Take this, Mr. President, For Ramos and Compean

Ilana Mercer, January 2, 2009

Their names are nowhere on the list of pardons and commutations George W. Bush has issued before saying adieu. They are the brave Border-Patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

I’ve said it before: Bush would wrestle a crocodile for a criminal alien. Duly, for shooting a drug dealer in the derriere—in the process of defending their country and countrymen—Bush unleashed his bloodhound, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, on the two patriotic patrolmen. The state’s “rules of engagement” rule-out any meaningful defense of American lives and property; they are rigged against America’s defenders and favor her infiltrators.

Sutton’s legal strategy is what sickens: this U.S. Attorney courted a criminal alien, granting him immunity in exchange for his testimony against the heroic law enforcement officers. As WND has reported, the men “have already served nearly two years in prison – mostly in solitary confinement.” Without leniency, they’ll remain locked-up for at least a decade longer.

The plenary power of pardon granted to the president is extremely broad. The president has seen fit to pardon a man dead and buried for 20 years. In 1948, Charles Winters helped deliver to the beleaguered Israel two converted B-17 bombers. In total, the Israeli Air Force had only three heavy bombers with which to repel six invading Arab armies. Winters was instrumental in helping the nascent Jewish state win its independence.

A man who helped defend another nation’s borders is worthy of mercy, but not men who defend their own. Not a peep has the president uttered in sympathy for the two agents. No clemency is in the offing.

I bet Bush was the school bully. The pardoning process sure brought out the sadist in him. The president played Isaac R. Toussie like a hooked fish. First he pardoned the residential property developer from Brooklyn, N.Y, and then he revoked the pardon. Now you’re free; now you’re not. (“This is such fun, Laura.”)

Although Lewis Libby has yet to be absolved, you’ll recall that “W,” predictably, had spared his fall guy, and commuted his sentence. I don’t disagree: Libby was convicted for the same “crime” for which Martha Stewart was wrongly jailed: fibbing to the FBI. Libby didn’t leak the identity of former, (so-called) classified CIA operative Valerie Plame; Richard Armitage did.

Evangelical leader Pat Robertson ought to know better than Bush. CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux solicited Robertson’s opinion as to the president’s pardons. Robertson lobbied for Libby. Asking for an acquittal for the agents clearly did not cross his mind.

The Lewis Libby prosecution was an abuse of power by Patrick Fitzgerald, another crooked, US Attorney. However, given his role in taking us to war, there was some poetic justice in the Libby conviction (not that I support such justice). There was no justice—poetic, or other—in the convictions of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

Had Ramos and Compean been shooting up Iraqis while defending that occupied country’s borders, Bush would be pinning purple hearts to their lapels.

As luck would have it, a brave Baghdadi journalist stood up to the bully. In what will go down as the high-water mark of his career, journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi lobbed a loafer at Bush for invading his country, during the president’s last official trip to that country. Iraqis, tens of thousands of whom were killed and millions displaced, have every reason to throw boots, baklava, and even bombs at Bush. But they’ve come along way. Shoe tossing is much better than bomb throwing.

Speaking of significant progress, the Muslim world responded to the melee in a thoroughly American way. The man—Muntadhar—and the moment became iconic, immortalized on YouTube, and replayed over and over again around the world. Even better: the shoe became a best-selling brand.

The owner of the Istanbul-based Baydan Shoe Company was inundated with orders for the black leather loafers he rebranded as the “Bye-Bye Bush shoes.” Ramazan Baydan told Forbes.com that he had received “370,000 new orders from Europe, the Middle East and the United States compared to only 40,000 orders of this particular model in December last year.”

Like Scheherazade of “A Thousand and One Arabian Nights,” Mr. Baydan may be embellishing a bit. But, all in all, in times of terrorism and economic downturn, the brave journalist who booted a violent bully, and the entrepreneurial shoe merchant who built a brand around this barmy comedy—these are good news stories.

The second shoe al-Zeidi threw was “from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.” To this already crowded list, allow me to add Ramos and Compean.

January 2

* Credit for image here

CATEGORIES: Bush, Capitalism, Crime, Criminal injustice, Immigration, Iraq, Justice