Pubdate: Tue, 24 Apr 2001
Source: Cincinnati Post (OH)
Copyright: 2001 The Cincinnati Post
Bookmark: (Peruvian Aircraft Shooting)


Even if it is true that the Americans on a CIA plane tried to stop an 
attack that killed innocent people, how do you go about justifying a U.S. 
policy that involves our country in a surveillance role in Peru's policing 
of illegal drug shipments?

The situation as presently related is that Americans aboard the CIA plane 
informed Peruvian authorities of a plane that might be carrying illegal drugs.

Officials have told the press that a Peruvian officer on the American plane 
sought permission for a Peruvian jet to fire on the suspicious aircraft 
after a failure to find a flight plan for the aircraft or to receive 
replies to radio inquiries. The Americans on the CIA plane reportedly 
objected, but to no avail. An American missionary and her adopted daughter 
were killed when the jet opened fire.

The American policy, President Bush has explained, is nothing more than to 
pass on information, but what seems the case is that the United States has 
put itself in a position of participating in law-enforcement actions that 
it cannot control, and with a partner that is not entirely trustworthy.

Our supposed self-interest is to stop the influx of drugs into the United 
States, but as long as American demand remains what it is, it is hard to 
imagine that surveillance flights in Peru will make much difference.

This terrible loss of life that has occurred should prompt the Bush 
administration to review a policy that, of course, is not one it promulgated.

While it would be a mistake for the administration to drop the policy 
unreflectively, the burden of proof should be on those who see benefits in 
the status quo that outweigh the costs and risks.
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MAP posted-by: Thunder