The current administration is bad enough, but when you add Congress into the mix, things just get surreal.
A Bush administration decision to divert money for Colombian drug interdiction and eradication programs to the war on terrorism has opened up the southern U.S. border to a new flood of heroin and cocaine, say senior congressional and Colombian officials.
Some members of Congress, angry that appeals by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe for help in rebuilding his depleted and aging fleet of surveillance and interdiction aircraft have been ignored, plan to bypass the White House by dipping into a $72.4 billion supplemental appropriation for the war on terrorism to fund $99.4 million in military and police aid to Colombia.
An amendment to the pending emergency supplemental bill likely will be offered by Republican Reps. Henry J. Hyde of Illinois, chairman of the House International Relations Committee, and Dan Burton of Indiana, a member of the House Government Reform Committee. It would pay for three DC-3 marine patrol aircraft for the Colombian navy and two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and 10 Huey II helicopters for the Colombian national police.
First of all, the administration is already paying way too much in Colombia. All the drug war financing should be cut.
And here’s the kicker:
“After seven years of work on anti-narcotics efforts in the Andean region, we are now seeing the fruits of our labors in the drug war in Colombia and making great progress with our Colombian security partners in preventing drugs from reaching the United States,” Mr. Hyde said in a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Fruits of our labors? Do you mean the fact that billions of dollars have had no effect on supply? Or do you refer to the out-of-control violence and corruption? Or the scorched earth?
And now that every government entity in Colombia has been corrupted with black-market money, you want to give them helicopters?
Note: Hyde is retiring this year, so we’ll get some relief. But there’s still a lot like him who need to go.