CIA Crew Warned Peruvian Fighter Jet It was Making a 'Mistake' And Repeatedly Voiced Doubts That Missionary Plane was Carrying Drugrunners

Apr 29, 2001, 01:00 ET from Newsweek

    NEW YORK, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- On several occasions, the
 CIA-contracted crew on a surveillance plane trying to head off an attack on a
 missionary aircraft by a Peruvian fighter jet voiced doubts to their Peruvian
 liaison officer that the small Cessna was carrying drugrunners. Up to the last
 moment, the CIA employees warned that they thought the Peruvians were making a
 "mistake," Newsweek has learned.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010429/HSSU001 )
     The crew insisted that the Peruvian pilot acquire the aircraft's tail
 number and attempt recognition, but the registration number was never called
 back to Peruvian authorities for verification, Miami Bureau Chief Joseph
 Contreras writes in the May 7 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, April
 30). In the shooting that ensued, charity worker Roni Bowers and her
 seven-month old daughter were killed.
     The CIA crew's efforts to stop the Peruvian jet from firing were
 complicated by Americans in an interagency task force on the ground, who had
 been made uncomfortable by radio transmissions intercepted from the developing
 incidents. The ground team in Key West, which had no authority over the
 mission, began peppering the CIA crew with questions: "What's going on with
 your track?" and "Are you in trail?"  But the three CIA contract crew said
 they were too busy to talk, several sources with access to the transcripts
 tell Newsweek. At one point, as the CIA crew spoke among themselves, they
 referred to their American colleagues as "a--holes."
 
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SOURCE Newsweek
    NEW YORK, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- On several occasions, the
 CIA-contracted crew on a surveillance plane trying to head off an attack on a
 missionary aircraft by a Peruvian fighter jet voiced doubts to their Peruvian
 liaison officer that the small Cessna was carrying drugrunners. Up to the last
 moment, the CIA employees warned that they thought the Peruvians were making a
 "mistake," Newsweek has learned.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010429/HSSU001 )
     The crew insisted that the Peruvian pilot acquire the aircraft's tail
 number and attempt recognition, but the registration number was never called
 back to Peruvian authorities for verification, Miami Bureau Chief Joseph
 Contreras writes in the May 7 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, April
 30). In the shooting that ensued, charity worker Roni Bowers and her
 seven-month old daughter were killed.
     The CIA crew's efforts to stop the Peruvian jet from firing were
 complicated by Americans in an interagency task force on the ground, who had
 been made uncomfortable by radio transmissions intercepted from the developing
 incidents. The ground team in Key West, which had no authority over the
 mission, began peppering the CIA crew with questions: "What's going on with
 your track?" and "Are you in trail?"  But the three CIA contract crew said
 they were too busy to talk, several sources with access to the transcripts
 tell Newsweek. At one point, as the CIA crew spoke among themselves, they
 referred to their American colleagues as "a--holes."
 
                        (Read Newsweek news releases at
               http://www.Newsweek.MSNBC.com. Click "Pressroom.")
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -- Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X85174602
 
 SOURCE  Newsweek