Thursday, a group of bikers set out on a 1,300 mile journey from Shiner, Texas to Tijuana, Mexico to protest for the release of a U.S. Marine from a Mexican prison, according to Examiner.
Breitbart Texas previously reported that Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi was imprisoned in Mexico after making a wrong turn across the border for possessing illegal weapons. Tahmooressi was carrying three guns, all of which were legal in the U.S., but illegal in Mexico. He has been held in a Tijuana prison for almost three months and faces charges could keep him in Mexico for the next six to 21 years.
A WhiteHouse.org petition taken out on Tahmooressi’s behalf garnered over 123,000 signatures last month. While the White House claims that any petition signed by 100,000 people guarantees a response from the President, the Obama Administration has stayed silent on the issue.
Unhappy with the President’s delay, John Harrington of Shield Tactical, along with several supporters, jumped on their motorcycles and decided to try and take matters into their own hands. Harrington cited the trade of five senior Taliban officers for the release of Bowe Bergdahl that finally inspired them to act. In an interview with GMN, Harrington compared the jailed Marine to the Bergdahl, and criticized the Obama administration for being inconsistent on their commitment to not leaving men in uniform behind.
“His only crime that I can see is that he’s not a traitor. He didn’t abandon his post,” Harrington said. Adding “he (Obama) doesn’t leave anyone behind, right. He doesn’t leave traitors behind. He left four behind in Benghazi, he’s leaving our man behind here.”
While many in the media have compared Tahmoressi to Bergdahl, Robin Abcarian of the LA Times argued supporters aren’t “doing Tahmooressi any favors by pushing that narrative.” She said that while unfortunate, Tahmooressi’s arrest was justified by Mexican law; claiming if the U.S. hopes to get Tahmoressi back, they will have to do it through diplomacy.
“The louder they yell, the more they imply that Mexican laws are expendable (or should be overlooked just this once), the longer it’s going to take to get Tahmooressi home,” Abcarian said. Adding that “you don’t insult an ally, especially when you are asking it for a favor.”
Despite these criticisms, the leather-clad brigade continues its trek to the border. Harrington said they have gained supporters at every town they’ve stopped in. The riders hope to collect enough supporters by the time they reach the border to make a difference. “When you do something like that, you never know what’s gonna happen…People say ‘Well what difference do you think that you’re going to make?’ I say I don’t know, but I know that if you go with me, now I’ve increased by effectiveness by 100 percent,” Harrington said.
The convoy expects to reach the border as earlier as the weekend, however it is still unclear if they will be able to successfully cross it.
As of now there is no concrete plan for the group when and if they can reach the prison where Tahmoressi is being held. Their plan of action seems to be contingent on the number of supporters they gain along the road. Harrington said that while he “has no clue” what they will do once they reach the border “if I turn around and see 300,000 people behind me, I might just go get him.”
Follow Patrick Kane on Twitter @PatVKane.