Bush Pardons 14, Commutes Two Sentences … Border Patrol Agents Remain in Prison

The Associated Press is reporting that President Bush, as it customary in the weeks before a sitting president leaves office, has issued more than a dozen pardons and commuted two prison sentences for people convicted of everything between tax evasion to drug offenses to bank embezzlement. Yet two agents of the United States Border Patrol, put behind bars by an overzealous prosecutor for doing their job, remain in prison.


Pushing 1:00 a.m. now, as much as I want to, I cannot devote any time to this because of a project due for class this evening. Just know that, when I finally turn in and settle into bed next to my wife at about 3:30 a.m., I’ll be doing so with a heavy heart.

These men, Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos, do not deserve to be languishing in solitary confinement, their families forced to deal without them. I certainly hope and pray that President Bush does the right thing before he leaves office, if not before the holidays, and returns these men to their families.

As I do not have time to provide the history and detail as I would like, here’s a piece by CNN’s Lou Dobbs, written in July of 2007:

Time to Free Ramos and Compean
By Lou Dobbs, CNN

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.

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.

Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar Tuesday testified at the hearing that from February 1, 2005 to June 30, 2007, there were 1,982 incidents where Border Patrol agents have been assaulted. These assaults include rock throwing, physical assaults, vehicular assaults as well as shootings. In response, Border Patrol agents have responded with the use of deadly force on 116 occasions, with 144 agents discharging their weapons during these 116 incidents.

Aguilar also testified that 13 assailants died as a result, and 15 incidents ended with the assailants being wounded. Of the 144 agents involved, comprehensive investigations were formally conducted, and not a single agent has been criminally prosecuted for their actions. Then why in the world did Sutton choose to prosecute agents in this case? The senators did not like U.S. Attorney Sutton’s answers.

TJ Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents Ramos and Compean, expressed anger at the sentences Tuesday and said the Border Patrol is suffering as a result: “The ramifications of this case [will be felt] by the Border Patrol,” Bonner said. Bonner added an anecdote about a former Border Patrol recruit who eventually declined joining and said “You have to be crazy to join this outfit, because you eat your own.”

Senator Feinstein and Senator Cornyn announced Tuesday night on our broadcast that they have decided to request that President Bush commute the sentences of Ramos and Compean. The family of Ignacio Ramos watched and listened to the senators make their announcement in our Washington, D.C., bureau, and they were moved to tears.

They weren’t alone.



  1. Anonymous says:

    Bush, Cheney and Gonzo remain free.

  2. PatGund@gmail.com says:

    While I have my doubts Bush would EVER do the right thing. I agree with you on this. Those two should have NEVER been tried or convicted for this.

  3. John Galt says:

    It is time to free Jonathan Pollard.

    About Jonathan Pollard
    On November 21, 2008 Jonathan Pollard entered his 24th year of a life sentence for his activities on behalf of Israel.

    The median sentence for the offense Pollard committed – one count of passing classified information to an ally – is 2 to 4 years. Pollard received his life sentence without a trial, as a result of a plea bargain which he honored and the U.S. government violated.

    For more information, see the Pollard Case Information page


  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s no wonder that we have such a screwed up society. Where the lawless go free and the law abiding go behind bars. why would ANYONE want to do border patrol when it is a no win situation if you actually uphold the law? Those men should have badges of honor for doing their duty, not badges of shame! I would hope that we can vote out attorneys such as Sutton and get back our real America.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Is it clear to everyone now that the tag GOP means nothing? We conservatives have been lulled to sleep while one of “our men” was in the White House trampling the Constitution.

    Where do we go from here? Trust has been broken. We can’t believe anything that comes out of anyone’s mouth anymore. I guess it is true that the CFR runs the nation.

    I was looking for a youtube w/ Dick Cheney yukking it up about his CFR associations, only to find that it had been removed.

    From another site:

    ‘I made a post a few weeks ago about a 1 minute video of Dick Cheney with David Rockefeller here where he said:

    “it’s good to be back at the Council on Foreign Relations [Rockefeller's organization]. As Pete mentioned, I have been a member for a long time, and was actually Director for some period of time. I never mentioned that when I was campaigning for reelection back home in Wyoming — (laughter)”

    Youtube pretends that “this video has been removed due to terms of use violation.”

    The only violation is that this video makes know to the mass public the link between Dick Cheney / Bush and the Rockefeller’s CFR organization. This rather ressembles Information Censorship :D

  6. mcnorman says:

    This judgment was a perversion of justice. The criminal’s medical treatment was paid by the US taxpayer. Personally, I think Sutton should pay out of pocket.
    Sutton is correct in stating that they did not follow protocol. To go after these two so viciously while the criminal gets US treatment at a local hospital is mind blowing.
    Bush should pardon these two PERIOD. Their lives are ruined. UPDATE: The criminal returned to the US and is now behind bars for another crime committed.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Pollard, Libby, Ramos, and Compean should be 1, 2, 3 and 4 on his list.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Here is the Cheney video.


  9. mcnorman says:

    One of these people has Carly Simon to thank for the great lobbying done on his behalf…

    President Bush just cut a break to convicted drug felon/rapper John Forte, allowing the so-called “Fourth Fugee” to get out of jail early — and it seems like he has Carly Simon to thank for it.

    Forte will walk out of Federal prison next month after serving half of the14-year sentence given to him when authorities found 31 pounds of of coke on him at New Jersey’s Newark International Airport in 2000.

  10. Leah says:

    John, you beat me to the punch. I was also going to comment on poor Jonathon Pollard who did NOT pass on terrible secrets to Israel. Time and time again the White House (both Democrats and Republicans) have let him sit and rot.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Pollard was convicted of treason.

    He had a security clearance, he knew what he was doing.

    His loyalty was to Israel first and America last.

    Let that traitor rot.

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