Saturday, November 22, 2008

WHO WOULD JESUS SEND CHRISTMAS CARDS TO?

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Then the King will say to those on His right hand, “Come you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”

Then the righteous will answer Him saying, “Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?”

And the King will answer and say to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”


I was meditating one day when the words of Jesus from that passage in Matthew 25 suddenly came into my mind and it inspired me to work for two years as a volunteer correspondent for a spiritual organization’s Prison Outreach Program. [By the way, click here to see the best letter I ever received from a prison inmate while I was working in that capacity: A Christmas Letter From “Fred”]

Over a year ago, I wrote letters to that “evildoer” currently tainting the White House, wrecking America, and riding our country to destruction like Slim Pickens on an atomic bomb – you know who I mean: that Brainless Scarecrow, George
W(ish I had a brain) Bush. I requested that the Scarecrow commute the prison sentences of the unjustly prosecuted border patrol agents Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos. No reply.

Look, anytime you find Extreme Left-Wing Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein in agreement with Republican Senators Sessions and Cornyn, and also with Christian pastor Don Swarthout, Lou Dobbs, and The John Birch Society, then you have to KNOW that something is REALLY wrong with this picture! You’ve got to KNOW that an outrageous travesty of justice has occurred. Oh, yes indeed, when Dianne Feinstein and Stephen T. McCarthy are harmonizing on the chorus of “Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” then somebody REALLY done somebody wrong!

Who done what to whom? The Bush administration dogged border patrol agents Compean and Ramos in order to make an example of them and to cunningly discourage other border patrol agents from taking too seriously the job which they were hired to perform. “Why?” you ask? Well, several reasons. For one thing, business owners love the cheap labor that illegal aliens provide; they boost the businessman’s or businesswoman’s profit margin. But more importantly for the Bush administration is the goal of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). If you don’t know what I’m talking about, and if you’ve never heard of the NAFTA Superhighway, then it’s pretty much a given that you voted for either Obama or McCain this year.

The idea, you see, is to create a North American Union, similar to the European Union. In order to do so, it is important that The Elite (of which Scarecrow George is just one member, although perhaps the dumbest) need to dilute our traditional cultural values and our belief in national sovereignty; they want us to think of ourselves not so much as an independent country, but as part of a global region. Allowing the United States to be overrun by illegal aliens from south of the border transgresses not just our physical barriers, but also breaks down our mental barriers and gradually alters our cultural values year after year. It changes the way we collectively perceive ourselves. The diversity undermines unity.

Anyone who thinks this is wacky conspiracy talk needs to find a solid, rational answer to this question:

If we are truly at war against Terrorism, and if we are truly susceptible to terrorist attacks, why has the Southern border still not been secured? Why was a man in 2006 – five years AFTER the 9/11 attacks! – able to successfully ride an elephant across the border into the United States, accompanied by two other elephants and a six-piece mariachi band? Hmmm? Why are there STILL spaces in our Southern border wider than the gap between Michael Strahan’s two front teeth which any illegal emigrant, or Islamic radical armed with a bomb and a plan to contaminate a city’s water supply, could stroll across any ol’ day he chooses to? Riddle me that!

The answer is that because our government’s surveillance and terrorism counterintelligence is so effective, only those folks the administration allows to cross into the U.S. will be able to do so… and the administration not only allows, but WANTS, illegal emigrants to continue to swamp our nation! If we are ever again attacked by Islamic terrorists (and we probably will be) it will be as a result of permission granted by The Elite, whether granted officially but on the q.t., or granted by simply looking the other way. If the terrorists REALLY represented the threat to us that our government wants us to believe they do, then you can be certain that George W(ish I had a brain) Bush and the rest of his crafty cronies would have securely sealed the Mexican/American border on September 12, 2001.

The following article appears in the current issue of The New American magazine, and I am urging everyone within the sound of my voice or within view of my words to send a Christmas card to Jose and to Ignacio. Let’s let them know that they have not been forgotten this Christmas and that some of us out here are aware of what that phony “Christian,” straw-headed Scarecrow president has permitted his evildoing administration to do to them.

