Oliver North: Obama Bound By Law to Demand Jailed Marine's Freedom

Thursday, 03 Jul 2014 06:01 PM

By Greg Richter

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Lt. Col. Oliver North says President Barack Obama is required by law to demand Mexico release U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who has been held three months for crossing the border with weapons in his vehicle.

Tahmooressi has a hearing scheduled next week on charges he crossed the Mexican border with weapons in his truck that he lawfully possessed in the United States, but which were unlawful for him to have in Mexico.

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Tahmooressi says he made a wrong turn and was funneled into the border crossing and was unable to turn around before he was on Mexican soil. He also says he reported his mistake to Mexican border officials and told them about the guns.

His mother, Jill, has been fighting for his release ever since, and told Newsmax TV that authorities on both sides of the border are not treating her son's case urgently enough. Tahmooressi suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after two tours in Afghanistan.

North told Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto" on Thursday that Title 22 of the U.S. Code, paragraph 1732, requires the president to demand any country release an American citizen being held in a foreign country unjustly.

According to a posting of the Code on the Cornell University website, the paragraph reads:

"Whenever it is made known to the President that any citizen of the United States has been unjustly deprived of his liberty by or under the authority of any foreign government, it shall be the duty of the President forthwith to demand of that government the reasons of such imprisonment; and if it appears to be wrongful and in violation of the rights of American citizenship, the President shall forthwith demand the release of such citizen, and if the release so demanded is unreasonably delayed or refused, the President shall use such means, not amounting to acts of war and not otherwise prohibited by law, as he may think necessary and proper to obtain or effectuate the release; and all the facts and proceedings relative thereto shall as soon as practicable be communicated by the President to Congress."

North said he called the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday and that no one could find any record of Obama using the law on Tahmooressi's behalf.

"Once again, Barack Obama has dropped the ball. It's time for him to get off his duff, and get out and do something," North said.

North also addressed new allegations concerning the growing Veterans Affairs scandal. A whistleblower in Atlanta is set to testify before Congress next week on allegations that enrollment requests were thrown away because there were too many to meet VA goals.

North said he believes he was personally affected by the actions. He told Cavuto that when he asked to be enrolled in the VA system by that very center in Atlanta, he never heard back.

"I never got the enrollment card," he said.

North said he had a 40 percent disability when he left the Marine Corps and was later diagnosed with cancer directly related to his service in the Marines because of exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.

"I never heard back from them – six months," said North, who is a paid contributor for Fox News. "If I didn't have the Fox medical plan I might not be here."

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