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  Air Force 'Go-Pill' Deemed Hazardous
Posted by CN Staff on January 08, 2003 at 10:36:33 PT
By Tony Hays 
Source: WorldNetDaily 

justice Dexedrine, the "go-pill" urged upon American military pilots and blamed for contributing to the April 17 "friendly fire" deaths of four Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, is one of several controlled substances specifically cited as a hazard in federal regulations and transportation industry drug-screening manuals.

The drug is a controlled substance in the United States and is banned for use by commercial drivers and pilots in applicable federal regulations governing drug use.

Fifteen Canadian soldiers were practicing anti-tank attacks with live ammunition at a former al-Qaida training camp near Kandahar on the night of April 17. According to the Air Force report, Majs. Harry Schmidt and William Umbach were flying F-16s toward their base after six hours of an uneventful mission when they spotted gunfire on the ground and reported it to flight controllers. One of the pilots requested permission to fire, but was told to wait. Seconds later, Schmidt reported surface-to-air fire and advised the flight controllers that he was going to "roll in," or attack the shooters.

Umbach confirmed the sighting, adding, according to the report, "I've got some men on a road, and it looks like a piece of artillery firing at us." The bomb released by Schmidt landed a few feet from a Canadian machine gun crew, killing Sgt. Marc Leger, Cpl. Ainsworth Dyer, Pvt. Richard Green and Pvt. Nathan Smith immediately.

After the bomb's detonation, Schmidt reportedly asked the controllers to confirm that his targets were shooting at them. The controller then advised the pilots that "friendlies" could be in the vicinity, and the pilots were ordered to return to base.

Air Force spokeswoman Lt. Jennifer Ferrau told the Associated Press that the Dexedrine pills are used as a "fatigue management tool" to help pilots stay alert through long missions. But, contrary to claims made by the attorney for one of the pilots involved in the April 17 incident, she said that use of the pills is voluntary, and that their effects have been thoroughly tested.

David Beck, attorney for Umbach, who, along with Schmidt, is under investigation for the accidental killing of the Canadians, charged on Thursday that the so-called "go-pills" were not safe for use by operators of "heavy machinery" and were not voluntary but forced on the pilots.

A popular home health website, advises users of Dextroamphetamine, more commonly known as Dexedrine, to "use caution when driving, operating machinery or performing other hazardous activities. Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine may cause dizziness, blurred vision or restlessness, and it may hide the symptoms of extreme tiredness." The site goes on to describe the drug as "habit-forming" when used for long periods.

Narconon of Southern California lists the following side effects for Dexedrine:

* addiction
* agitation/irritability
* insomnia
* dry mouth
* headache
* nausea
* weight loss
* hallucinations
* liver irritation/toxicity
* increased heart rate
* tics
* Tourette's syndrome
* sexual difficulties
* behavior disturbance
* elevation of blood pressure
* over stimulation
* restlessness
* dizziness
* euphoria
* headache
* exacerbation of motor skills
* diarrhea
* constipation

The perennial best-selling reference book, "The Pill Book," echoes the list of side effects above and refers to the drug as "highly addictive," citing panic and psychotic episodes as potential results of overdose. Air Force pilots are allowed to self-medicate themselves with Dexedrine.

The National Institutes of Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, goes so far as to name dextroamphetamine on a list of "certain prescription drugs that are more commonly associated with abuse and criminal activity."

More puzzling than this is the fact that the Air Force encourages the use of amphetamines by its pilots in apparent contravention of federal regulation: 49 CFR 40.85: Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs. Those procedures specifically list amphetamines of all types as targets of drug-testing programs. Federal regulations prohibiting the use of amphetamines cover air-traffic controllers, pilots, commercial truck drivers and commercial carrier operators, operators of railroad engines and equipment, and many other occupations.

Beck, in an interview with the Associated Press, promised to present his evidence on Dexedrine at a Jan. 13 hearing that will consider possible court-martial charges against Umbach and Schmidt for the April incident. Charges could include involuntary manslaughter, and conviction could result in up to 64 years of imprisonment for each man. Lt. General Bruce Carlson, commander of the 8th Air Force, headquartered at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, La., will review the recommendations from the hearing and make the final decision on whether or not to convene a court martial.

Representatives of the Air Force did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Tony Hays is a freelance journalist who publishes frequently on topics related to the Middle East and the war on terror. He's just returned from an assignment in the Mediterranean and Horn of Africa regions.

Note: Federal rules prohibit civilian use of drug tied to 'friendly fire' deaths.

Source: WorldNetDaily (US Web)
Author: Tony Hays
Published: January 07, 2003
Copyright: 2003

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Comment #13 posted by FoM on January 25, 2003 at 20:43:45 PT
Commentary By Bill Moyer - PBS - January 24, 2003
Bill Moyers on Drugs and Modern War

As Doris Lessing talked about the horrors of war, I thought of those two American pilots facing a possible court martial right now for mistakenly killing four Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan last year. From an altitude of some 10,000 feet they fired without being certain the movement on the ground was the enemy. So now they stand accused of "reckless disregard" of orders.

I can only imagine what it's like to be sent on such an assignment in the first place — to kill people from afar, not knowing who they are. Then, to learn you have made such a mistake. Those of us who have never been there are fortunate we're not so tested.

The hearings into how this happened have revealed that American pilots routinely use drugs to keep them awake on combat missions. "Go-go" pills, they're called, and they enable pilots to fly and fight beyond normal hours. When they return, they're provided "no-go" pills — tranquilizers, to induce the sleep lost on duty. It's an old practice, dating back to World War II and continued through Korea, Vietnam, and the first Gulf War ten years ago.