BORDER PATROL AGENTS STILL IN PRISON
By Alex Newman
November, 2008

Unjustly imprisoned Border Patrol agents Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos lost their final appeal for a new trial in July. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed only an obstruction of justice count against the men, leaving their 11- and 12-year sentences unchanged.

The agents were charged with a variety of crimes related to an incident at the border with a convicted drug-smuggler who they thought was going to shoot them. The illegal alien, who was smuggling over 700 pounds of marijuana at the time of the incident, was given immunity and a visa so he could testify against the agents, though the jury was barred from learning a lot of this crucial information in what critics are calling a "miscarriage of justice."


"Before we heard about the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, we had a glimmer of hope that Nacho [Ignacio] would be reunited with our family," wrote Monica Ramos in a letter to supporters. "You can only imagine how hard it was for my husband to hear the news from me. He immediately started to cry." Spokesman Ron De Jong of the conservative organization Grassfire said that Patty Compean is concerned that her husband might not ever get to know his children. "He's missed first steps, a first dance — these kinds of things," De Jong said. "So we're trying to keep these guys in the spotlight, even though the major media has obviously moved on."


Their only hope for early release now is either a presidential pardon or the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has still not agreed to hear the case.

But activists and supporters have not given up hope. In fact, Riders Against Illegal Aliens cosponsored a benefit and awareness ride in Arizona on October 4 to help raise money for the families of Ramos and Compean. Many supporters of the Border Patrol agents were in attendance, including T.J. Bonner, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, who said, "Bush pretends there's a procedure that needs to be gone through [to release the officers], that's not true. He proved that with Scooter Libby. All he has to do is pick up a pen and commute their sentences." Representative Russell Pearce was also present, saying, "I will not rest until there is justice for these two men."

Ramos, who is being held at a federal detention facility in Phoenix, Arizona, and Compean, who is jailed in Ohio, are reportedly being held in solitary confinement for their own protection, with Ramos' wife saying that they were stuck in their cells 23 hours a day and only given the opportunity to shower three times per week. Ramos has been beaten severely while in prison. But despite the hardships, Ramos said in a letter that his faith is still strong and that the thousands of letters from supporters were lifting his spirits. A petition to President Bush for the pardon and release of the agents now has over 400,000 signatures.

Prosecutor John Sutton continues to defend the prosecution of the officers despite coming under fire from across the spectrum. Legislators and supporters of the agents also claim that the charge of discharging a firearm during the commission of a crime, which carries a 10-year mandatory minimum, was never meant to apply to law-enforcement officers when in self-defense they fire at a suspect who they believe is pointing a gun at them. As of now it looks like they will be forced to serve their entire sentences.

To let them know that they are not forgotten, send letters to:

Ignacio Ramos #58079-180
FCI Phoenix
Federal Correctional Institution
37910 N. 45th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85086


Jose Compean #58080-180
FCI Elkton
PO Box 10
Lisbon, OH 44432


* For more information about this case, see our Feb. 19, 2007 cover story "Punished for Doing Their Job."


Please, my brothers and sisters, don’t forget Jose and Ignacio this Christmas!

I am including other articles and links below for those who wish to investigate this issue further.

Bless And Be Blessed!

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


BORDER AGENT’S FAMILY WAITS, WORRIES
By Sara A. Carter / 2006

EL PASO, Texas -- Virginia Orwig stood in the kitchen, preparing homemade apple and cherry pies. With each turn of the crust, tears fell from her eyes.

Cooking is her therapy.

She was baking for her son, Border Patrol Agent Ignacio "Nacho" Ramos, and his family. It might be more than 10 years, even as many as 20, before she bakes for him again, and before the family reunites.

Ramos and his co-worker, Jose Alonso Compean, are to be sentenced Thursday for the nonfatal shooting of a Mexican national, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, who allegedly was trying to smuggle nearly $1 million in marijuana into the United States on Feb. 17, 2005, when he was shot.

