Friday, August 29, 2014

Breaking News: White House responds to Tahmooressi petition

The good news is, the White House, which promises to answer petitions once they reach 100,000, finally responded to this one, now that it's north of 134,000.  The bad news is that, as expected, the president dismissed the request stated in the petition - specifically, that he demand the release of our Marine.

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi is the U.S. Marine who's now in his 152nd day of captivity in a Mexican jail. He was arrested after taking a wrong turn at the border.  The man had his entire life's possessions with him because he was moving cross country.  Among those were three guns, which are illegal in Mexico.  So far the U.S. government has been content to let him languish in jail on a matter that should have taken no more than 15 minutes to resolve.

Below is the White House response, presented verbatim and sent to me by email this afternoon as a petition signer.  The bottom line is summarized in this dismissive statement from the White House:  "We continue to urge the Mexican authorities to process this case expeditiously."  This is of very cold comfort given that the "process" is to hold those charged with gun possession accountable even if the "violation" is completely unintentional and accidental.

This is flatly not good enough.  Americans must continue to demand the return of our Marine, along with better treatment for any and all U.S. citizens who become ensnared in a similar fashion.

Very disappointing.  But totally expected.  Boycott Mexico!  See this link for more info.

The full text of the White House response follows.

Response to We the People Petition on Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi

Thank you for your We the People petition.

The U.S. State Department continues to provide extensive consular assistance to Mr. Tahmooressi, and will do so until his case is resolved. As in all cases when a U.S. citizen is arrested overseas, our goal is to see that Mr. Tahmooressi is treated fairly during the judicial process with the hope that he can receive the support, both emotional and medical, that he may require now and at the conclusion of the proceedings.

Mexico is one of the United States’ most important partners. We have close economic and cultural ties, and we work closely with them on numerous sensitive issues. While we will not go into detail about our private diplomatic discussions on this case, U.S. officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, have spoken to Mexican officials at the highest levels regarding Mr. Tahmooressi’s case.

Mexican authorities have been very willing to engage on this issue. They have provided prompt and continued consular access and visitations. As a result, the State Department has been able to provide regular updates on Mr. Tahmooressi’s condition to his family, Members of Congress, and the press.

We respect the rule of law and expect the judicial process of sovereign nations to protect other U.S. citizens who might find themselves in similar circumstances in the future. We will continue to monitor the case and work with the Mexican authorities as this case proceeds through the Mexican judicial system. We continue to urge the Mexican authorities to process this case expeditiously.


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