OTR Interviews

The case of the Marine jailed in Mexico goes to Washington

Congress set to hear the plight of Marine jailed in Mexico. #MarineHeldinMexico

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," September 30, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tomorrow, the House committee will hold a hearing on Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi's case. The representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen joins us. Good evening, congressman.

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, R-FLA.: Thank you so much, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what is the purpose of tomorrow's hearing? What do you hope to achieve?

ROS-LEHTINEN: Well, I think already we have achieved a lot because as soon as we put out the notice we were going to have this hearing, Mexico hurried up and did this evaluation to make sure that this hero suffers from PTSD and no treatment is available in Mexico. And already, it's had a very positive affect. Jill, his mom, will be testifying. One of his comrade-in- arms who served with Tahmooressi in Afghanistan is going to testify. A veterans group will be there as well. You know, this is a hero, an American hero who served two tours in Afghanistan. He took a wrong turn into the twilight zone. He's really declared that he had registered arms with him, wanted to turn around, and for that, he has been in jail in this goula (ph) for almost 200 days. It is outrageous, Greta, that the U.S. government has not been able to deal one-on-one with the president of Mexico and say, hey, take a little interest in this Marine's case. Outrageous.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I think also -- I mean, I don't want to get ahead of ourselves in terms of whether he's going to get released now that the prosecutor's own psychiatrist says he has PTSD and can't get treatment there in Mexico, but I think, you know, if this does happen, I may begin ahead of myself, they got the two marines who marched 300 miles last week to the White House. You got Montel Williams who has been pounding the pavement. And you've got so many hundreds and thousands of veterans and their families who have been sending e-mails, have been posting stuffs. I mean this has been an effort because this is -- you know, he's been sitting there for six months and you've got a lot of citizens doing everything they can to try to put a spotlight on this.

ROS-LEHTINEN: And we've got Greta. Really, Greta, hats off to you. You have taken this issue on from the very first day when Jill, the mom, thought there's nowhere I can turn. You've taken Tahmooressi's case and you've made it a headline case. This is an outrageous act of injustice.

VAN SUSTEREN: Congresswoman, when I first saw this, I actually thought, I mean, look, we are getting way ahead of ourselves. He's still sitting in prison, but I thought it was ridiculous. How can you make a wrong turn in Mexico with guns? I mean, that seemed so absurd to me until I actually went out and did a little you know footwork and thought, really?

(CROSSTALK)

ROS-LEHTINEN: That was a great report.

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: Go ahead.

ROS-LEHTINEN: And it is not our only case. I had a constituent, John Hammer, Olivia Hammer, his mom, also was in a similar predicament. And it took a lot of hard work and effort to get her son's case heard. There are a lot of these cases, Mexico's got a deal with these gangs that are controlling these prisons, and really, this is smirching the reputation of that country.

VAN SUSTEREN: They have a lot of problems there. They also have the horrible drug trade but that's another whole show. Anyway, congressman, thank you.

ROS-LEHTINEN: Hope we have a good hearing. Thank you, Greta.