A Mexican federal judge in Tijuana ordered the release of former Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi seven months to the day after his arrest. This decision came after the Mexican Attorney General’s office decided not to proceed with prosecution.
Tahmooressi was arrested on the evening of March 31 after getting lost and accidentally crossing into Mexico with three legally purchased and registered firearms in his vehicle. According to the San Diego Union Tribune:
In the United States, it prompted calls for Tahmooressi’s release from politicians, veterans groups and conservative talk show hosts. But for months there had been an impasse, as Mexican federal prosecutors insisted that the case be resolved through the courts — not through diplomatic or political pressure.
Fox News host Greta Van Susteren, who has been a constant and loyal supporter of the former Marine, tweeted the news Friday night:
BREAKING: SAN DIEGO (AP) — Mexican judge orders immediate release of jailed US Marine, family spokesman says. #MarineHeldInMexico
— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) November 1, 2014
Tahmooressi also received support from the general public, prompting a White House “We the People” petition demanding that President Obama do all he can to secure the former Marine’s release. In less than a month, the petition garnered the 100,000 signatures needed for an official response.
The White House waited three months to reply, and it was lukewarm at best, referring to diplomacy and the rule of law.
In the months after Tahmooressi’s arrest, President Obama met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto at least twice on unrelated matters. Attorney General Eric Holder met with his counterpart, Rafael Rebollar, at least once. The name Andrew Tahmooressi never came up at any of these meetings.
Given the administration’s silence during the former Marine’s incarceration, it would be unseemly at best for the president to make any comment now. As Rebecca from Colorado tweeted:
Obama said NOT ONE WORD about Marine Sgt. Tahmooressi’s incarceration. If he dares comment AFTER the release… I swear I’m gonna lose it.
— COGoddess ™ (@coloradorebecca) November 1, 2014
And Lizzy Lou agreed:
I don’t wanna hear Sgt. #Tahmooressi‘s name come outta the Preezy’s mouth. He couldn’t be bothered then, keep his pie hole shut now.
— Lizzy Lou Who (@_wintergirl93) November 1, 2014
But for a president who is long on taking credit while short on accepting responsibility, keeping quiet may prove to be difficult–especially days before an election that’s not looking good for his party.
Here’s a sampling of predictions on Twitter, as assembled by the team at Twitchy:
Tahmooressi Released? About damn time. Obama to take credit in 3-2-1…
— Kent Lindstrom (@thundley4) November 1, 2014
In response to Marine Sgt Tahmooressi’s release from a Mexican prison, #Obama to release selfie of Obama looking at the Mexican border.
— LimeInDaCoconut (@EgoAenigma) November 1, 2014
— Hemorrhagic Barry (@notalemming) November 1, 2014
And if the president were to take credit, there’s always this possibility:
I wonder if Obama will bring Marine Sgt. #Tahmooressi to the WH for a hug? I hope the Sergeant punches O in the jaw.
— Oliver Jolin (@TransplantHeart) November 1, 2014
Although the Obama administration did little to secure Tahmooressi’s release, he did receive “a strong diplomatic push from former Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico and Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Matt Salmon (R-AZ),” according to Fox News.
“He was happy, he was smiling, he’s looking good, his spirits are high,” Richardson told Fox News, adding that Tahmooressi said he wants a steak dinner and stone crabs.
Check out more tweets on Tahmooressi’s release at Twitchy.