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Obama’s Phone Diplomacy Rings Hollow

By Tony Perkins

When President Obama said that America “never leaves a man behind,” there was one Marine who begged to differ. Imprisoned for six months (long enough to see the U.S. trade terrorists for an Army deserter), Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi may be close to tasting freedom — no thanks to President Obama. The same commander-in-chief who negotiated with terrorists for the release of Bowe Bergdahl has refused to ask for Andrew’s release, despite the national outcry.

Where the White House has failed the Marine, members of Congress have not. Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), who chairs the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, held a rare “mid-recess” hearing that included everyone from Andrew’s mom to talk-show host Montel Williams. “If this hearing’s going to stop in 10 minutes, I think the President needs to pick up the phone in 15. Make the call. Make the call today,” Williams said, holding back tears.

The “call” Williams was referring to is to Mexican President President Enrique Pena Nieto, a person the White House has yet to phone. According to USA Today, “Salmon and Royce said they met with Vice President Biden before Obama was to talk with Pena Nieto and were assured that Tahmooressi’s case would be brought up. Salmon said it wasn’t.” Fortunately, Reps. Salmon and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) have stepped in where President Obama has not. After a discussion with the Mexican Attorney General, both Congressmen are “confident that a humanitarian release will occur very soon.”

Meanwhile, the administration’s priorities could not be more confused. “Sgt. Bergdahl cost American lives. Stg. Tahmooressi saved them,” veteran Pete Hegseth testified. It’s time for the President to step in and defend all Americans abroad — whether it’s Sgt. Tahmooressi or Pastor Saaed Abedini. It’s time that being an American meant something once again; that no matter where you may be in the world you are not alone, your country stands with you.

Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.

(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)


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