Thursday, June 24, 2004
Fear of Flying

When will these people ever learn. Despite the world wide condemnation of the shooting down of an innocent missionary and her infant son in Peru in 2001, Brazil is the final phase of enacting legislation authorizing their government to shoot down suspected drug running airplanes. They expect the US will cooperate in sharing information in order to ascertain which planes are actually engaged in this activity. The US of course is a little gun-shy after having been held equally responsible for the fiasco in Peru, so one expects that any such cooperation will happen behind closed doors.

Brazil claims to have safeguards in place to avoid shooting down innocents, however Peru also had safeguards and if memory serves, the missionary plane was shot down on account of a language barrier. The pilot didn't understand the military plane's communications.

Brazil alleges their airspace is being constantly violated by drug traffickers who make obscene gestures as they fly by, secure in the knowledge that they can't presently be intercepted. Interestingly, Brazil is negotiating the terms of the law with the US government which begs the question, since when do they need our permission to enact their own legislation?

Meanwhile, Colombia quietly resumed their policy of shooting down suspected courier planes in 2003 and the Washington, AP news agency reports almost a dozen planes have been down this year alone with intelligence assistance from the US government.

Anyone recall reading about the US sneaking this policy back into practice in the main stream US media? Me either.


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