Reader reaction to my two previous pieces on the Ramos-Compean "Bordergate" affair has been sharply supportive of my view that these two Border Patrol agents were railroaded by forces seeking to intimidate our brave officers and further achieve an open border with Mexico.
Significantly, a number of my correspondents noted that the case furthered the agenda of big business—implementing a North American Union (NAU), which would allow not only free passage of goods between Mexico, the US and Canada, but also the free flow of labor, regardless of the political and social impact or ordinary Americans.
Several readers suggested that, since this case was likely to harm those greedy goals, it would gain little notice in the mainstream media (MSM). And to a large degree, this has been true, although Lou Dobbs on his 6 PM (EST) weekday CNN news hour has been steadfast about the terrible injustices done by our government to these agents.
Today, however, the Washington Post surfaced the story in a page 2 article with the headline Support Swells for Agents Who Shot Drug Smuggler and the subhead "Conservatives Lead Movement to Free Ex-Border Patrolmen" [February 17, 2007.
Darryl Fears begins:
"Early this week, the Bush administration urged angry conservatives to remain calm over the convictions of two former Border Patrol agents who shot an unarmed Mexican drug smuggler, but petitions for their release continued to flood the White House.
It did not help that one the lawmen, Ignacio Ramos, was attacked by Latino gang members in his cell at the Yazoo City Federal Correctional Complex in Mississippi and beaten bloody. Days after prison officials confirmed the beating on Feb. 8, Department of Homeland Security officials admitted that an inspector general's report erroneously quoted Border Patrol agents as saying Ramos and his partner, Jose Compean, intended to kill Mexicans."
In my view, the fact that there has been lying on this key point at the top level of our government means that these agents should at least be released on bail while their appeal is being considered. They represent, after all, absolutely no flight risk.
That there has been a huge outcry is undoubted. Yes, conservative voices such as Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) have been heard from—and Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) has even threatened the impeachment of George W. Bush should these men be further harmed in prison.
However, there are other, presumably non-conservative voices, calling for the Bordergate Two's release. According to the Washington Post's Fears:
"John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said that the 700 people who will attend the organization's annual convention in Washington on Feb. 25 will 'speak with one voice' against the prosecution and conviction of the agents. The union, which represents Border Patrol agents and other federal workers, implored Bush in a letter this month to pardon Ramos and Compean. 'We think this thing has been mishandled from the start,' Gage said. 'We're meeting . . . with the head of the Bureau of Prisons. I'm going to raise some hell there to find out why these guys are in that particular institution.'"
As a Democrat—a member of the party that is supposed to be for the little guy, the underdog, the bulwark against unjust treatment by powerful interests—I am perplexed at the silence of the voices I expected to stand up for these agents. One Democrat, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has promised to look into the matter. But no other congressional Democrat or Presidential candidate has weighed in.
Where are these voices? Apparently, they are too busy passing resolutions against Bush which mean nothing to worry about a simple matter of human justice.
Furthermore, where are those powerful ethnic lobbies LULAC and The National Council of La Raza (NCLR)? These two agents are obviously of Hispanic background. And this is from the stated mission of La Raza: "The largest national Latino rights and advocacy organization in the US., NCLR works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans". However, the silence from these two pressure groups has been deafening.
NCLR President Janet Murguia spends her time preaching for more illegal alien workers rights–she has so grooved that odious phrase "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" that her every public appearance includes her call for more guest workers. But it appears she is much more interested in non-citizens, like the criminal alien shot by the agents, than in brave citizens defending her country on the border.
And while we are at it, where are those religious organizations so pining for social justice that they pray constantly for and provide substantial assistance to illegal non-citizens? Perhaps Cardinal Mahony will want to hold a special Mass to take up a special collection to help pay these agents legal fees and ensure than justice is pursued?
The dangers that these agents face on this border were not even allowed to be offered as a mitigating factor in their behavior. Many felons serve far less time than the sentences meted out here for crimes far worse than failing to do proper paperwork—which is essentially what the government's case against the Bordergate Two amounts too.
But big money both in Mexico and in the US wants less enforcement on our borders. This was the perfect way to send that message.
Except that some of the key players got caught with their lies. More are likely to surface. In short, the plan backfired and their dirty linen is coming out! And now that a MSM stalwart like the Washington Post has printed some of the facts as presently known, there could be other media outlets around the country besides Mr. Dobbs who will speak out and try to get justice for these men.
The obvious starting point: release the agents immediately, on bail, pending a full investigation of the case—which may well lead far higher than Johnny Sutton, the US Attorney in Texas or the Department of Homeland Security.
How high? As I said earlier, "Stay tuned."
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.