After tens of thousands of phone calls and emails, after the combined efforts of columnists such as myself and radio and television talk show hosts such as Lou Dobbs, and even after persistent appeals by congressmen such as Dana Rohrabacher, former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean finally received a commutation of their 10-plus year prison sentences from outgoing President George W. Bush and will soon be going home.
It's about time! What took Mr. Bush so long?
Ramos and Compean were victimized by an out-of-control U.S. Attorney by the name of Johnny Sutton (who should be fired for his despicable conduct), and by a White House that cared more about appeasing the Mexican government than it did about protecting the American border and the Border Patrol agents who were trying to do their jobs.
I won't rehash the details of this unbelievable miscarriage of justice, as I have already covered this atrocity in past columns. See two of these columns below:
· Mr. President, Release Ramos And Compean, July 31, 2007
· Whose Side Is Bush On? January 31, 2007
I was also privileged to appear with Agent Ramos' wife, Monica, on the Lou Dobbs show last year. As such, I was the only Presidential candidate in 2008 who publicly promised to fully pardon (not just grant commutation to) Ramos and Compean. See the video here.
According to press reports, now that President Bush has commuted the sentences of Ramos and Compean, they should be released from prison "within the next two months." In issuing the commutation, it was made clear that "Bush didn't pardon the men for their crimes, but decided instead to commute their prison sentences because he believed they were excessive and that they had already suffered the loss of their jobs, freedom and reputations."
The senior administration official quoted also said, "The action by the president, who believes the border agents received fair trials and that the verdicts were just, does not diminish the seriousness of their crimes."
Ramos and Compean have served about two years of their sentences.
And, as far as what the Bush administration official said, let's set the record straight. First of all, while Ramos and Compean have lost their jobs and more than two years of freedom (not to mention untold grief and agony by their family members), they have not lost their reputations. If anyone has lost their reputation, it is Johnny Sutton and George W. Bush, his act of clemency notwithstanding.
Secondly, if the trial and conviction of Ramos and Compean is an example of a "fair trial," everyone in the country better pray they never have to go to trial. The truth is, if there ever was an example of a Kangaroo Court in these United States, it was the trial of Ramos and Compean.
Thirdly, the "crimes" that were committed were perpetrated by a serial drug-smuggling illegal alien, and then by a groveling, grotesque U.S. Attorney's office under the leadership of Johnny Sutton.
And lest readers think that Ramos and Compean were alone in the wake of a Presidential administration bent on sacrificing American law enforcement personnel on the altar of appeasement to the Mexican government, please familiarize yourself with the case of the brave Texas Sheriff's Deputy, Gilmer Hernandez; and with the case of the heinous Mexican murderer, Jose Ernesto Medellin. It is incomprehensible what the Bush administration has done to facilitate illegal immigration. See the story here.
Am I happy that President Bush has at least commuted the sentences of Ramos and Compean? Of course I am. I am happy for the two agents; I am happy for their families. They deserve to be together. I pray it will not take months to release them. And I also pray that both of these gentlemen will find gainful employment sufficient to adequately meet the needs of their wives and children.
It is shameful that the country agents Ramos and Compean were so proud and diligent to serve treated them (and their families) so disgracefully. Furthermore, it is totally disgusting to realize that the Bush administration treated a serial drug-smuggling illegal alien better than two Border Patrol agents who were simply trying to enforce our country's immigration laws.
Bush's commutation of sentence does nothing to erase that humiliation.