On March 31, 2014, Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi accidentally made a wrong turn from the United States into Mexico. He has been held in prison there ever since. Tahmooressi had been heading to San Diego, California to seek treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD which resulted from his time spent in combat overseas in Afghanistan. He had with him all of his belongings, including three firearms, which triggered the response from Mexican authorities.
Tahmooressi is a recent resident of the South Florida city of Weston; his mother, Jill, still resides there. The congressional representative for Weston is Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Wasserman Schultz is also the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Since Tahmooressi’s arrest, Wasserman Schultz has played a dual game of assisting Tahmooressi, while providing cover for the Mexican government and his captors.
Reports have stated that Wasserman Schultz has been in contact with both the State Department and Vice President Joe Biden regarding the Tahmooressi case. For the head of the Democratic Party and someone who is a phone call away from the President himself, this would seem to be the bare minimum, and it has resulted in no action as Sgt. Tahmooressi continues to languish behind bars in a foreign nation.
On May 28th, Wasserman Schultz took the time to speak with the comedy radio duo, Paul and Young Ron, on Miami, Florida’s Big 105.9. There, she made a few statements that, instead of helping Tahmooressi, made her out to be a shill for the Mexican government and those who have recklessly held him in Mexico for what is now nearly three months.
“The Mexican government has not done anything wrong here, so let’s be clear,” she insistently told the show’s hosts. She then began to speak about how Mexico has laws, which according to Wasserman Schultz, it “appears” he had violated.
Wasserman Schultz has stated that her office is “working diligently with the Mexican Embassy.” She said that she had spoken with the Mexican Ambassador, “who assured me that this is being worked on diligently and that they will do everything they can to expedite the situation.”
When asked if they were treating him well, she replied, “As far as I know, yes they are.”
On May 29th, just one day after the Wasserman Schultz interview, Tahmooressi appeared via phone on Fox News’ On the Record with Greta Van Susteren show. On it, he spoke of the nightmare he went through in Mexico.
He said that his fellow inmates threatened to rape and kill him. He said he was chained to a bed on three separate occasions, including chained standing up, as a form of “punishment.” He told Van Susteren he was punched in the stomach “to the point that I couldn’t breathe.” He said he was struck in his jaw by prison guards so many times his jaw moved out of place.
Wasserman Schultz’s statement that Andrew Tahmooressi was being treated well was either based on complete ignorance of his situation or a way to shield the Mexican government from harm. Considering that she made it a point to say that the Mexican government did nothing wrong – that they should be exempt from criticism – makes one come to the conclusion that it is the latter.
On May 31st, President Barack Obama traded five Taliban commanders for Bowe Bergdahl, an Army troop who had been held captive by the Taliban since June 2009. It was a highly controversial move not only for the violence associated with the terrorist commanders, but for the fact that Bergdahl has been considered by many to be a troop deserter who walked away from his camp.
Sgt. Tahmooressi, on the other hand, has been lauded as a hero for saving at least eight of his fellow troops’ lives in Afghanistan. So while President Obama traded five Taliban leaders for a possible troop deserter, the hero Tahmooressi has been made to suffer behind bars in Mexico with his family’s own government representative doing the least possible to see to his freedom.
Tahmooressi’s mother, Jill, said that never in all his time during four years as a Marine and two tours in Afghanistan was her son treated so badly as he has been in Mexico. But that may only be her opinion, as people like Debbie Wasserman Schultz believe he’s been treated just fine and Mexico did nothing wrong.
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