House To Hold Hearing On Marine Jailed In Mexico

During his now infamous Rose Garden appearance with Bowe Bergdahl’s parents, President Obama said that “America doesn’t leave our people behind,” including “American citizens who are unjustly detained abroad and deserve to be reunited with their families, just like the Bergdahls.”

Well, if anyone deserves to be reunited with his family, it’s Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, a Marine reservist who served honorably for two tours in Afghanistan. Yet the Obama administration has done little to nothing to help free the unjustly detained Marine.

Republicans on the House Foreign Relations Committee are leading the charge to free Tahmooressi, who has been languishing in a Mexican prison since March 31.

Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, announced Friday that a hearing, entitled “Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi: Our Marine in Mexican Custody,” has been scheduled for Oct. 1.

Tahmooressi was detained by Mexican officials back in March when he crossed the border into Tijuana after taking a wrong turn.  He had all of his possessions in the car at the time, including three loaded firearms and 400 rounds of ammunition.

Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon, who will be leading the congressional hearing, wants Mexican officials to know “the time to act is now.”
“What we want to do is send a strong message and a shot across the bow to them. We’re giving you one last chance and if you don’t do anything, you’re going to wish you did,” Rep. Salmon said.
Rep. Salmon released a statement, Friday, stressing that Tahmooressi, who received an honorable discharge in 2012, had been under treatment for PTSD at the time of his arrest.

“As Congress begins to contemplate once again committing our nation’s servicemen and women to the fight against terrorism, it is incumbent on us to stand by our heroes when they return home.  As a direct result of his honorable service in Afghanistan, U.S. Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi now suffers from combat related PTSD.  Tragically, instead of receiving the treatment he needs, he is being held in a Mexican prison.  As a Member of Congress it is my obligation and duty to protect heroes like Andrew who have suffered the ravages of war in service to our nation.  I’m convening this hearing to honor his service and work to ensure his immediate release so that he can receive the treatment he needs.”

Witnesses called by the panel include former Marine Montel Williams, who has been a strong advocate for Tahmooressi’s release, and his mother, Jill. 

Another court hearing for Tahmooressi has scheduled for the end of September.


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