WASHINGTON – CIA personnel lied to Congress in April 2001 about a missionary plane shot down in Peru that killed a woman and her 7-month-old daughter, the CIA inspector general revealed in a report being released by California Rep. Pete Hoekstra on Thursday.
At the time, CIA personnel said the Peruvian Air Force suspected the plane was full of drug traffickers. The damning report, however, shows that CIA employees misled and even lied to Congress about what happened and did not supply accurate information to the Department of Justice or the Bush administration.
The inspector general's report, written up about six weeks ago, said the CIA covered up the actions of those involved. The Peruvian Air Force had claimed that the incident was an unavoidable accident because the fighter pilot followed international guidelines to shoot after the missionary plane ignored repeated warnings to land.
According to an April 2001 report in Christianity Today, the Peruvian Air Force opened fire on the Cessna 185 floatplane that was carrying a missionary couple and their two children from the Colombian border toward the city of Iquitos, 600 miles northeast of Lima. Veronica Bowers and her baby, Charity, were killed. Bowers' husband, James Bowers, and the couple's 7-year-old son, Cory, survived as did the pilot, Kevin Donaldson.
The IG report has a number of recommendations to the CIA, but intelligence sources say CIA Director Michael Hayden hasn't made any decisions yet about which ones or whether to adopt them, and is seeking input from an external advisory board of 12 people he set up.
The CIA will not comment yet on the substance of the report, which is still being reviewed by Hayden.
FOX News' Jim Angle contributed to this report.