DEA--Phooey!
December 20, 2002 1:19 PM   Subscribe

Further Gov't WOD policy contradiction... Turns out the weel-publicised friendly fire incident in Afghanistan last year may now be attributed to the pilot and bobardier being strung out on speed? Why? Because in the Air Force, crank is standard issue and refusal to partake can even render a pilot not fit for duty. This is what they mean by "The War on Drugs"?
posted by BentPenguin (30 comments total)
 
previously discussed here
posted by dolface at 1:28 PM on December 20, 2002


The article states that amphetimines and cocaine are Schedule Two. Aren't they both Schedule One (along side the most wicked of all drugs, cannabis?)

C'mon, tell me I caught a mistake by ABC News. It'll make my day.
posted by BirdD0g at 1:49 PM on December 20, 2002


BirdD0g, cocaine and amphetamines are both Schedule II drugs, according to the DEA's website.
posted by faustessa at 1:55 PM on December 20, 2002


BirdDOg, they are correct. Sorry.
posted by trondant at 1:55 PM on December 20, 2002


Schedule 1 Drugs (Drugs that have no redeeming medical or scientific use) include pot, and PCP.

Schedule 2 Drugs (Drugs that have medical purposes) include cocaine (dentists and some doctors often give Cocaine hydrochloride to numb pain), amphetamines (used in anti-depressant pills), MDMA and most barbiturates, I think.
posted by SweetJesus at 1:57 PM on December 20, 2002


Jinx!
posted by trondant at 1:57 PM on December 20, 2002


Pardon me, I meant to spell amphetamine correctly. If anyone needs me, I'll be the pot-looking fellow over here calling the kettle black... after I get my foot out of my mouth... mmm, tastes like crow.
posted by BirdD0g at 1:59 PM on December 20, 2002


I owe trondant a coke (not the schedule II kind, though).
posted by faustessa at 2:01 PM on December 20, 2002


Wait . . . are you saying that there is a contradiction or a shred of hypocrisy in a US government policy? Why do you hate freedom so much?
posted by mikrophon at 2:05 PM on December 20, 2002


My country, right or wrong.
posted by rocketman at 2:08 PM on December 20, 2002


I wonder exactly what kind of "speed" they're giving pilots. Ritalin, Dexedrine, Aderol... maybe something along those lines, or are we talking balls-out methamphetimines? Are we talking time release, or not? Are they made to take the pill in front of c/o's, or are they just given the pill, free to potentially take it up the nose, so to speak.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:11 PM on December 20, 2002


Good thing this kind of thing is confined to the Air Force. Imagine if Marine pilots started relying on speed...
posted by soyjoy at 2:14 PM on December 20, 2002


Hmmm. The DEA website. So tough looking! With the gunmetal-shaded block capital letters, and the menacing eagle silhouette! All it needs is some Wagner playing beneath a voiceover. You will comply.
posted by trharlan at 2:17 PM on December 20, 2002


Suuure, speed's good enough for our pilots, but not good enough for the rest of us?

Geez, what genius said, "Hey, I think it's OK to hand a $98 million state-of-the-art fighter plane to someone strung out on speed?"
posted by FormlessOne at 2:18 PM on December 20, 2002


Pilots are put on all sorts of crap; the uppers and downers help them stay awake and sleep, then they have pills to plug their bowels up (so they don't need a shit during an eight-hour mission) and laxatives to help them purge themselves beforehand. The human beings inside the planes are the weakest link in the chain - fighter jets don't need to go pee every two hours.
posted by RokkitNite at 2:34 PM on December 20, 2002


Better military through chemistry!
posted by BirdD0g at 2:38 PM on December 20, 2002


When unmanned drones are ramped up to carry more and more ordnance, pilots will be able to pilot from the crapper if need be...
posted by PenDevil at 2:40 PM on December 20, 2002


And they probably will need to (pilot from the crapper, I mean)... let's not forget what drugs did to Elvis.

"People say he died in his bedroom." I said, no, no, I said I read here he took all this speed and then died on the toilet. [tour guide voice] "No, sir, he died in his bedroom."
posted by BirdD0g at 2:54 PM on December 20, 2002


Dexy's Midnight Bombers, eh? Do rah yay, indeed.
posted by riviera at 3:01 PM on December 20, 2002


When I was veryyhoung and in the service I had a task that required me to be alert and on the job for 12 hours straight--a rotating thing. A guy in the building, running the pharmacy, gave me pills and they did the trick...just plain handed them out like M and Ms. He worried I might get addicted so he gave me placebos. I did fall asleep and nearly ended up in deep doo doo with the outfit, a very sensitive one. I was at that time unaware of drugs, pills etc and thought they were very helpful. Later in life I discovered that Benzadrine does make one feel like a football play running for the goal post. But this was not "govt issue." How things have improved!
posted by Postroad at 3:05 PM on December 20, 2002


previously discussed here

Just for fun, I'd just like to point out that in that thread magullo took a lot of flak, such as:

this is what Magullo writes but the story says there is no proof of this...typical lies. ...posted by clavdivs at 9:23 AM PST on June 5

