Agent "Curveball" and the US Border Patrol
Much of the 'intelligence' on which the United States based its 2003 invasion of Iraq came from one source, which turned out to be very unreliable. In an apparent attempt to 'go one worse' on that dismal failure, the United States has based the incarcerations of US Border Patrol agents Ramos and Compean on the testimony of one man--a drug smuggler whom they caught in the act, and who has since been given immunity from prosecution.
In the lead-up to the Iraq invasion, it became known by the United States that German intelligence had in their custody an Iraqi defector whom they had code-named "Curveball". According to Curveball, he had been present during the construction of several mobile biological/chemical weapons labs. He claimed that the Hussein regime had the ability to wreak havoc on the United States with its resulting weapons of mass destruction. Having never interviewed Curveball, and despite warnings by German intelligence that Curveball was not a reliable source, the United States based much of its rationale for an Iraq attack on this one person.
In a story with very similar irony and a very similar Curveball, the United States recently based its entire case against two US Border patrol agents on the testimony of one man. The man is a known drug smuggler, yet he was given immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony agents the border agents. In the first case, the Bush Administration would not be dissuaded from attacking Iraq, and in the case of border agents Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, the United States government seems hell-bent on something else of which Ramos and Compean were in the way.
The trial lasted two weeks.
Three of the jurors who voted a guilty verdict later admitted their votes were coerced.
In the altercation that resulted in their arrests, one of the agents had been injured by the assailant and was lying on the ground when the second agent arrived on the scene and began engaging the assailant with small arms fire.
The agents fired at a man who was trying to flee back across the border to Mexico, and who appeared to have a weapon in his hand.
After it later was discovered that the fleeing man, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, a known drug smuggler whose van was carrying 800 mariujana plants that evening, was injured in the shootout, the agents were inexplicably arrested.
It was on the testimony of this "Agent Curveball" that two men are now in prison for terms far longer, even if it were a crime, than what their actions warrant.
Ramos and Compean were prosecuted under a law that did not apply to the situation. The law was designed as punishment for drug dealers and rapists. This particular law requires minimum sentences of ten years.
Free Ramos and Compean Now
House Concurrent Resolution 37 now in the United States Congress seeks the presidential pardon of Ramos and Compean from a clearly faulty arrest, trial, and imprisonment. The resolution states:
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that the President should swiftly and unconditionally pardon Agents Ramos and Compean.
If you would like to participate in the campaign to free these unjustly incarcerated men, please click here.