CONGRESSMAN CONDEMNS C.I.A. COVER-UP IN DEATH OF BOWERS FAMILY
NWV News Director, Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
November 21, 2008
NewsWithViews.Com News Director Jim Kouri participated in a special news teleconference today. US Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, held a media conference call at 10 AM this morning to discuss a matter of grave concern involving the US intelligence community and one of the most disturbing in his time leading congressional oversight of the community.
US Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, today strongly criticized rogue CIA employees that a CIA Inspector General's report concluded had attempted to block congressional and federal investigations into the agency's role in the shoot-down of a plane carrying the Bowers family of Muskegon, Mich.
Hoekstra expressed his frustration after personally reviewing the findings of a CIA IG report titled the "Procedures Used in the Narcotics Airbridge Denial Program in Peru, 1995-2001."
The IG report reviewed procedures used in the airbridge-denial program, including those that resulted in the deaths of Veronica "Roni" Bowers and her infant daughter, Charity, and the injury of three others on the plane carrying them, including Bowers' husband and young son.
"To say these deaths did not have to happen is more than an understatement," Hoekstra said. "The CIA knew about repeated serious issues with this program, but took no corrective actions, which could have prevented this needless tragedy. Making matters worse, the inspector general found continuous efforts to cover the matter up and potentially block criminal investigation."
Hoekstra called for the House Intelligence Committee to hold hearings into the incident involving the Bowerses and potential attempts by CIA to obstruct previous congressional inquiries on the matter.
He sent a letter to CIA Inspector General John Helgerson, author and classification authority for the IG report, requesting that it be declassified as much as possible and made available for public scrutiny. In his letter, Hoekstra noted federal law prohibits the classification of information to prevent embarrassment to federal agencies.
Hoekstra, citing allegations in the IG report of deliberately misleading statements made before Congress and information withheld from federal investigators, also called for Helgerson to ensure the Justice Department has the opportunity to determine whether further inquiry is warranted.
"This issue goes to the heart of the American people's ability to trust the CIA," Hoekstra said. "Americans deserve to know that agencies given the power to operate on their behalf aren't abusing that power or their trust.
"Given all they have suffered, the Bowers family deserves to know that justice truly has been served when it comes to the loss of their loved ones."
"While the press conference was designed to bring this matter to the attention of all Americans, don't hold your breath waiting for the elite media to cover it. As with the Waco slaughter and the Ruby Ridge shootings by federal agents, the liberals don't care when American citizens are victims of excessive force. The only care when Americans use force on murderers, thugs and terrorists," claims political strategist Mike Baker.
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"Congressman Hoekstra is one of the few congressmen who really cares about Americans being abused or killed by government agents. Most lawmakers couldn't care less about such abuse," added Baker.
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