For more than 20 months, the families of the two El Paso Border Patrol agents have been struggling to cope with what they believe was an unjust prosecution and conviction. Both men have proclaimed their innocence.

Ramos' family is numb. At Orwig's home Tuesday, their faces were somber from worry and lack of sleep.

Orwig shuffled through stacks of letters she had written to local, state and federal leaders, pleading for her son's life. Many yielded only canned responses. She also made more than 50 phone calls to her local congressman, Sylvester Reyes, R-El Paso, and never got a return call.

Photos of better times hang from the walls of the home, almost mocking the family with memories of times when life was simpler and sweeter.

Orwig smiled at pictures of Nacho when he was in elementary school. Then she shook her head in disbelief, and held her husband Wes -- Ignacio's stepfather -- close.

Just then, Ramos' three children came through the front door, their voices carrying from the downstairs to the upstairs kitchen.

"My biggest concern is for the children," said Orwig of her grandsons -- 6, 9 and 13 -- as she continued to bake pies. The house was filling up with family.

"What is left of their childhood?" Orwig cried. "Can you imagine what my son must feel, knowing that he will not be around them to watch them grow up, to share their lives together?

"What has happened to us is more than an injustice. It is a nightmare."

Just then, Ignacio Ramos walked through his mother's front door. He walked up to the kitchen, saw his mother baking pies, and hugged her.

"It will be OK," he said.

His wife, Monica Ramos, came in shortly after.

It was Tuesday. Only two days left before the sentencing. For everyone close to Ignacio, it was as though death was waiting around the corner.

The kitchen fell quiet.

'WE'RE STILL HERE'

Ignacio Ramos relived the day when he went to help his co-worker, Compean, pursue a vehicle that had tripped Border Patrol sensors near the Rio Grande in Fabens, Texas, just 40 miles southwest of El Paso.

Ramos doesn't second-guess himself about leaving his lunch behind to help Compean when the call came through on his radio. Ramos said he had no choice but to protect his partner and himself from Aldrete-Davila, who had what Ramos believed to be a weapon in his hand after ditching the van filled with marijuana.

During the ensuing foot pursuit, as the smuggler reached the Rio Grande, Ramos said Aldrete-Davila turned and pointed what Ramos believed to be a weapon at him. Ramos fired one shot. He hit Aldrete-Davila in the buttocks, but the smuggler made his way back into Mexico and fled in a van on the other side.

"No matter how hard this has been, no matter what anybody has said or thought, we are still here," said Ramos, looking at his wife. "Nobody's thoughts or ideas about that day have torn us apart as a family. Nobody will ever break us -- we're still here."

Ramos remembers seeing Compean on the ground after a scuffle with the smuggler. He didn't know if Compean was injured. Ramos' first thought when the smuggler turned to him was of his wife and three young sons. He shot at the smuggler to save his life and his partner's, he said.

What he couldn't have known is how that day would change the rest of his life, and his family's. And what he doesn't understand is why the Texas U.S. Attorney's office was so adamant about prosecuting him, and why the U.S. government went to such lengths to grant immunity to a drug smuggler to testify against him.

In the past few weeks, Ramos has not slept more than a few hours every night. The lack of sleep is evident on his face, where heavy lines are visible.

His heart is breaking, he said.

He can't look at his children without feeling a flood of tears well in his eyes. His voice becomes choked.

"I know I'm going to have to talk to them soon," he said. "The boys know what's going on, but I don't have it in my heart to look at them and tell them. I have to tell them that now they'll only have each other."

For Monica Ramos, the emptiness has been almost unbearable. Her love for her husband is evident in the way she looks into his eyes and touches his hand.

For months, they haven't even had an hour alone, she said. The children have become so dependent on them that even staying at their grandparents' for the night has ended. Their 9-year-old -- whose name and the names of his brothers is being withheld to protect their identities -- broke down in tears after football practice last week and asked his mother: "Are they really going to take Daddy away? I don't want Daddy going to prison."

"Our son is withdrawing," Monica Ramos said. "He's becoming very quiet. We try to stay as positive as we can around them. But they know that time is drawing near. Nobody can understand the pain we are feeling as a family."

