In case you hadn’t heard, notorious Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín Guzmán, “El Chapo,” was captured on Friday by Mexican authorities and Sean Penn, or something like that. Guzmán is wanted for so many things that it would probably take less time to figure out what he hasn’t done, including two different escapes from Mexican prisons (in 2001 and 2015). He’s also wanted on multiple charges in America, and because of that, and also since no Mexican prison can hold him, apparently, the US is going to try to have him extradited here to stand trial. That very well might happen, but with Guzmán and his lawyers fighting extradition, it will take at least a year and probably longer to go through the legal process.
Despite the fact that it’s been about 4 days since Guzmán was captured, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio (R-YouThirsty) has already pre-blamed President Obama for failing to hang him in the public square in downtown Washington:
“The Obama Administration should immediately pursue ‘El Chapo’s’ extradition in accordance with our treaty with Mexico,” Rubio, who chairs a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee, said in a statement. “Not only is he wanted for major crimes in the U.S., but we have the capabilities to bring him to justice.”
El Chapo has already escaped prison twice — through a tunnel last summer and by way of a laundry cart in 2001.
Rubio, who is mounting a run for the White House, reiterated the Obama administration’s need to act quickly, saying federal officials shouldn’t waste the chance to bring El Chapo to justice. “In fact, if the Obama Administration has not already laid the groundwork for this moment, they will have already dropped the ball,” he charged.
And, you know, candidates gotta candidate, I guess. But there’s a bit of a potential issue here, and it’s one of which Candidate Rubio ought to be aware: the United States does not currently have an Ambassador to Mexico. Wait, what? We don’t have an ambassador to a country with whom we share a long border, lots of trade, and a War on Drugs®? Yes, that’s right. The previous ambassador, Earl Anthony Wayne, retired last September, and he hasn’t been replaced. Now, it’s not inherently the case that having an Ambassador to Mexico would speed up Guzmán’s extradition–the system has to work the way it works. But not having an Ambassador to Mexico sure as hell isn’t helping things. Plus, there are a whole bunch of other important things that ambassadors do, you know? That’s why we have so many of them. It would be nice to have one in Mexico, regardless of whether or not they could have any affect on the Guzmán case. Thanks, Obama!
Well, to be fair, Obama isn’t really the problem here. He’s already nominated Wayne’s replacement, Roberta Jacobson, but her confirmation is being held up in the Senate. So if Candidate Rubio really wants to lean on somebody to get her appointment through, he might want to start with one of the senators blocking it: one Senator Marco Rubio (R-YouKiddingMe). Senator Rubio is mad that Jackson helped negotiate an end to America’s comprehensively unsuccessful policy of refusing to deal with the Castro government in Cubam so he, along with Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)–coincidentally, they’re the two biggest recipients of anti-Castro money in the Senate–has been blocking her confirmation in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
So Candidate Rubio, the next time you’re in DC I hope you’ll take a meeting with Senator Rubio (better call ahead; I hear he’s out of town a lot) and iron this all out. The Obama administration tends to be unnecessarily frivolous with some of its ambassadorial appointments, but Jackson doesn’t seem to be frivolous, and the post of Ambassador to Mexico is too important for anybody to play political games with it.
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