Newsbrief: US to Resume Airplane Shootdown Program 7/5/02

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President Bush has decided to restart a controversial anti-drug program in which US officials aid the Colombian and Peruvian militaries in identifying, tracking and blowing out of the sky suspected drug-running planes in northern South America. That program was suspended last year after CIA employees and the Peruvian Air Force mistakenly shot down a civilian aircraft over the Amazon, killing a US missionary and her infant child.

Although the shoot-down policy violated international civil aviation regulations and amounted to extrajudicial execution of unwary pilots without trial, it had been in place throughout the 1990s, except for a short period during the Clinton administration when US officials suspended the program long enough to rewrite US law so that US officials would not face potential international criminal or civil charges for attacking civilian aircraft.

According to the New York Times, Bush will resume the program shortly, but the CIA will no longer be involved. Instead, the State Department and the Pentagon will handle the liaison with first Peruvian and then Colombian military officials. Both Peru and Colombia have clamored loudly for the reinstatement of the shoot-down program, claiming it is necessary to suppress the cocaine traffic.

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Issue #244, 7/5/02 Bolivian Voters Tell US to Butt Out: Coca Grower Leader Morales Emerges as Presidential Kingmaker | Unitarian Drug Stand Draws Favorable Response from West Virginia Paper | British Columbia Marijuana Activists Celebrate 4th of July by Burning US Flag in Protest of Local DEA office | Newsbrief: Kids Are Consuming More Alcohol, Cigarettes, Cocaine, but Are Less Reckless, Says CDC | Newsbrief: Eighty Marines and Sailors Convicted of Using, Selling Drugs | Newsbrief: No Honor Among Thieves -- Informant Sues FBI for His Cut of Forfeitures | Newsbrief: More Complications in Epis Case | Newsbrief: Drug Czar Declares War on Kingpins, Casual Users | Newsbrief: US to Resume Airplane Shootdown Program | Newsbrief: Report Says Post September 11 Security Not Stopping Drugs | Will Foster Free Again | The Reformer's Calendar
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