Right-wingers have been campaigning for months to free Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi, a former U.S. Marine with PTSD who was caught by Mexican officials with several loaded weapons in his truck. As the San Diego Union-Tribune reports, he's now free:
A Mexican federal district judge in Tijuana on Friday ordered the immediate release of a U.S. Marine veteran being held in Baja California on federal weapons charges.Your uncle who binge-watches Fox knows all about Sergeant Tahmooressi (Greta Van Susteren's Gretawire page at FoxNewsInsider.com has 130 separate items about the case). What your uncle believes is probably this, from FreeTahmooressi.com:
Andrew Tahmooressi, who was on trial for crossing the border with ammunition and three loaded weapons on March 31, returned to the United States Friday night and flew to his family's home in Florida.
Andrew was in San Diego receiving treatment for a recently diagnosed PTSD condition when he made a wrong turn and ended up at the Mexican border. He informed the border patrol agents he did not want to enter Mexico and that he had all his belongings with him including three personal firearms that are legally registered to him. Andrew placed a 911 call to seek help, but they informed him that if he already crossed into Mexico, they could not help him, and he was subsequently arrested on weapons charges and held in Tijuana's La Mesa Penitentiary.And yet President Obama -- that traitor! the treasonous America-hater who made a deal to free Bowe Bergdahl, a deserter! the evil man who lets all kinds of illegals cross the border! ("Does it seem like a decorated Marine is the only one Obama doesn't want crossing our border?" -- Sarah Palin) -- apparently wouldn't lift a finger to free this brave Marine who was imprisoned all because of a series of unfortunate accidents!
Except that, as the Union-Tribune notes, the story Fox viewers believe might not be exactly right:
Zeta, the Tijuana newsweekly, was the first to report that on the day of his arrest, Tahmooressi had walked into Mexico from San Ysidro, and rented a room at the Hotel Nelson near the border, paying 309 pesos -- about $24. He did not stay overnight, instead walking back across to San Ysidro, retrieving his truck at a parking lot -- and driving into Mexico.(Van Susteren has acknowledged that he walked into Mexico.)
After initially claiming that he never before had visited Mexico, he later admitted to having crossed four times before his detention, telling CNN’s Chris Cuomo that "I went with my friends a couple of times to Mexico just to hang out."Oh, and although supporters such as Van Susteren say that the weapons in his truck were "legal in the USA, but not legal in Mexico," the U-T reminds us that having them loaded wasn't legal on our side of the border:
Tahmooressi's mother, Jill, said that the lawyer initially hired by the family coached her son to lie; the attorney declined to comment while the case was ongoing.
As proof that he crossed by mistake, supporters point to Tahmooressi's 911 call from the border, telling an operator that he had not intended to cross the border.
Others point to inconsistencies in his account. Tahmooressi said in an interview with U-T San Diego that he tried to stop his vehicle before going through the customs gates at the port of entry, but a woman standing by the gates waved him through. Yet a Mexican customs surveillance video viewed by U-T San Diego shows him driving straight through.
... Mexican customs inspectors examined his pickup truck and found more 400 rounds of ammunition and three loaded firearms: a .45-caliber pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun and a 5.56 mm assault rifle.I'm not saying the guy should have rotted in a Mexican jail. I doubt he had criminal intent. This is how we roll in America. But if you step back from the heartland America way of looking at this -- i.e., that it's perfectly normal for a white person to be armed to the teeth at all times -- then, yeah, you can't blame Mexican authorities for being a wee bit perturbed. I'm glad he's out, but at a certain point you have to take some responsibility for your actions, even if you're innocent according to the Higher Law of total gun freedom for Real Americans.
... Mexican customs inspectors said they found a pistol in a pocket beneath the driver's side window, and the other weapons also within reach.
... Tahmooressi might well have been in violation of the law north of the border as well had he been caught driving with weapons that were loaded and not properly stored. California law stipulates that all weapons must be unloaded while being transported, and handguns and assault weapons must be stored in a locked container. Non-concealable firearms such as shotguns and rifles are not required to be in a locked container, but must be unloaded, the law states.