Monica now is the sole provider for her family. They have almost lost their home on several occasions, they no longer have medical insurance, and most of the money raised for them will go to attorneys when they appeal the case on Thursday.

Their families have helped keep them afloat. Joe and Ernestina Loya have taken loans against their home and stopped plans for retirement to provide for their daughter and grandchildren. Ramos' mother quit her job at Raytheon Corp. to help her son with the children. Times have never been tighter for the families.

"This is almost worse than a family death," said Ernestina Loya as she stood next to Orwig in the kitchen. "In death there is closure. This is more like torture, to take innocent men and condemn them for doing their jobs."

Threats from associates of Aldrete-Davila have left the Ramoses fearful for their children's safety. The El Paso Sheriff's Department has had deputies monitoring the Ramos home since the threats came by e-mail and phone.

'IT DOESN'T SEEM REAL'

The wind howled Tuesday afternoon, its force almost frightening, the feeling of winter hanging in the air.

Ramos can barely stand to think of the upcoming holidays. He's already told his wife what he would like to give the children if they can manage to scrape up the money, he said.

"I didn't want them to wake up Christmas morning without anything personal from me," he said. "It doesn't seem real. Everything feels like it's slipping from my hands."

His closest cousin, Peter Valdez of Austin, drove to El Paso this week to be with Ramos. Valdez said his biggest concern is for Ramos himself.

"I really feel that the government has made him a scapegoat for a dysfunctional system," Valdez said. "They have ruined his life.

"But my concern is mainly for Nacho right now. ... I fear for my cousin's safety if he goes to prison. I fear for his safety even if he doesn't go. He is dealing with very powerful criminal forces -- and how will his life ever go back to being what it was?"

Ignacio and Monica understand this as well. They have already written their wills, fixed power of attorney papers and spent months transferring documents into Monica's name.

And although what has happened to them doesn't seem real, their love for each other is unquestionable.

In Orwig's kitchen, they looked into each other's eyes, not saying a word. Their eyes did not move. Each was transfixed, as though appreciating a special gift.

Then Ignacio, Monica's hand in his, smiled.

"I was never willing to sign my life away for anything," he said. "There is nothing they can do to tear this family apart. We have not given up, and we will never give up.

"My children and my wife will always know in their hearts that I did the right thing."


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SENTENCING LOOMS FOR AGENTS, JURORS SAY THEY WERE MISLED
By Louie Gilot of El Paso Times / 2006

Three members of the jury that convicted two former El Paso Border Patrol agents of shooting a drug smuggler in the buttocks last year said they were misled into finding them guilty, according to a motion filed late Tuesday, two days before the agents are to be sentenced.Mary Stillinger, the lawyer for one of the agents, Ignacio Ramos, thought the jurors’ statements should be grounds for setting the verdict aside and ordering a new trial for Ramos and fellow agent Jose Alonso Compean.

The men are scheduled to be sentenced Thursday and face a 10-year mandatory sentence.

It was not known Tuesday night whether U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone would consider the motion for a new trial before the sentencing. Officials of the U.S. attorney’s office said they had not reviewed the new motion and could not comment on it.The three jurors, identified in court documents as Robert Gourley, Claudia Torres and Edine Woods, said they voted not guilty almost to the end of two days of deliberations.

“I did not think the defendants were guilty of the assaults and civil rights violations,” Woods wrote in a sworn affidavit.Compean and Ramos were found guilty of assault with serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, discharge of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, a civil-rights charge and obstruction of justice in the Feb. 17, 2005, shooting of Osvaldo Aldrete Davila near Fabens.

Stillinger said she saw some jurors crying after the guilty verdict and later got in touch with them.

Gourley, a Northeast special- education teacher, and Torres said in affidavits that the foreman of the jury told them that Judge Cardone would not accept a hung jury. And Woods said an affidavit that she heard the same statement but could not remember which juror said it.

“Essentially … they conceded their votes, believing that they did not have the option to stick to their guns and prevent a unanimous verdict,” Stillinger wrote in the motion.

