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By Bill O'Reilly
In the middle of the civil war when the south was on the march, President Abraham Lincoln still took time to right wrongs that were brought to his attention. Back then, regular folks could actually go to the White House and hand petitions to the President's staff. Mr. Lincoln would then read some of them, turn the letters over and write comments that might help individual Americans. Abraham Lincoln did that every week.
Now we have a situation where a former Marine, 27-year-old Jon Hammar has been in a Mexican prison since last August for absolutely nothing. Nothing. As we have reported, Corporal Hammar secured permission from the U.S. Customs Office in Brownsville, Texas to carry an antique rifle handed down by his grandfather across the border. He then checked in with the Mexican officials in Matamoros with the paper work.
The gun was clearly a recreational weapon that Hammar wanted to take to Costa Rica on a trip. But Mexican authorities arrested Hammar, threw him in prison and actually chained him to his bunk. With six days to go before Christmas, that's where Hammar remains in a filthy, corrupt, Mexican jail.
Corporal Hammar served two combat tours. One in Afghanistan and the other in Iraq. His Marine battalion took heavy casualties in Fallujah with 13 killed in action. When he returned home the Corporal suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. He was treated for nine months. He got out last May and simply wanted to take a vacation after his ordeal. There is absolutely no reason on earth, no reason for the Mexican authorities to continue to hold Corporal Hammar. The reason they put him in jail in the first place was to extort money from his family. That's what these people do south of the border.
Now, you would think that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama would be directly involved in trying to secure the release of an American combat veteran. But they are not. The State Department has visited Hammar in prison but done little else.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J. HAMMAR: They have told us they can't do anything.
O'REILLY: Is that right? The State Department says they can't do anything.
J. HAMMAR: Over and over. Yes.
ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Is there anything going on to ascertain the facts to see whether he is innocent or not? Because again we don't know what really happened.
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I have to take the question because I don't know the facts myself on that. So I have to take the question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: So let me reiterate, Secretary of State Clinton has done nothing and President Obama doesn't even know about it according to Jay Carney. That's incredibly hard to believe as reports have been circulating for weeks.
This is a failure of leadership. This year the USA is sending more than $300 million to Mexico. And they have the gall to imprison an American combat veteran for nothing?
And what about the new Mexican President? Nieto, where is he? He has the power to release Corporal Hammar immediately. So why isn't he doing it? This is a disgusting situation. And we call for President Obama to get Corporal Hammar out of that filthy prison this week. The buck stops with you, Mr. President. Abraham Lincoln would have done it.
And that's "The Memo."
- You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: email@example.com.