Spy Games? Deadly CIA Flap Caught on Tape

By David Schoetz

Feb 3, 2010 5:26pm

It falls into the stranger-than-fiction category – but for one family, it’s a very tragic reality. A tragic reality caught on tape. Brian Ross and his Blotter team tonight bring us the investigation into a small plane that was wrongly shot out of the sky above Peru in April 2001. The Cessna was mistaken for a drug-smuggling aircraft. Aboard, a family of American Christian Missionaries pictured above, the Bowers, was instantly torn apart – mother Roni and infant daughter Charity killed by gunfire – father Jim and 6-year-old son Cory surviving the crash. Pilot Kevin Donaldson also lived, injuring both legs. The Peruvian Air Force fired the fatal shots from a gunship, but they were working at the time alongside the CIA on a drug prevention program. Embedded below is a clip from a longer video, filmed by a CIA spotter plane, that shows the spy agency first misidentify the Cessna and then waffle on whether or not they think it’s part of the drug trade. There is a missed radio transmission between the Peruvians and the Bowers plane, and the gunfire begins. What has followed is nine years of the CIA misleading government officials and the victims’ family about why rules of engagement failed to protect the family. Tonight, hear the full CIA response. Click here for a slideshow of the Bowers family.

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