Anti-Drug Flights May Resume This Year 

Anti-Drug Flights May Resume This Year 
Posted by FoM on April 30, 2002 at 08:35:44 PT
By Peter Slevin, Washington Post Staff Writer
Source: Washington Post
The Bush administration expects to resume drug interdiction flights in Peru and Colombia this year, roughly 18 months after the mistaken downing of a civilian aircraft and its American missionary passengers, U.S. officials announced yesterday.Strict procedures are being drafted to prevent a repeat of the fatal April 2001 incident, a senior administration official said, and a State Department employee will be aboard each flight to monitor the safety checklist and participate in high-risk decisions.
CIA contract pilots no longer will fly the surveillance aircraft, and the CIA itself will have no role in the interdiction operation beyond intelligence-gathering. Peruvian and Colombian government pilots will take the controls of nine refurbished Cessna Citations that the United States will provide under State Department supervision.The final decision to attack an aircraft will lie with the Peruvian and Colombian military. High-level officers will be designated for the job, said the official, who reported that training of participants in future missions will begin soon.Congress and the Bush administration alike have blamed inattention, loose procedures and poor communications for a Peruvian fighter pilot's decision to fire on the civilian single-engine Cessna above the Amazon River. Bullets killed Veronica Bowers and her infant daughter and triggered the suspension of a narcotics interdiction program that began in 1994.The administration expected to release a report on the incident within weeks but spent a year reviewing the situation and planning for a resumption of operations, a timetable the official ascribed to "due deliberation." Further negotiations will take place with the Peruvian and Colombian governments over the details of the new policy and the precise roles of each participant.Flights will not resume until President Bush approves."People wanted to make sure at every level that we got this right," said the U.S. official, who talked on condition of anonymity. "The last thing this administration wants to do is to reinitiate the program and have a recurrence of the tragedy of last April."The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence called for a radical improvement of safety measures in October, with committee chairman Bob Graham (D-Fla.) saying procedures had slipped so far that "this kind of tragedy was almost inevitable." He said the interdiction program needed a "dramatic overhaul" before it could be restarted.A precise series of rules existed when the program began in Peru in 1994. Pilots followed a set sequence to identify, contact and warn a potential drug-smuggling aircraft before firing shots. But investigators discovered that, as the years went by, participants took short-cuts and the procedures "became less detailed and explicit," according to a report released by the State Department.The CIA operated the air surveillance program in Peru, while the U.S. Customs Service ran the operation in Colombia. Studies of the Peruvian situation showed that training of the American and Peruvian participants was insufficient and the oversight by central governments was limited. Although their decisions could mean life or death, the participants often did not speak one another's language fluently.In the 2001 downing, the Peruvian pursuer followed the Cessna for nearly 45 minutes without making its presence or intentions clear. The fighter pilot did not fly ahead and waggle its wings, an international aviation signal to land. A warning broadcast from the CIA surveillance plane to missionary pilot Kevin Donaldson went unanswered because Donaldson was using a separate high-frequency radio at the time.The Peruvian military pilot fired warning shots, but Donaldson could not see them. No one checked the registration number of Donaldson's plane. When the fighter then opened fire, Donaldson was wounded in both legs but managed to land the aircraft. Bowers's husband, Jim, and their 7-year-old son, Cory, were unhurt. The administration recently announced it would settle their claim for damages.Note: CIA Role Limited; Rules Tightened Source: Washington Post (DC)Author: Peter Slevin, Washington Post Staff WriterPublished: Tuesday, April 30, 2002; Page A13 Copyright: 2002 The Washington Post Company Contact: letterstoed washpost.comWebsite: Related Articles & Web Site:Colombia Drug War News Sees Drug Flights Relaunch, Washington Mum To Resume Shooting Down Drug Planes Sought From U.S. in Plane Downing
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Comment #8 posted by Project419 on May 01, 2002 at 09:38:51 PT
Let's Shoot some nuns
Hell yeah...were going missionary's my favorite sport. How many more missionary's have to die before we realize that shooting down planes insnt a good idea?...
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Comment #7 posted by Jose Melendez on April 30, 2002 at 19:13:32 PT
From: to stop the influx of drugs is like putting a rail fence in the surf to hold back the ocean tides.see also: gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than fu tile and hopeless labor.
Arrest Prohibition
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Comment #6 posted by mayan on April 30, 2002 at 18:29:52 PT
but then again,it's all relative...right?Venezuelan Assylum Seekers Fly To U.S. Via Bolivia:
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Comment #5 posted by goneposthole on April 30, 2002 at 12:24:42 PT
It goes something
like this:
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Comment #4 posted by goneposthole on April 30, 2002 at 12:04:04 PT
"We gotta do something"
"We gotta do something to get more drugs into the US.  All of those cocaine addicts are hooked and if we can smuggle in more cocaine, a lot more, it will be good for the stock market."--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------"The individual investor is a chicken about to become a broiler."--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------"..But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore. It's already overcrowded from your dirty little war."-John Prine
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on April 30, 2002 at 10:33:08 PT:
Pontius Pilate would smile...
Here's something really sick...and it may still happen...Global Economic Collapse Likely - Derivatives Bubble About to Burst -- Manipulated Gold Prices About to Explode; Can Wall Street Survive? the article:As the DOW plummets - and I expect that it may be in the 8,000s or below by the end of October - I have now come to the conclusion that it is POSSIBLE, IF NOT LIKELY - that the Bowers shootdown in Peru this Spring was an intentional move. Reason: the immediate and total suspension of drug interdiction flights -- an apparent easy capitulation by the CIA -- that has since allowed drug smuggling to multiply in the intervening months. I have read some estimates indicating that cocaine smuggling to the U.S. is up 30% this year as a result. Add to that the fact that the eradication efforts in Colombia have not reduced coca production but have instead, increased it by 15-20% or more. What better way to pour additional billions in drug money into markets on the brink of collapse while trying to maintain a public image that fewer and fewer people are buying anyway? Sick. Very sick...and horrifyingly plausible.
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Comment #2 posted by goneposthole on April 30, 2002 at 09:25:01 PT
US Army Colonel Hiett and his wife
The heroin traffickers in Colombia and the death of Jennifer Odom.There is no mention of them.
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Comment #1 posted by Dark Star on April 30, 2002 at 09:02:33 PT
Repetitive Idiocy
"a State Department employee will be aboard each flight"Will they bother to find someone who speaks Spanish this time?
This policy is not only extremely stupid, it is a violation of international law. Too bad our government shows no consideration of same.
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