President George W. Bush has commuted the prison sentences of two former Border Patrol guards whose convictions for shooting a Mexican drug dealer ignited debate about illegal immigration.Of course, this being the Associated Press, their characterization of the story is false. The "debate about illegal immigration" -- Sonny Bono: "What's to debate? It's illegal!" -- had been "ignited" long before that drug dealer was shot. But we'll discuss that in the updates.
UPDATE I: The two martyrs to Bush's open-borders monomania will be released March 20, Michelle Malkin reports.
UPDATE II: Fox News:
The imprisonment of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean had sparked outcry from critics who said the men were just doing their jobs and were punished too harshly. They had been sentenced to 11- and 12-year sentences, respectively.Apparently, Bush was afraid that granting clemency might dampen Republican support among the party's all-important Mexican drug smuggler constituency. Anyone who wishes to assert that Bush was America's worst president ever will probably get little argument from these two Border Patrol agents.
Ramos and Compean were sentenced in connection with the shooting of Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, who was shot in the buttocks while trying to flee along the Texas border. He admitted smuggling several hundred pounds of marijuana on the day he was shot and pleaded guilty last year to drug charges related to two other smuggling attempts.
Nearly the entire congressional delegation from Texas and other lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle pleaded with Bush to grant them clemency.
UPDATE III: Via Hot Air, the senior administration official:
Bush didn't pardon the men for their crimes, but decided instead to commute their sentences because he believed they were excessive and that they had already suffered the loss of their jobs, freedom and reputations, a senior administration official said.Fuck you, senior administration official! Their "crimes" were what most Americans would call "doing their jobs," to protect our nation against invasion by foreign drug smugglers. And if your boss had been true to his oath to uphold our nation's laws, maybe vile scum like Osvaldo Aldrete Davila wouldn't have had the idea they had a green light at the border.
The action by the president, who believes the border agents received fair trials and that the verdicts were just, does not diminish the seriousness of their crimes, the official said.
UPDATE II: Linked by Dave C at Minority Leader.
UPDATE III: Linked at MacsMind.