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Former naval aviator Don Boecker isn't too proud to say he was scared out of his wits on that July 1965 day in Laos when he dangled by one arm from a helicopter while enemy soldiers took aim below.
Boecker had spent the longest night of his life in the thick jungle, evading capture and certain execution while awaiting rescue. The Navy aviator had ejected after a bomb he intended to drop on the Ho Chi Minh trail exploded prematurely.
His rescuers that day, however, weren't from the American military, who couldn't be caught conducting a secret bombing campaign in Laos.
They were civilian employees of Air America, an ostensibly private airline essentially owned and operated by the CIA.
Boecker, now a 71-year-old retired rear admiral, plans to tell the story on Saturday at a symposium intended to give a fuller account of an important outfit that alumni say is still misunderstood by the American public.
The University of Texas at Dallas event coincides with the CIA's release of about 10,000 previously classified Air America records, which will become part of the school library's extensive aviation collection. The CIA declassified the documents following a Freedom of Information Act request by UT-Dallas.
Many chastise Karzai for being too docile in his dealings with corrupt governors and police chiefs and for maintaining ties for the country's former warlords. But Karzai's latest troubles are closer to home in nature: They center around allegations that one of his brothers is involved in drug trafficking. His younger brother Ahmed Wali Karzai is influential among the Popalzai, a Pashtun clan, in Karzai's home province of Kandahar and is the chairman of the provincial council. It is believed the Ahmed Wali is also the head of a group involved in opium and heroin trafficking that smuggles drugs to the West through Iran and Turkey. Sources in security circles claim that he provides protection for drug transports in southern Afghanistan.
Originally posted by mkultraangel
ON a more conspiratorial note though, could this be the signaling of a "pass the buck" scenario and if so to who---DHS?