July 22, 2007

Dobbs: Time to free Ramos and Compean

Posted by D.A. King at 7:20 pm - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

Dobbs: Time to free Ramos and Compean

By Lou Dobbs

Lou Dobbs’ commentary appears weekly on CNN.com.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — There was an unusual spectacle in the nation’s capital Tuesday, downright rare, in fact: U.S. Senators seeking truth, and justice, and taking action. And they deserve great credit and thanks.

Lou Dobbs says two convicted border patrol agents should be released from prison immediately.

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, led by Dianne Feinstein, focused on the reasons for the prosecution of two Border Patrol agents now serving long sentences in federal prison. Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were given terms of 11 and 12 years respectively on their convictions for shooting an illegal alien drug smuggler.

Senator Feinstein, and Senators Jeff Sessions, John Cornyn, Jon Kyl and Tom Coburn demanded answers of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, who chose to prosecute Compean and Ramos and give that illegal alien drug smuggler blanket immunity to testify against the men.

Sutton’s decision to prosecute the agents, to file attempted murder charges against them and seek harsh mandatory prison sentences was simply an outrage. Senators Feinstein, Sessions and Cornyn took Sutton to task over what they clearly see now as a blatant abuse of prosecutorial power and strongly questioned the decision to give immunity to a known illegal alien drug smuggler. Sutton’s office gave the smuggler immunity in order to prosecute the two agents who had pursued him in a high-speed chase, which ultimately resulted in the wounding of the drug dealer who had ditched his van, loaded with hundreds of pounds of drugs, and ran from the agents.

I have maintained throughout that the prosecution of these two agents was unwarranted, that sufficient facts were in dispute that the case should never have been brought to trial. The two Border Patrol agents received excessive sentences by any reasonable standard of justice. But reason did not prevail, and the Senate Judiciary Committee has begun the process of righting this wrong.

The agents were serving their nation in a war zone along our southern border. The fact is Mexico remains the primary corridor for drugs entering the United States. Mexico is the principal source of heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines into this country. Between 70 and 90 percent of cocaine entering the United States from South America passed through mainland Mexico or its waters. Heroin brought in from Mexico accounts for about 30 percent of the U.S. market, despite Mexico’s relatively small percentage of worldwide production. Mexican traffickers continued to dominate drug distribution in the United States, controlling most of the primary distribution centers. Our border with Mexico is the main battlefield in the war against drugs, and the federal government has treated Ramos and Compean with contempt rather than gratitude for their service on the front lines of that war.