U.S. gov. challenges U.S. gov. on Colombia


Bogota, Colombia — A U.S. government report to be released next week raises serious questions about the effectiveness of the multibillion-dollar U.S. anti-drug campaign in Colombia, despite moves by the Bush administration to extend the program.

The 52-page report by the Government Accountability Office, an advance copy of which has been obtained by The Chronicle, challenges administration conclusions that the drug interdiction effort known as Plan Colombia — a five-year program that ends this year — has reduced the amount of cocaine available in the United States.

The report was skeptical of the statistics the government relied on for its upbeat assessments, calling its information on cocaine production and use problematic. It also said the Office of National Drug Control Policy had failed to fully address previous “recommendations for improving illicit drug data collection and analysis.”

Nice to see the GAO recognize the obvious. This report was requested by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), and Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va). It’ll be interesting to see how this affects future funding. The Bush Administration and Congress both are tripping over their own feet in their desire to pour more money down this drain, but now they’ll have to address the concerns in this report to do so.

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