Pubdate: Mon, 13 Aug 2001
Source: Springfield News-Leader (MO)
Copyright: 2001 The Springfield News-Leader
Author: Neal Farrar


Much press has been devoted to the shooting down and killing of the 
missionaries who were flying a private aircraft in South America.

Much has been said regarding the fact that the CIA was observing the flight 
during joint operations with the Peruvian government

According to a Washington Post online story, unnamed sources familiar with 
a State Department report regarding the incident, but not yet released, 
have stated that Peru and the United States were undisciplined and "sloppy" 
in the way they conducted a joint program to interdict airborne drug smugglers.

Media reports have also stated that 38 shootdowns and/or force-downs have 
occurred previously. All were confirmed as drug smugglers by the Peruvian 
government with no U.S. involvement.

This raises the issue of whether the shot-down and/ or forced-down planes 
were all drug smugglers. Even if they were, does this justify the killing 
of people even if they were engaged in illegal activities without first 
allowing due process? Why would a free democratic country support a program 
to kill people who are suspected of crimes, without first conducting a trial?

This type of operation sends disconcerting messages to the rest of the 
world that the United States is willing to forgo democratic principles when 
it suits certain programs or policies.

Neal Farrar
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart