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."
- Faith and the horror film | Wes Craven talks about Nightmare on Elm Street and his Christian upbringing (Religion News Service)
- Sales of Christian music praiseworthy | September 11 had effect, but sales increase can also be attributed to blockbuster releases by P.O.D. and Michael W. Smith (The Denver Post)
- P.O.D. sends up a spiritual Satellite | Latest album went platinum in five weeks. (Boston Herald)
- Also: Shout at the devil | Metal band P.O.D. plays Christian rock with an edge (Newsday)
- New violence kills three in Indonesian Maluku Islands | Hundreds of armed attackers swarm Christian village (Radio Australia)
- Bin Laden targets Christians | Muslims called to attack countries "under the banner of the Cross" (The Times, London)
- Another northern state prepares for Shari 'ah | Kaduna latest Nigerian state to implement Islamic law (UN Integrated Regional Information Networks)
- Law bans religious freedom, says vicar | Attack on Pakistani church blamed on country's blasphemy law (The Daily Telegraph, London)
Faith after September 11:
- Many stand by faith that gave comfort | Their rediscovered fervor carries over (Chicago Tribune)
- The cross in the rubble | Miracle or not, the cross is the perfect symbol to find in the midst of terror and tragedy (Maggie Gallagher)
- Manhattan's Trinity Church to reopen | Sunday's 11:15 a.m. service will belatedly commemorate All Saints' Day and include prayers for victims of the World Trade Center attack (New York Daily News)
- Atheists tune in GodBlessAmerica | In most cases the sentimental intent of "God Bless America" is something with which I and most every other American atheist can heartily agree (George H. Smith, Newsday)
- Earlier: Christian History Corner: God Bless, More or Less | Irving Berlin's anthem captures America. (Christianity Today, Nov. 2)
Crime & punishment:
- Youthful criminal life haunts man of the cloth | An Alabama preacher faces murder trial in a 1993 California killing. Parishioners say he has changed. (Los Angeles Times)
- Abuse Alleged at Christian Academy | 115 children removed as Heartland Christian Academy gets in trouble again (Associated Press)
- Massachusetts clears five witches in Salem trials | State has tried to make amends before (The New York Times)
- Bible class would not be best course for Goodrich County schools | How about a world religions class instead? (Editorial, Flint Journal)
- Santa in, religious symbols out at season's exhibit | Muslim leaders question decision to end three-decade holiday display tradition in Mission Viejo, California (The Los Angeles Times)
Other stories of interest:
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