Senate Intelligence committee: CIA at fault for Peruvian missionary shooting
The words the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism has been longing to hear for more than six months finally came late last week: "Nothing which Kevin Donaldson did or did not do on April 20th merited his aircraft being shot down." The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence blamed poor CIA management of drug-interdiction flights and a breakdown in safety procedures for the shooting, which killed American missionary Veronica Bowers and her 7-month-old daughter, Charity, and wounded Donaldson in both legs. "The primary culprit in this case was lax management," says Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). "Established safety procedures were permitted to erode unchecked for a period of years. CIA officials, from the program manager to the Director, failed to properly manage this program with tragic results." The CIA, the committee recommended, shouldn't run interdiction flights if the program ever resumes. The ABWE has posted the committee's full report (part 1 | 2) on its Web site.

An earlier joint report by the U.S. Department of State and the Peruvian government did not fault Donaldson for the incident, but the ABWE said it "carelessly uses terminology to describe the flight plan events" and misrepresents the pilot's actions. Anyone who has seen the video of the flight is going to know Donaldson wasn't at fault in the least. The incompetence of the CIA-contracted crew and the trigger-happy Peruvian military is enraging, especially when the American workers start speaking in Sesame Street Spanglish: "I don't know if this is bandido or if it's … uh … amigo," one of them says to the Peruvians, who apparently don't speak any English. "Es posible we get him to land in Iquitos and check. Okay. Before brrrrrrrr [making machine-gun noise]." Meanwhile, Jim Bowers says he misses his wife and daughter but that he knows Roni would have chosen to die to bring people to God. "It's been a great opportunity," he told the Associated Press. "As soon as I identify myself I have a wide open door to say anything I want to. I can talk about the Lord and people will listen. This all was God's plan."

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