Burton Calls for Anti-Drug Aid to Colombia

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:24 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - The chairman of the House Government Reform and Operations Committee has called on the Clinton administration to take action to rectify the "critical situation" in Colombia.

Tuesday on Capitol Hill, Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) called on the Clinton administration to "support our allies, General Serrano and the Colombian National Police in the war on drugs."

Burton added, "The President's Drug Czar (General Barry McCaffrey) on August 6th said Colombia was in an emergency situation and recently suggested the U.S. should provide $1 billion in counter-narcotics assistance to Colombia. Colombian President Pastrana came to Washington in September and asked for $3.5 billion in what he called 'Plan Colombia.' Yet these calls have apparently fallen on deaf ears."

"The result? Zero - not one dollar and no proposal from this administration, which appears not to know how to handle this pending crisis. . . . If the administration cannot provide a detailed proposal within the next few days, it will be too late to do anything before the first session of Congress recesses until next year," according to Burton.

Burton added, "This is not foreign aid. It is national security. American streets and schools are awash in drugs produced in Colombia, and this administration has done very little to stop this deadly scourge from reaching the streets and schools of every Congressional District in this country."

Unless something is done, Burton believes the "threat of violence and revolution spilling over the border into Venezuela and Panama is a real possibility. The Panama Canal is obviously vital to the world's economies, not to mention the mobility of our armed forces."

"This is an urgent situation in Colombia," according to Burton, "and the Clinton administration must respond quickly or else we risk putting our national security in jeopardy. Not only will we face an increase in the flow of drugs into our country, but a rush of immigrants as well."

Burton had these words for Clinton: "Mr. President, this is not a game, but the ball is in your court."