Drugs, it seems, are the hidden weapon of modern war. Their use in Vietnam was so rampant, many soldiers came home addicted. Drugs had helped them fight the enemy and the depression that often is unseen visitor of the killing field. But when those addicted came home, they were largely on their own; our government, whether Democrat or Republican, considered waging a war on drugs more important than helping addicted people recover.

It's just as true today, and we have to wonder what it says about the conscience of a nation that will feed its soldiers drugs to help them fight, and then, leave them to a private hell where they must fight alone.

That's it for this week.

What do you think? I'll be reading your messages on

For now, I'm Bill Moyers.

Tell us what you think. --

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #12 posted by FoM on January 08, 2003 at 21:17:26 PT
Drug, Alcohol Deaths on Rise in Md.
Study Finds Overdoses Increased, Particularly Among Women, Since 1997

By Michael H. Cottman, Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, January 9, 2003; Page AA03

Drug and alcohol overdoses killed more than 500 people in Maryland in 2001, with overdose-related deaths increasing nearly 16 percent over the five years starting in 1997, according to a new University of Maryland study.

The Center for Substance Abuse Research reported that 559 Maryland residents died from overdoses in 2001, up from 482 in 1997. Among researchers' other findings:

Complete Article:

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by FoM on January 08, 2003 at 18:05:49 PT
I never saw the movie but will watch it when I find it on the satellite.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #10 posted by Tigress58 on January 08, 2003 at 17:51:35 PT
The Long Kiss Goodnight
Has anyone watched this movie lately? I have the video. At about 1:15 time into the video, near the end, the blond woman goes into the enemy camp to get her kid back and gets caught. Closely listen to the conversation in the basement before she is locked into a deep freeze freezer.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #9 posted by FoM on January 08, 2003 at 15:34:38 PT
About the Bar
I had Fox News on and they interviewed the people in charge of the bar where they came in and hassled people about drinking. Now they can go into a bar and bother people! What's next?

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #8 posted by Jerr-man on January 08, 2003 at 14:57:18 PT
p4me's link reminded me
of police tatics when I was a bar-hopper. Three DWIs were given in one evening that I know of. The only way out of the bar area was a one-way street.No other businesses were open after six pm. The cops pulled everyone over leaving the street. Drunk driving is irresponable,no doubt,but many people came to that bar to cash their work checks have one drink and go home. The bar owner complained and the heavy enforment ended. j

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #7 posted by FoM on January 08, 2003 at 13:50:56 PT
Cannabis Wine now that's idea. I don't drink but I can't resist saying this. Two, two, two buzzes in one! LOL!

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #6 posted by p4me on January 08, 2003 at 13:42:53 PT
Wrong link
I really should know how to spell Mendocino especially when it is in the article. It sounds like the perfect place to be if you are retired. How is it that they have the law stated for Mendocino County that makes it so people don't get arrested for using cannabis- it is the lowest police priority or what? I got my link messed up with the article about Reston, Virginia arresting people in the bars-

That Mendocino wine article got me to wondering if their were such a thing as cannabis wine? A county that does't arrest cannabist that produces cannabis wine- it is just too good to be true. They sure would have some popular festivals though. LOL for real.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by FoM on January 08, 2003 at 12:30:03 PT
I saw that article last night but it was just a promotion for Mendicino County so I archived it. I think it would nice to visit there sometime though!

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by p4me on January 08, 2003 at 12:22:31 PT
Twist a joint and get high, you get jail
Twist the laws to get a higher position and you get a higher position.

The New York Times used the Mword in its website it appearred in the Food and Wine section covering a county the borders Mendicino County, California. Everyone can see just how little is said in the media by looking at the few articles that surfaced here at Cnews by FoM and everyone else. I guess you call this gleaning for information. Here is the sentence that contains the only result of a search for the Mword at the NY Times today: Marijuana is a major cash crop; last summer the police uprooted 24,500 plants in two days, but the district attorney, a man of sturdy libertarian principles, refused to prosecute.-

Hempoil is a natural target of the oil industry, so coming to a realization on the importance of oil is critical to defining the cannabis situation. There is an absolutely telling article of the power of oil and the Good Old Petroleum fascists in the lead article today at titled, "Big Oil and James Baker Target the Western Sahara."

Last night on ABC's Nightline they were talking about the budget crisis in the states. The District Attorney for Virginia beach will lose two low-level prosecutor's and they will no longer prosecute the 2500 cases of misdemeanor domestic violence cases. Shouldn't they start with charges that have no victims?

In another story out of Reston, Virginia released 12/31, the police went into bars and arrested people right off the barstool for public drunkenness.

Free Cannabis For Everyone and fight the massive corruption of our government and society at the same time.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by FoM on January 08, 2003 at 11:11:34 PT
Double Standards
The do as I say not as I do never worked when parents tried that expression on their own children so why does the government feel it should or will work for adults?

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #2 posted by Truth on January 08, 2003 at 10:59:56 PT
go pills
Another example of the immoral double standards our "leaders" impose on the rest of us.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #1 posted by Ethan Russo MD on January 08, 2003 at 10:56:49 PT:

Having it Both Ways
The federal government is seemingly quite adept at having it both ways. They have the power. They have bureaucrats that are most willing to rule and act in a manner that allows the perpetuation of double standards. Whatever the government says is right is right.

Some of us are not so sure.

Drugs are good when the government says to take them, and bad when they say that you can't.

[ Post Comment ]

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