Conservatives Demand Pardon For Lawless Border Agents

Right wing chatterers, outraged as always, are calling upon the president to pardon Border Patrol agents who shot an unarmed Mexican in Texas. The agents, having been tried and convicted, would seem unlikely candidates to become a conservative cause celebre, but advocates of a more lethal approach to border security stand in strong support of their rogue tactics. In their simple world, law enforcement officers are always heroic, and suspected drug dealers from Mexico inevitably deserve to be shot. They have no interest in the actual evidence.

Johnny Sutton, the United States attorney who oversaw prosecution of the case, dismissed the idea that the two men were simply doing their jobs or defending themselves. During their trial, the agents said they had scuffled with the suspected drug dealer, who they believed had a gun, before firing at him. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” Mr. Sutton said in a statement last week, noting that the two men did not report the shooting to their superiors.

“These agents shot someone who they knew to be unarmed and running away,” Mr. Sutton said. “They destroyed evidence, covered up a crime scene and then filed false reports about what happened. It is shocking that there are people who believe it is O.K. for agents to shoot an unarmed suspect who is running away.”

Since when did conservatives lose their abiding faith in guilty verdicts?

As you might expect, the president responded to calls for a pardon with a stream of babble.

In an interview with KFOX-TV in El Paso, Mr. Bush was asked on Thursday whether he would consider a pardon for the two former agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, who began serving their federal prison sentences of 11 years and 12 years respectively this week.

“There are standards that need to be met in law enforcement, and according to a jury of their peers, these officers violated some standards,” Mr. Bush said. “On this case, people need to take a hard look at the facts, at the evidence that the jury looked at, as well as a judge. And that’s — I will do the same thing.”

“Now, there’s a process for pardons,” he continued. “I mean, it’s got to work its way through a system here in government. But I just want people to take a sober look at the reality. It’s a case, as you said, it’s got a lot of emotions.”

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  • Display: Sort:
    Why are you so upset? (none / 0) (#1)
    by soccerdad on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 03:16:48 PM EST
    all they did was shoot a brown guy /sarcasm

    Yep (none / 0) (#5)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 06:08:38 PM EST

    And it was some brown guys who did the shooting.

    Wow! (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 06:35:23 PM EST
    Is that why they didn't get away with it?

    Good point.


    missing the point (none / 0) (#11)
    by soccerdad on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 07:39:57 PM EST
    wht are theconservative bloggers up in arms'

    Up with the Bush administration! (none / 0) (#2)
    by LonewackoDotCom on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 04:33:33 PM EST
    The brief NYT story doesn't tell all the facts of the matter, and pretty much everyone who reads his post will have already discounted TChris' retelling.

    For instance, most people realize that they did some things wrong. Many people think the sentences are too long for what they did. And, many people question the Bush administration's efforts in this case, such as their tireless prosecution and offering amnesty to a drug dealer. The dealer also has a personal link to another BP agent. And, some jurors say they weren't informed of the sentencing guidelines.

    So, for those who are familiar with border issues - and the Bush administration's general opposition to border controls - there are questions aplenty. See - just as a start to try to write a better post - some of the comments here. And, of course, there are several sites that have much more information on the case. Perhaps they should be researched before writing any more posts about this.

    Corrupt El Paso ICE? (none / 0) (#13)
    by PurplePeopleEater on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 08:18:29 AM EST
    El Paso's ICE seems to have had problem's with keeping their agents and operations on the right side of the law for more than this one case,  and I wouldn't be surprised at all if the case of these two agents is somehow intertwined with this story - "ICE Responsible for Mexican Death House",from the UK paper, the 'Guardian'.   (observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,, 1962643,00.html)

    Naturally, this part of the story has been overlooked by Lou Dobbs, etc., but there's more here than meets the eye.


    lone, what facts are missing? (none / 0) (#3)
    by cpinva on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 05:21:37 PM EST
    they shot a guy running away from them. they failed to report the incident. they lied about said incident. no one's suggesting the guy running away was some innocent bystander, but these two agents violated their own agency's policies.

    whether you like it or not, professional law enforcement is held to a higher standard than your average joe, and should be. yeah, the job's tough, so what? they are supposed to be the professionals, it's what they're trained for.

    frankly, given just an outline of the facts, when the incident first was publicized, my initial reaction was that these two were corrupt, explaining why they failed to follow proper procedures. i'm not wholly convinced at this point that they weren't, just that they haven't been caught yet.

    so what brilliant insight are we missing?

