behind. The president hasn’t spoken to Tahmooressi’s family although it wasn’t too long ago that he had time to speak to and console Sandra Fluke, the woman who complained about how horrible it was not to be given free contraceptives. She had been called a slut by Rush Limbaugh. He also took time out to call Michael Sams, the now out-in-the-open gay NFL football player.
The president is the commander-in-chief and Sgt. Tahmooressi is one of his soldiers. The president is silent. His sergeant has been left behind and he’s ill because he fought for our country and our cause, a mission the president sent him on. He’s in the custody of a close ally with whom we have good relations and considerable leverage. Who would know it?
I don’t know what Sgt. Tahmooressi’s politics are, but it is apparently not a special enough interest to get the attention of anyone higher than a Republican congresswoman from Florida who has been quite vocal and effective but not in Mexico. Maybe that’s the problem. He’s only a decorated, injured US Marine.
Taking weapons into a foreign country isn’t a good thing. But, heck, Attorney General Eric Holder sent in thousands of automatic weapons and gave them to drug dealers (Operation Fast and Furious). Maybe the sergeant was working for Holder. That would be a problem. Maybe the sergeant can escape (he says he tried) and then he could sneak back across the border. What would that make him? Documented or undocumented? He’d get better accommodations.
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