Sunday, December 22, 2013

Old News on Colombian Covert Action

Dana Priest has a lengthy article in the Washington Post about covert action in Colombia. I kept reading and reading, waiting to see something that was not already common knowledge, but then got to the end without finding it.

The U.S. has been helping the Colombian government track the FARC and provide bombs to dismember it, including an attack over the border in Ecuador. That was over five years ago and even at the time everyone knew it was impossible that the Colombian military was spearheading it.

Alvaro Uribe and Juan Manuel Santos are both committed to bombing their own country to defeat the FARC--or force it to the negotiating table--and the U.S. has provided billions since 2000. Legal niceties are unimportant and there is a black budget with tons of secrecy. Sadly, this just confirms what was already conventional wisdom. So what's new here? There are some slick maps, photos of Super Tucanos with teeth painted on them, and a few juicy operational details but little meat.

Perhaps I am just too jaded after reading and writing about this for so long. It is good for people in the U.S. to read this, though unfortunately the tone is so rah-rah that it doesn't encourage a critical response.


Steven Taylor 12:51 PM  

As I noted yesterday, the intel link was no surprise. The smart think was newsworthy, I think, although again, not a surprise. It is useful, I think, to have these things confirmed in the press.

The real issue is that this stuff gets so little reporting in the first place. We spend billions in Colombia and it barely is noted in the press.

Steven Taylor 12:52 PM  

I concur, btw, about the "rah-rah"

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