CIA agents lied about killing missionaries, report reveals

In 1994, then US President Bill Clinton authorized a covert CIA operation to assist the Peruvian Air Force in preventing planes carrying narcotics from flying over that country’s territory. Among the results of this operation was the shooting down of a Cessna 185 floatplane on April 20, 2001, which the CIA suspected of transporting drugs from Colombia to Peru. The only problem was that there were no drugs on the plane. It was actually carrying an American Christian missionary family, including two children, who were on their way to Lima, Peru. The attack on the plane resulted in the death of the mother and one of the children. A still-classified report by the Office of the US Inspector General has now revealed what many CIA critics suspected, namely that the murder of the two Americans resulted from routine violation of intercept procedures by CIA operatives. What is more, not only did the CIA refuse to acknowledge its mistake, but CIA employees actually “misled and even lied to Congress about what happened and did not supply accurate information to the Department of Justice or the Bush administration”. Furthermore, the Agency “obstructed inquiries into its role in the shooting down” of the aircraft by “cover[ing] up evidence of its failings”. Reportedly, the CIA has yet to discipline anyone about these murders. Meanwhile, the mother and grandmother of the murdered victims, Gloria Luttig, has expressed her disgust about the fact that “some of the members of the CIA [involved in the incident] have been promoted” since the murders. [IA]

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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