Just Say Yes To Drugs? 

Just Say Yes To Drugs? 
Posted by CN Staff on January 07, 2003 at 20:56:48 PT
Source: Coquitlam Now
With the U.S. and its determined president poised for war with Iraq, it is more than a little discomforting to learn that the pilots involved in the friendly-fire accident that killed four Canadians in Afghanistan were taking amphetamines. Maj. Harry Schmidt's lawyer said in an interview that his client was coerced into taking the pills by the U.S. Air Force on the night the Canadians were killed outside Kandahar. They had been conducting a live-fire exercise and the U.S. pilots believed they were being fired on. 
Amphetamines, sometimes called "go pills," are stimulants with a range of side effects. The air force says they were used as "fatigue management" to keep pilots alert. Apparently this is a common practice. While the pilots may have been alert, or overly so, they certainly exhibited bad judgment in ignoring orders to wait - and dropping the bomb that killed Sgt. Marc Leger, Cpl. Ainsworth Dyer, Pte. Richard Green and Pte. Nathan Smith. Lawyers for the pilots will argue that the two men, who are not career air force members but Illinois reservists, are being scapegoated by the U.S. military, which doesn't want to own up to its role in the death of the Canadians. But isn't it ironic that the U.S., which has long pushed a "zero tolerance on drugs" policy, may be pushing pills on citizens who - subject to military discipline - have little say in the matter? And we're not American-bashing here. If it's common practice for one country, it's probably happening in many places. Maybe it's time we lifted that camouflage curtain a little higher and looked into just what rights soldiers in so-called democracies, including our own, really have. Source: Coquitlam Now, The (CN BC)Published: Monday, January 06, 2003 Copyright: 2003 Lower Mainland Publishing Group, Inc.Contact: editorial thenownews.comWebsite: Articles:Friendly Fire Pilots 'Pressured' to Use Uppers Pilots 'Guinea Pigs,' Lawyer Says for Speed -'Go Pills' Tied To Bombing
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