Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

Colombia Chief Denounces US Officials on His Drug Stand

COLOMBIA'S prosecutor-general said Saturday that United States administration officials and a senator have falsely accused him of proposing outright legalization of narcotics and of meeting secretly with drug traffickers in his country.

Gustavo de Grieff spoke at a news conference called to defend his position in a quarrel with the US government over anti-narcotics strategy.

About these ads

The State Department said last month US enforcement agencies had suspended evidence-sharing with Mr. de Grieff's office because his actions showed readiness to accomodate traffickers ``on terms that some consider disturbingly lenient.''

De Grieff ``has publicly stated his conclusion that the international drug-control effort has failed and has espoused decriminalization,'' US Assistant Attorney General Jo Ann Harris testified to a congressional panel last Wednesday.

De Grieff said: ``I do not advocate a free and open market of drugs or any other model of legalization that diminishes profits only by increasing total supply and availability. I think there is no difference in goals between myself and my critics,'' de Grieff said, naming Ms. Harris and Sen. John Kerry (D) of Massachusetts, chairman of the Foreign Relations subcommittee at which Harris appeared. Admiral Kelso retires

ADM. Frank Kelso stepped down Saturday as the Navy's top officer, ending a career tarnished by the Tailhook sexual-abuse scandal. Adm. Jeremy Boorda took charge after a change of command ceremony at the Naval Academy.

Last week, the Senate approved Admiral Kelso's retirement at his current rank, overriding a motion by all seven women US senators that he be demoted and have his pension cut because of Tailhook.

Kelso attended the 1991 Tailhook military convention in Las Vegas, Nev. Female officers complained they were harassed and assaulted by male officers. Kelso said he didn't witness any misconduct but later launched a probe into the affair that critics said was badly carried out.

Under federal law, the Senate must give consent for officers to retire at three- and four-star rankings. The Senate voted 54-to-43 to allow Kelso to retire with four stars and an $84,340-a-year pension. The female senators had proposed cutting his rank to two stars and lowering his pension by $16,873.

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.