Judicial Watch Sues US Gov't. On Behalf of Imprisoned Border Agents
by Jim Kouri
Ignacio "Nacho" Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, the two Border Patrol agents shamelessly prosecuted by the U.S. government for shooting and wounding a Mexican drug smuggler, Oswald Aldrete-Davila, on February 17, 2005, have not been forgotten by many Americans -- such as attorney's from Judicial Watch -- who are actively pursuing their release from captivity.
The two Border Patrol agents were sentenced to 11 and 12 years respectively. Meanwhile, Aldrete-Davila, who attempted to smuggle 750 pounds of marijuana into the U.S., was given medical treatment and immunity for his testimony against the railroaded border agents.
"Instead of giving these two dedicated law enforcement officers the 'heroes treatment," they were arrested, tried and imprisoned. Americans who bothered to follow the news coverage of the case were, for the most part, shocked at the disgraceful treatment of Agents Compean and Ramos," said political strategist Mike Baker.
"You may disagree with me, but I believe the legal action taken against these Border Patrol veterans was the Bush Administration's way of sending a message to all US Border Patrol agents: Don't do your jobs. If you do, you'll be punished," Baker suspects.
Former New York City police detective now owner of a Manhattan security firm, Sidney Francis is quite disturbed over the Ramos/Compean case, as well.
"This reminds me of the incidents when cops, who did their jobs protecting and serving the people of New York, would be singled out for punishment, harassment and loss of their jobs. Meanwhile, crooked, abusive cops would always find protection behind the so-called "Blue Wall," and never suffered for their transgressions," said Det. Francis.
"The message in the Compean/Ramos case seems to be: do your jobs and you'll be punished. Ignore illegal aliens violating US laws and you'll be rewarded with pay increases, promotions and other 'goodies' by cynical political leaders who favor an unbridled invasion of the US by millions of illegal aliens," he added.
Three weeks ago, Judicial Watch, a non-partisan, public interest law firm, filed a lawsuit against the Department of State to obtain documents related to the government's decision to prosecute Ramos and Compean and to strike a deal with the criminal and drug trafficker Aldrete-Davila for his testimony against the two agents who intercepted him at the US-Mexican border.
According to officials at Judicial Watch, JD attorneys filed their original FOIA request on April 17, 2008. However, the US government failed to respond within the statutory 20-day period, forcing Judicial Watch attorneys to file their lawsuit.
This is the second FOIA lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch related to the jailed Border Patrol agents, according to the organization's officials.
JD officials said they are essentially after:
Information pertaining to government deals that were made with the government of Mexico to bring Aldrete-Davila to the U.S. to testify.
Any internal communications between the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department related to the decision to permit the lawful entry of Aldrete-Davila into the U.S. for medical treatment and for meetings with government prosecutors.
Any and all records of the Diplomatic Security Services, a branch of the State Department, related to the shooting incident.
There is enormous public interest in this incident. Many people, especially conservative activists, suspect these Border Patrol Agents were railroaded by some within the federal government for simply doing their jobs. Given the controversy surrounding the case, Judicial Watch officials believe the more the American people know about what they view as a gross miscarriage of justice, the better.
Their lawsuit on behalf of the two jailed Border Patrol agents is only part of Judicial Watch's legal battle with the US government with regard to border security and illegal aliens. For example, in the past, it obtained records from the Department of Homeland Security through the Freedom of Information Act that document 226 incursions by Mexican government personnel into the United States between 1996 and 2005.
Released to Judicial Watch, the records consist of annual intelligence summaries of "Mexican Government Incidents," compiled over a nine-year period. They were designated as "limited official use" by the DHS, requiring "special protection against unauthorized or inadvertent disclosure."
"How is it that our political leaders tell Americans they are do everything possible to secure our borders and protect our sovereignty, yet they hide and disregard reports of incursions by Mexican military and police personnel suspected of providing protection for drug and human traffickers?" asks Lieutenant Stephan Rodgers, a New Jersey detective bureau commander.
"In the Compean/Ramos case, the federal government actually punished law enforcement officers for attempting to stop an incursion by a drug trafficker. The American people are being lied to by government officials while at the same time being placed in harm's way since many of these incursions are perpetrated by armed Mexicans," added the decorated police commander.
The public interest law firm Judicial Watch achieved national recognition during its legal battle with President Bill Clinton's administration in the 1990s, especially with regard to allegations of political corruption.
JD continues such legal actions against suspected political corruption. For example, Judicial Watch filed separate complaints with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) and the Ethics Committee in the US Senate against Senator Barack Obama for allegedly accepting a 'sweetheart' mortgage deal in 2005 that would not be available to the general consumer.
JD attorneys are also investigating Congressman Charlie Rangel's involvement in a case regarding four rent-controlled apartments in New York City, and a decision by the Los Angeles County Superior Court in a taxpayer lawsuit to end Special Order 40, a Los Angeles Police Department illegal alien sanctuary policy (Judicial Watch, Inc. v The Los Angeles Police Department et. al, Case No. BC349040).
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.