Pilots Say DEA Bullies Them Into Afghan Tours
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2009 7:02 PM CDT
United States Army soldiers transferring out of a forward operating base in the Zabul province of Afghanistan, wait to board a Chinook helicopter, Wednesday, June 17, 2009.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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(Newser) – Some special-agent pilots for the Drug Enforcement Administration say the agency is illegally coercing them to work in Afghanistan, McClatchy reports. In interviews, more than a dozen agents said superiors were punishing agents with 2-month Afghan tours, or threatening demotions if they refused to go. "What's going to happen is somebody at some point is going to get killed," one agent said.

Daniel Offield, a veteran DEA pilot, has filed a discrimination complaint saying the agency decided to send him to Afghanistan when he revealed he was gay and criticized the DEA on an MSNBC news show. A DEA spokesman denied discrimination and said agency pilots "are expected to support DEA's global mission," in Afghanistan or elsewhere. Agents who refuse to go, he said, can transfer to another division.