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Rohrabacher: ‘Shame on Obama’ for Ignoring Jailed Marine

Oct 2, 2014

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA, Wednesday condemned President Obama for not pushing the Mexican government to release U.S. Marine combat veteran who last April inadvertently crossed into Mexico while driving near the country’s border with California.

The retired Marine, who served in Afghanistan and has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, was jailed by Mexican police when he tried to advise them of his mistake and that he had a weapon in his car. Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi has spent the last six months in jails cells in Tijuana and Tecate, Mexico. At one point, he was reportedly strapped down and beaten by jailers and inmates.

Rohrabacher, a California Republican, said both the Mexican government and President Barack Obama are defining themselves in their mishandling of the Tahmooressi incident.

“Shame on President Obama for not making a 30-second telephone call,” said the congressman before a recess-convened hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, indicating the president could have directly contacted the president of Mexico.

“Mexico is defining itself,” he said. If Mexico’s government cannot accelerate Sgt. Tahmooressi’s release, “we can no longer treat Mexico as our friend.”

The president is also defining himself, said Rohrabacher, as indifferent to the plight of an American Marine who fought for his country and, by a twist of fate, found himself in intolerable circumstances.

During the hearing, Rohrabacher requested that the president take a conference call from members of the panel and directed staff to initiate the call. Late Wednesday afternoon, the White House responded that the president had not decided to take the call.

“The president has been just as indifferent to the U.S. Congress as the commander-in-chief has been to this war hero.” said Rohrabacher.