(24 Feb 2003)
1. Wide shot White House briefing in progress
2. Cutaway of reporters
3. White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer at podium
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Ari Fleischer, White House Press Secretary:
"The situation in Colombia, it's been a situation of a vexing nature as a result of FARC's involvement in narcotics. And per authorization from United States Congress the United States is engaged in a counter-narcotic and counter-terrorist effort in Colombia, and that is the purpose of having American military in Colombia to assist the government of Colombia and President Uribe's new government and its efforts to fight the FARC which has inflicted a huge damage on the people of Colombia. That is why Congress has authorized action, and we are pleased to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Colombia in this regard."
Question: So now they (US Troops) engaged in combat mission against the FARC?
Answer: "No, I haven t said that, I said that United States is down there in a position providing assistance to the government of Colombia. Colombia is engaged in the fighting against the FARC and we are there to provide assistance in counter narcotics and counter terrorism efforts."
Arauca – Feb 7, 2003
6. Wide shot of airplane deploying US personnel
7. Mid shot of Colombian soldiers helping unload plane
8. Md shot of US commander standing as Colombian troops get inside helicopter
9. Close up of American soldiers on patrol
10. Wide shot of US hammer vehicle driving outside of compound
11.Two shots of US troop on patrol
12. Mid shot of Helicopter landing, US soldiers on patrol
12. Wide shot of Philip Reeker, State Department Deputy Spokesman at podium
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Philip Reeker, State Department Deputy Spokesman:
"The report that we sent 150 additional troops to support this search and rescue operation is erroneous. It is wrong, and I think you can speak with the Pentagon and see if they have any more details to share at this point to share. That report was wrong."
14. Cutaway of reporters
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Philip Reeker, State Department Deputy Spokesman:
"What the president was reporting into Congress was increases beyond that as he is required to report for pre planned, previously arranged deployments to support the training that had began earlier this year. So, this incident with the airplane and the requirement for search and rescue personnel efforts occurred as that previously planned deployment was going on that was what the president reported on."
La Esmeralda/Bogota – 16 Feb 2003
16. Various of Colombian Army recovering
Washington's plan to send more troops to Colombia to search for three Americans captured by rebels may run into a roadblock in the Colombian Senate, a top lawmaker said Monday.
Members of the Senate's foreign relations committee are looking into the constitutionality of the deployment and may call a special session to debate the matter, said Jimmy Chamorro, vice president of the committee. The Senate is currently in recess.
A spokesman for the U.S. Southern Command, which oversees military operations in Latin America, said Monday that U.S. President George W. Bush authorized up to 150 more military personnel be sent.
"They are not for combat," spokesman Art Merkel said by phone from SouthCom's Miami headquarters. "Though they will deploy with their weapons, it's only for personal protection."
The Pentagon has not said exactly what role the new forces will play in Colombia, throwing into doubt the constitutionality of their presence in this South American nation.
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