Humint Events Online: Strange Dealings Down South

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Strange Dealings Down South

John McCain is taking his Straight Talk Express tour to Mexico and Columbia. I’ve gotta tell you, ever since the itinerary of the tour was announced, I’ve been scratching my head a bit. It didn’t make any sense. Why would a U.S. presidential candidate feel the need to hobnob with the political elite in Mexico City and Bogata? And on a day that it was revealed that one of McCain’s biggest financial boosters had paid off right wing Columbian guerrillas over a long period of time?

Teh wierd, as the kids would say.

Let’s further tighten down the tinfoil hat for a moment. Earlier this afternoon, it was reported that several hostages who had been held since 2002 / 2003 time frame by a Columbian militant movement (one that’s associated, at least in the press, with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez), had been freed. Among the hostages who were “liberated” by Columbian military forces was a former Columbian presidential candidate, and three American military contractors:

Former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt has been rescued, the country’s defense minister, Juan Manuel Santos, said Wednesday.

Betancourt, who is reportedly in severely deteriorating health, was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC, in 2002.

Along with Betancourt, three Americans and 11 other hostages who were Colombian police were rescued from FARC…the freed include Americans Keith Stansell, Marc Gonsalves and Thomas Howes.

…Stansell, Gonsalves and Howes have been held since February 13, 2003, when their single-engine plane crashed in mountains south of Bogota. The Americans were working for Northrop Grumman Corp. as part of a U.S.-funded counternarcotics effort…

I know this doesn’t mean anything to most Americans, but: Northrup Grumman? U.S.-funded counternarco operation? What were three guys who work for a private American military contractor doing flying around Columbia in the first place? My goodness, there’s some stories to be told.


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