Gourley said that he thought the foreman was relating something he heard directly from the judge, and when he found no mention on hung juries in the court’s printed instructions, “I had no reason to doubt the foreman,” he said in the affidavit.

After the trial, Gourley told reporters that he felt pressured by other jurors who wanted to resume their normal lives after more than two weeks of trial. He also said he thought 10 years in prison was a grossly inappropriate punishment for the agents.

“Had we had the option of a hung jury, I truly believe the outcome may have been different,” he said in the affidavit.

Flores said in her affidavit that she believed the foreman because, “he was very experienced in serving on juries. I felt like he knew something about the judge that we did not know. I did not think that Mr. Ramos or Mr. Compean was guilty of the assaults and civil rights violations.”

The third juror, Woods, wrote in an affidavit, “I don’t remember exactly what it was that made me change my vote to guilty on these charges, but I know I was very influenced by my belief, based on the other juror’s statement, that we could not have a hung jury. I think I might not have changed my vote to guilty if I had known that was an option.”


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DEMORALIZING THE BORDER PATROL
By William F. Jasper for The New American Magazine; Oct. 15, 2007

On October 19, 2006, Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were sentenced to prison terms of 11 and 12 years, respectively. Their alleged crime? They wounded a Mexican drug smuggler who was fleeing back into Mexico following a hot pursuit and a scuffle with agent Compean. According to the agents, the smuggler, Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, turned and pointed at them as though intending to shoot. The agents were not aware that any of their shots had struck Aldrete-Davila, as he made it back across the border and was picked up by his drug-cartel associates, apparently unhurt.

That might have been the last of the episode – EXCEPT that the Mexican government learned of the shooting and demanded that the U.S. government punish agents Ramos and Compean for doing their jobs. That was not shocking, in light of Mexico’s increasingly bellicose interference in our border and immigration policies. What WAS shocking was the incredible lengths to which the U.S. government went to accommodate Mexico’s outrageous demands. U.S. prosecutors gave the drug smuggler full immunity and made him their star witness, even though he subsequently was apprehended in ANOTHER drug-smuggling operation while enjoying immunity from prosecution. The prosecutors withheld that and other important information from jurors and the defense team, while conducting an ongoing defamation campaign against the agents, lying to Congress, and stonewalling congressional requests for information about the troubling case.

The same U.S. prosecutors engaged in similar misconduct when they prosecuted Texas Sheriff’s Deputy Gilmer Hernandez for wounding an illegal alien in an incident in which a smuggler was trying to run him down with a vehicle. Documents released earlier this year show that the United States initiated the prosecution of Hernandez at the behest of Mexico. “Mexico wants to intimidate our law enforcement into leaving our border unprotected, and we now have confirmation of it in writing,” said Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas), noting it is “outrageous… that our government is prosecuting U.S. law enforcement officials at the request of the Mexican government.” He says there is reason to believe the Mexican government also prompted the Ramos-Compean prosecution, but the Bush administration refuses to release requested documents. T.J. Bonner, national president of the Border Patrol agents’ union, said the case shows that “the administration is trying to intimidate front-line agents from doing their job … with trumped-up criminal charges.”

Tragically, the case has had a chilling effect on our Border Patrol agents, and it is one more indication that the administration is just giving lip service to securing our borders while pursuing an open-borders policy.”

Links:

Lou Dobbs: TIME TO FREE RAMOS AND COMPEAN / 2007

ETHICS COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST U.S. ATTORNEY IN RAMOS-COMPEAN CASE / June, 2008
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BUSH PARDONS 14 AND COMMUTES 2 PRISON SENTENCES (No Mention Of Ramos And Compean)
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3 comments:

  1. What happened to those men is disgusting.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What happened to those men is disgusting.

    ReplyDelete
  3. :o)
    YOU SAID IT, BR'ER!... twice.
    It was double disgusting!

    ~ STMcC
    <"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
    so a fool repeats his folly."
    ~ Proverbs 26:11>

    ReplyDelete

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