Apologies, anyone? No? I didn't think so.
posted by moonbiter at 3:13 PM on December 20, 2002


funny, i read about this months ago - it's big news now that ABC deems it so?
posted by frisky biscuits at 3:14 PM on December 20, 2002


This is nothing more than a demonstration that shit flows downhill. The vast majority of the blame clearly falls on the Air Force itself, who failed to notify the pilots that there would be friendly fire during their mission. The drugs are just being brought in to muddy the issue. From what I'm reading here, the pilots acted within the proscribed rules of engagement. So how was it their mistake? It's much easier for everyone to blame these two pilots' alleged lapse of judgement than it is to accept that the USAF made a grave error in miscommunication.
posted by vraxoin at 3:39 PM on December 20, 2002


It's much easier for everyone to blame these two pilots' alleged lapse of judgement than it is to accept that the USAF made a grave error in miscommunication.

Yeah, i agree. The hypocrisy of the gov't and it's war on drugs is of course obvious but the article focuses on the drugs as the main cause of this particular travesty. Was it the drugs that were to blame or was it, like you said, miscommunication?

From the article:

The pilots had not been told the Canadians would be conducting a night live-fire training exercise in the area, even though the Canadians had properly informed the U.S. military.

But DuPont's characterization of heavy amphetamine use suggests the "go pill" policy may be playing with fire. He said, "People who get strung out on amphetamines are, are usually crazy. They're paranoid, they stop eating. … Their judgment is impaired and they do very bad things. … They are among the sickest of all drug addicts."

Although this might be true of crack or cocaine, I just don't buy it for prescription amphetamines. I've done plenty of speed in my time and it is true that they're extremely addictive, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that they severely alter your state of mind. Amphetamines are like nicotine or caffeine: extremely addictive but not severely mind-altering.
posted by poopy at 4:09 PM on December 20, 2002


Performance Maintainance During Continous Flight Operations (1 MB PDF) Guide for flight surgeons upon usage of "go/no-go pills." (5mg Dexedrine, 5-10 mg Ambien or 15 mg Restoril).

But I think they're favoring Provigil (an unscheduled stimulant) over Dexedrine, nowadays.
posted by LimePi at 4:26 PM on December 20, 2002


I'd agree with Vraxoin - " The drugs are just being brought in to muddy the issue. From what I'm reading here, the pilots acted within the proscribed rules of engagement. So how was it their mistake?"

And do really want sleepy pilots firing off heavy ordinances? Doesn't this pose a greater danger? And then there's the problem of planes costing even into the BILLIONS potentially dropping out of the sky due to pilot fatigue.

Sure, amphetamines are highly addictive to some people. And so are cigarettes, and alcohol (and coffee, and tea, and sugar, and SEX and, and, and....) In the cost/benefit analysis, I'd side with the Air Force's decision to provide speed. I do think that they should provide some prior education in the psychology of addiction though.
posted by troutfishing at 5:13 PM on December 20, 2002


None of this is really new, but it does point out once again the typical kind of hypocrisy and general bullshit that occurs continually in the military. It is a world of fear and lies -- where even the most dubious end results justify practically any means.

"During World War II, the American, British, German, and Japanese armed forces similarly issued amphetamines to their men to counteract fatigue, elevate mood, and heighten endurance. "

Sustaining helicopter pilot performance with Dexedrine during periods of sleep deprivation by Caldwell JA, Caldwell JL, Crowley JS, Jones HD U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory, Fort Rucker,AL 36362-0577, USA. Aviat Space Environ Med 1995 Oct; 66(10):930-7: "Dexedrine appears to be effective for sustaining helicopter pilot performance during short periods of sleep loss without producing adverse side effects."

"Military leaders are justified in their concern about public reaction to disclosure of the military's use of performance--enhancing drugs. The answer may lie in classifying our involvement to avoid media exploitation, educating our leaders and public concerning the unique military value of these medications, or employing some combination of these or other approaches." [emphasis added] -- Stimulant Use in Extended Flight Operations by LT COL RHONDA CORNUM, USA, DR. JOHN CALDWELL,
LT COL KORY CORNUM, USAF (Aerospace Power Journal - Spring 1997)

Just for fun, I'd just like to point out that in that thread magullo took a lot of flak, such as:

this is what Magullo writes but the story says there is no proof of this...typical lies. ...posted by clavdivs at 9:23 AM PST on June 5

Apologies, anyone? No? I didn't think so.


That was an example of typical, recurrent behavior for the poster in question. I doubt any apology will be forthcoming.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 5:57 PM on December 20, 2002


Sally is my bear.
posted by trondant at 6:26 PM on December 20, 2002


That does it! I'm moving to a country where they do everything correctly.
posted by HTuttle at 11:22 PM on December 20, 2002


Wow. Sounds like Star Trek: Encounter at Farpoint.

I wonder who copied who...
posted by shepd at 12:20 AM on December 21, 2002


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