From the famous "latte salute" to the Marine holding the presidential umbrella, President Obama's respect for our men in uniform has been open to question. Unless, of course, they desert their post in Afghanistan to try to join the Taliban, like Bowe Bergdahl. Then you have the parents to the White House and trade the Taliban general staff to obtain their release. After all, we leave no one behind.
Except, maybe, for Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi.
Jill Tahmooressi, Andrew's mother, has never been invited to stand by the president on the White House lawn. Nor has she ever received a phone call from President Obama, as she testified Wednesday before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee. Presidential calls of support are reserved for basketball players like Jason Collins, whom Obama called to say "he was impressed by his courage," according to a White House spokesperson, for announcing that he was gay.
For our part, we are impressed by the courage of Sgt. Tahmooressi, who served two tours of duty fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, and his mother. Her son fought the enemy instead of trying to join them. And for making a wrong turn into Mexico while carrying legal American firearms in his trunk as he journeyed to San Diego for treatment of his PTSD, he now sits in a Mexican jail ignored by the country he risked his life for.
When asked why Obama hadn't picked up his phone or pen to call or write the president of Mexico about Tahmooressi, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that the matter was being handled through State Department channels.
The administration seems in agreement with what Mexico's consul general in San Francisco recently told Breitbart News: "We have to respect the judicial system in Mexico as in the States. We have to respect what the judge will actually do."
We beg to differ, as does California State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who told Breitbart, "When the Mexican military crosses the border with fully automatic assault weapons, we don't arrest them even though they are in violation of California law. We give them GPSes and send them back where they came from."
Is Sgt. Tahmooressi being made an example and being punished by the Mexican government in retaliation for Operation Fast and Furious, the Obama administration's gun-walking program that resulted in thousands of weapons winding up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels? Those weapons have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Mexican nationals as well as Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ICE Agent Jaime Zapata.
Sgt. Tahmooressi was not walking guns into Mexico, and the Mexican government surely must know it. So why the unwarranted incarceration for a traumatized American combat veteran who should be in a U.S. hospital getting treatment rather than in a Mexican jail getting ignored by his commander-in-chief?
Also testifying at Wednesday's hearing was former TV talk show host and 22-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Montel Williams. He has fought valiantly against the mistreatment of veterans in the VA scandal and considers Tahmooressi's mistreatment as another example of veteran neglect.
There are indications that Tahmooressi may soon be released in the face of mounting pressure on humanitarian grounds. But the Obama administration barely lifted a finger to make it happen.
"To me, this is an abomination," Williams testified regarding the administration's tepid response to Tahmooressi's imprisonment. "He didn't hesitate to say, 'Aye, aye, sir,' to go off and serve. How dare we! How dare we, as a nation, hesitate to get that young man back?"
How dare we indeed.
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