A logo for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) (Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The CIA has reportedly helped Columbian forces kill at least two dozen rebel leaders under a black budget program that started under President George W. Bush and continued under President Obama, according to The Washington Post.
The U.S. involvement includes help from the National Security Agency (NSA) on eavesdropping along with an unknown number of $30,000 GPS guidance kit that turns a 500-pound gravity bomb into a highly accurate smart bomb, according to over 30 current and former anonymous U.S. and Columbian officials.
In early 2010, the U.S. government reportedly gave the Columbian government control over the GPS encryption keys for the smart bombs and the number of smart bomb strikes targeting the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has increased significantly under the current president.
All of the CIA’s covert action program that has helped Columbian forces has been carried out without being accounted for in the $9 billion package of aid to Columbia, most of which is military aid.
The Post’s report is the first time that any U.S. role in the March 2008 attack that killed senior FARC leader Raul Reyes in Ecuador was revealed, though the Post says the operation was only carried out with “tacit” approval.
The program in Columbia is just one of multiple “enhanced intelligence initiatives that has escaped public notice” since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to the Post.
Most of the handful of programs are focused on countries with significant drug cartel problems including Mexico, where the assistance provided by U.S. intelligence is larger than anywhere outside of Afghanistan, according to the Post.
A spokesman for the CIA declined to comment for the Post’s report.
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