    Argument from ignorance (none / 0) (#7)
    by LonewackoDotCom on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 07:13:48 PM EST
    In order to avoid being "convicted" of this,  you might want to do your own research. I'm not an expert on the case, but I know enough to know that the NYT didn't discuss all the facts of the matter and TChris not only didn't do that, he misstated the positions of those opposing the convictions. You can start at the link I provided, plus as I stated there are several sites covering this issue. Try WashTimes.com, WorldNetDaily.com, and google.com

    I looked at your link, LW (none / 0) (#8)
    by aw on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 07:17:55 PM EST
    and the comments are certainly running at least even with TChris's, and perhaps even in favor.

    Missing Facts (none / 0) (#15)
    by PurplePeopleEater on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 09:24:36 AM EST
    For insight into some of the issues involving the prosecutor, the El Paso ICE unit, and his prosecution of their cover-up and participation in the Mexican 'House of Death', go to the Guardian's "ICE Responsible for Mexican House of Death" at  observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,, 1962643,00.html , or the series of articles at the only US outlet that has touched the story - www.narconews.com/houseofdeath

    It is a twisted tale of "best intentions" mixing with mass murderers and ending with the worst result


    My mother loves Lou Dobbs. (none / 0) (#4)
    by aw on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 05:39:09 PM EST
    He seems to have hooked her with his war-on-the-middle class coverage and so seems to believe him on every other subject, including this one.  I have to watch with her sometimes, and he is like a dog with a bone on this.  And because she was a legal immigrant (a citizen since the 1950's) who had to jump through all the hoops, she hangs on his every word.  She's applauding right-wing congressmen on this even though she would abhor their politics otherwise.

    Sounds like my immigrant mom but (none / 0) (#9)
    by bx58 on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 07:26:40 PM EST
    these guys got hammered. It's an excessive prosecution and sentence. Is this DA running for office too?

    I would suggest (none / 0) (#10)
    by aw on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 07:31:08 PM EST
    you look at LW's link. I haven't yet figured where he stands but the US attorney's factsheet is also linked there.  I find it compelling.

    again lone, what "facts" were missing, (none / 0) (#12)
    by cpinva on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 12:41:35 AM EST
    or misstated, by the prosecution? since you've failed to deliver any, i'll assume the facts, as stated, are correct. the only issue is, did these guys receive a fair sentence?

    same thing bx58. why did they get "hammered"? why is it an "excessive prosecution and sentence"?

    facts gentlemen, give me facts please, not merely opinion.

    The Loser of Fact (none / 0) (#18)
    by LonewackoDotCom on Tue Jan 23, 2007 at 01:41:44 PM EST
    You, sir, are guilty of "Appeal to Ignorance". As stated, I am not an expert on the case. Saying that because I can't provide evidence of innocence and therefore they must be guilty is a logical fallacy.

    I have scanned several articles presenting the other side of the case. What I suggest is you review all of the other arguments and then - if you want to continue to support the Bush admin's view of the case - rebut those exculpatory arguments.

    For instance, you could try to answer whether the drug dealer was really shot as he was running away with his back to the BP agents. Or, you could look into the sealed evidence in a second case involving DEA agents.

    Do that, then report back.


    I fear.... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 08:31:20 AM EST
    the message a pardon would send to other border agents...a message that it's ok to shoot people in the back.

    I'm sure there are plenty of convicts more worthy of a pardon...convicts who never shot anybody, especially an unarmed man in the back.

    Pardon me boy... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jim Strain on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 10:55:52 AM EST
    If Nixon could pardon William Calley of My Lai infamy in the face of conservative outrage, why would anyone think that Bush will stand up for the criminal justice system in this case?

    I've commented (none / 0) (#17)
    by Patrick on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 11:44:41 AM EST
    a coupl eof time on the threads over here, but I don't know the particular political leanings of the commenters who support the pardons.  Needless to say there is no consensus (at that site anyway) that a pardon is appropriate for these two.  In fact I'd day the common theme is the case illustrates serious issues with repect to BP policies on chasing people, and reporting.  

    As for the two convicted officers, at first blush, it looks like their lawyers are trying to polish a turd.  Once they covered up the shooting, anything they say or do after the fact to try and justify it sounds like a lame excuse to me.