The Washington Times - July 3, 2008, 03:23PM

By Jeffrey Denning Home sweet home! There’s no better time to come home than on the eve of Independence Day. Such is the blessing extended to three American security contractors, all former U.S. military members, who’ve been held by nacro-terrorists in Columbia since February 2003. Keith Stansell, Marc Gonsalves and Thomas Howes were working for DynCorp conducting a drug eradication mission when narco-terrorists shot down their helicopter and executed their co-workers at point blank range. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) is the group that held the men and literally hundreds of others over the years. Aside from enforcing a colossal cocaine enterprise through murder, extortion, and brutal hostage taking, the terrorist group has also been working to get materials for a radioactive dirty bomb, according to a claim by the Colombian government made earlier this year. Not long ago, an individual who worked at the U.S. embassy in Columbia while these hostages were held in captivity expressed to me the difficulty in rescuing them. The hostages were moved frequently, which complicated rescue efforts. Fortunately, while moving the hostages again – this time in a helicopter – members of FARC were conned. The elaborate ruse worked and the hostages were rescued! These men have been held in captivity for five years. Five years of news reports, five years of sitcoms, five years of comfortable living for most Americans. These men suffered incomprehensible scourging at the hands of evil men. But the nefarious, violent world of Columbian drug production and drug trade, and its affects upon U.S. families doesn’t end there. Everyday drugs are smuggled across our borders, flown into our airspace, or carried by “mules” (people who transport drugs in behalf of others) through commercial airports and on commercial airplanes. These desperate men and women go through great lengths to hide their illegal substances. Some swallow balloons filled with drugs then retrieve it once their flight is over. It’s nearly impossible to avoid the scatological reference. Perhaps the worst, most despicable thing I’ve ever heard about drug trafficking, involved a two-year-old child. A former colleague on a law enforcement Drug Suppression Team conducted some joint training with the U.S. Border Patrol on the southern border. He later related that when one car drove up from Mexico to the U.S. border, a Border Patrol agent found a dead two-year-old secured in a car seat with a blanket over its head. The drug traffickers had eviscerated the infant, stuffed two kilos of coke in its torso and crudely sewn it shut. And how is it that drug trafficking continues? Simple demand. American’s want it. Shockingly, over 45 percent of high school seniors report that they could easily obtain cocaine. Do you think that if more people knew about the hidden horrors in the world of drugs they’d make a stronger effort to try and stop drugs – or stop using drugs? I’m sure the three recently rescued hostages and their families have some pretty strong feelings about the dangers of drugs, and how it ruins lives and tears families apart…literally.