The Post’s Selective Indictment of US Colombia Policy

The Washington Post catches up with reality:

The Obama administration often cites Colombia’s thriving democracy as proof that U.S. assistance, know-how and commitment can turn around a potentially failed state under terrorist siege.

The country’s U.S.-funded counterinsurgency campaign against a Marxist rebel group — and the civilian and military coordination behind it — are viewed as so successful that it has become a model for strategy in Afghanistan.

But new revelations in long-running political scandals under former president Alvaro Uribe, a close U.S. ally throughout his eight-year tenure, have implicated American aid, and possibly U.S. officials, in egregious abuses of power and illegal actions by the Colombian government under the guise of fighting terrorism and drug smuggling.

The article unfortunately (and expectedly) keeps only to one small area of the abuse and illegality that has been occurring in Colombia supported by the US: the illegal spying and surveillance regime that I referenced here almost a month ago.

American cash, equipment and training, supplied to elite units of the Colombian intelligence service over the past decade to help smash cocaine-trafficking rings, were used to carry out spying operations and smear campaigns against Supreme Court justices, Uribe’s political opponents and civil society groups, according to law enforcement documents obtained by The Washington Post and interviews with prosecutors and former Colombian intelligence officials.

No mention of the ongoing atrocities I reported on here. Nothing about how the para-political scandal, where the government was found to have significant and intricate ties to brutal right-wing paramilitaries. Nothing about how the Colombian military that we train and equip and support financially, engaged in perhaps over 1,200 extra-judicial assassinations of innocent civilians in order to make it seem like they were killing lots more leftist guerillas. Nothing about the aerial eradication of drug crops which helps impoverish already poor peasant farmers. But, at least its something, I suppose.

  • sandman

    What a shame. Your glass must always be half empty!

    Many more positive things have been done with that money in Colombia than your headline grabbing, as yet unsubstantiated accusations would assert.

    Even if proven true, what would you guess out of 6 billion. Maybe $100,000?

  • Excellent riff – thanks for calling out the Wash Post on their omissions.