In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 10, 2007 / 1 Teves 5768

When Big Government Goes Bad

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "It does seem to me like the government overreacted here," Judge E. Grady Jolly of the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals remarked Monday, according to The Associated Press. Grady is on a three-judge panel considering an appeal filed by two Border Patrol agents serving 11- and 12-year sentences for shooting at and wounding a drug smuggler fleeing across the border. The trial judge's decision to bar questions exploring the smuggler's other dealings, Judge Patrick Higginbotham opined, "strikes me as relevant."

No lie.

Finally, a ray of hope for Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. On Feb. 17, 2005, the two Border Patrol Agents shot at Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila as he ran toward the Texas-Mexico border after ditching a van containing 743 pounds of marijuana.

In 2006, a jury convicted the agents on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, discharge of a firearm during a violent crime, obstructing justice, lying about the incident and willfully violating Aldrete's Fourth Amendment right to be free from illegal seizure. The jury apparently did not buy the agents' claim to have seen a shiny object — which they feared was a gun — in Aldrete's hand.

The big question is whether jurors would have ruled against Ramos and Compean if they had heard cross-examination likely to have punctured Aldrete's self-portrayal as a down-on-his-luck professional truck driver with a sick mom in need of a quick $1,000 to $1,500.

Ramos and Compean supporters have argued that Aldrete was no innocent. Their view was bolstered last month, when the feds arrested Aldrete on charges that he was running hundreds of pounds of marijuana across the border while he enjoyed a "humanitarian visa" — issued at the feds' urging to facilitate U.S. doctors treating the gunshot wound in his buttocks.

Now, to believe the smuggler's story, you have to believe that Mexican drug kingpins just happened to hand more product to a man who had left 743 pounds of marijuana in Texas in 2005 — as if cartels are big on second chances.

Even at trial, Aldrete testified that Border Patrol agent Rene Sanchez told him that he could file a lawsuit and helped him find the lawyer who represented Aldrete, who was suing the government for $5 million. He had motive to lie.

The Associated Press also reported that Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Stelmach admitted to the 5th Circuit that Aldrete had told "some lies" to investigators.

Americans across the country have voiced outrage at the very notion that the federal government would grant limited immunity and a border pass to a veracity-challenged drug smuggler so that he could testify against two Border Patrol agents whose careers have been dedicated to keeping the border safe.

At the very worst, Ramos and Compean made a bad split-second decision and knowingly fired at an unarmed fleeing suspect — and then covered it up. But to believe the worst, you have to believe the tort-happy smuggler's claim that he was not armed or carrying a cell phone.

T.J. Bonner, the chief of the Border Patrol agents' union, noted last week that if the three-judge panel affirms the appeal, Department of Justice prosecutors will have to decide to retry the case or let it go. "If they're smart, they will let it go, because if they don't, everything comes in."

President Bush now has the opportunity to commute the sentences of Ramos and Compean before the panel acts — after two judges have signaled their dissatisfaction with the prosecution. A commutation would help Bush within and outside his conservative base. Not only have many GOP lawmakers asked for a pardon, but Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., also has joined them.

Bonner added that whether Bush "is going to swallow his stubborn pride remains to be seen."

Ramos and Compean have spent nearly a year in isolation in prison. If they had been corrupt agents who cut deals with human smugglers, they no doubt would have cut a deal for shorter sentences. Instead, they must spend 11 and 12 years away from their wives and children — and among those whom they once apprehended. If they killed someone — or if they were professional smugglers who could turn in other drug players — they'd probably face shorter time.

President Bush should commute their sentences and get these men home for the holidays. Or he can punt and let federal judges do what should be done.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment JWR contributor Debra J. Saunders's column by clicking here.

Debra J. Saunders Archives

© 2007, Creators Syndicate