The Need for Speed

| September 8, 2003

That famous Top Gun quote about feeling 'the need for speed' could have been a reference to mandated drug use. Filmmaker Jamie Doran's The Need for Speed is a 50-minute documentary -- viewable on the OneWorld TV website -- examining allegations that the military requires F-16 fighter pilots to use amphetamines during combat. Central to the story is the case of Major Harry Schmidt and Major Bill Umbach, the two pilots responsible for the friendly fire deaths of four Canadians. When court marshaled for their attack, the pilots' defense was that their commanders required them to take Dexedrine 'or risk not flying at all.' Military officials insist that pilots are offered amphetamine prescriptions to be consumed at their own discretion.
-- Erin Ferdinand

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