The Americans were used to working with Colombian officers who would joke about failed missions, who took them no more seriously than getting the wrong order at a restaurant.
There were plenty of reasons why they repeatedly failed. On one occasion, approaching a suspect finca on a morning raid, the assault force lined up along a ridge and then simply walked toward the structure. A Centra Spike soldier accompanying them suggested that the force drop down on the ground and crawl.
"In the dirt?" asked a Colombian officer, insulted by the suggestion. "My guys don't crawl in the dirt and the mud."
The occupants of the target house fled well before the raiding party arrived. The finca had all the hallmarks of an Escobar hideout [...] The occupants had fled in such haste that they hadn't had time to completely burn documents, so they had urinated and defecated on them. This was enough to dissuade the national police from taking a look. When the Centra Spike man began to fish the papers out of the mess, the colonel himself objected.
"I can't believe you'd do that," he said. "That's human waste!"
"Where I come from we also low-crawl and get our uniforms dirty," the American said. (88)
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Readings in American History
Today's tidbit comes from the War-on-Drugs era, more specifically from Mark Bowden's Killing Pablo (which is about the manhunt for Pablo Escobar).