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Have Some Speed

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Jan 16, 2003.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    A <a href="http://personal.news.yahoo.com/us/news/ratings/getavgrate.html?locale=us&prop=news&rateid=ap/20030114/mistaken_bombing&type=T&cat=519&ncid=716">recent mishap</a> in the United States Air Force which resulted in the death of four Canadian allies in Afghanistan is believed to be the result of government issued amphetamines.

    Two pilots who dropped a bomb on Kandahar, Afghanistan on April 17 failed to secure the area as free from ally occupancy, believed to be due to involuntary drug intoxication.

    The U.S. Air Force had been issuing amphetamines to it's members to counteract the long hours and mental stress experienced by many pilots, with questionable results.

    Apparently "Umbach and Maj. Harry Schmidt are charged with involuntary manslaughter for dropping the guided bomb.." and also face numerous other lesser charges, such as aggravation of assult and dereliction of duty. Considering the crackdown on the "epidemic" of Methamphetamine abuse the government is claiming, is this yet another tedious example of the hypocrisy on the Drug War?

    Oh yeah, the pilots were also administered anti-depressants upon their return to base.
  2. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Odd link, so I can't refer to the story as posted...

    However... ;)

    Come on, I popped these things all the time in the field. It's the same stuff as No-Doze, which those of us took in college to stay awake for exams.

    One of the pilots was on a 6mg dose; the other was on a 10mg dose. Me, I could fall asleep on dosages that small. I probably get more of a charge out of 20 oz. coffee from Starbucks.

    I can tell you this, from my operational experience: at night, through NVGs, I could always clearly tell the difference between ground fire and surface-to-air fire, even at 40 feet altitude and 500 meters from the engagement. Considering these guys were at well over 10,000 and didn't establish visual ID of the forces involved--and here's the big thing, they didn't wait for attack clearance, maintaining they were under fire--this is just a ridiculous ploy by the defense.

  3. mikepd

    mikepd Veteran Member

    The use of the 'go pills' are a side issue, AFAIK. The real crux of the case is lack of proper brief of the mission. They claim they were never informed friendly troops would be conducting live fire exercises in the area. I have seen interviews with former pilots in Vietnam and later. They say this should never make trial. Contrary, to what has been expressed by higher command, these pilots felt that political considerations can and do play a part in such things.
  4. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Of course political considerations are involved. As they should be during the investigation. Our allies deserve to feel assured we examined the case impartially.

    Now I am not a pilot so anybody feel free to correct me. The pilots admittedly did not wait for clearance feeling they were under attack. When I have flown at night it was always difficult to pick out things from altitude. But if ground fire is exceeding the 10,000 feet they claimed I would think they were justified. If ground fire included missiles reaching to that altitude I would feel they are justified. But the absence of tracers or missiles at their altitude would lead me to believe they were looking for reasons to unload their ordnance rather than they were actually defending themselves. What weapons were the Canadians using in their live firing exercise? Ricochets can look like fire. But ricochets are occasional, not continuous. Looking forward to hearing more.
  5. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    You got it completely right Shiny. The only thing to add is no fighter jock I know is ever going to fly lower and towards ground fire to see whats up. Absurd!

    And regarding the pills--not only no big thing but they help. They are not a negative at all.

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