Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Poison Spray
Afghan poppy fields mysteriously sprayed with chemicals
Recently, planes have been flying over the poppy fields of Afghan farmers, spraying them — along with houses, orchards, and perhaps even families — with toxic chemicals apparently intended to kill poppy crops and keep them from being converted to heroin. Afghan President Hamid Karzai expressed shock at the spraying, which his government has vowed never to support, and called on U.S. and U.K. ambassadors to explain the abrogation of Afghan sovereignty. The U.S. recently announced that it will provide $780 million to battle illegal drug production in Afghanistan, it still has a substantial military presence in the country, and it has control over Afghan airspace (says provincial governor Hajji Din Muhammad, “not even a bird can fly without them knowing”). Nonetheless, both the U.S. and the U.K. denied involvement and claimed they didn’t know who was responsible. What a puzzler!