Oliver North on Kerry's Mexico Trip: Fetch Jailed Ex-Marine

Monday, 19 May 2014 09:08 PM

By Greg Richter

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With Secretary of State John Kerry set to visit Mexico this week, Lt. Col. Oliver North says he should bring back a former Marine imprisoned there after accidentally entering the country with guns.

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, of Weston, Fla., crossed the border on April 1. He said he took a wrong turn and was unable to turn around before entering Mexico. He said he told Mexican border officials he had guns in his vehicle, which are legally registered in the United States, but they arrested him and he has been jailed since.

A recording of a 9-1-1 call he made after Mexican officials stopped him appears to corroborate his story.

"Sgt. Tahmooressi may be the only person the Obama administration has ever kept from entering the United States from Mexico," North said Monday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."

Van Susteren broadcast Monday's show from the U.S.-Mexico border and entered the country with Tahmooressi's mother, Jill.

Prison officials had said Tahmooressi could be interviewed by Van Susteren, she reported, but after two days of waiting, the request was denied. Jill Tahmooressi was allowed to visit her son and give him books and a second pair of pants.

North told Van Susteren he wants to see Kerry "bring the boy home" when he meets with officials there this week. Kerry "has already screwed up our foreign policy in Iran, Egypt, Syria, Israel, and Ukraine. This is his chance to get it right," North said.

Tahmooressi's weapons are illegal in Mexico, and the drug wars in that country are fueled by weapons smuggled in from the United States.

Jill Tahmooressi told Van Susteren that her son was not trying to sell the guns and had $100,000 in the bank when he was discharged from the service. He carried the guns for protection because he has an irrational fear for his safety as a result of suffering post-traumatic stress disorder from being injured in Afghanistan, she said.

His case has been taken up by a petition on WhiteHouse.gov, and California Rep. Duncan Hunter and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham both have joined the effort to free Tahmooressi.

Jill Tahmooressi said she has been frustrated by the slowness of the Mexican judicial system.

"We're seven weeks [in] and nowhere," she said.

North said the Mexican bureaucracy "may well be more incompetent than our own Department of Veterans Affairs."

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