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01 September 2011

the secret air route map of North America, the North Atlantic and Caribbean, Europe, Asia and North Africa

Click image to enlarge.

Come Fly With Me
by Sammy Cahn & Jimmy Van Heusen

Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away
If you can use some exotic booze
There's a bar in far Bombay
Come on fly with me, we'll float down in the blue

Fly with me, float down to Peru
In llama land there's a one-man band
And he'll toot his flute for you
Fly with me, we'll take off in the blue

Once I get you up there where the air is rarefied
We'll just glide, starry-eyed
Once I get you up there I'll be holding you so very near
You might even hear a gang of angels cheer just because we're together

Weather-wise it's such a cool, cool day
You just say those words we'll whip those birds down to Acapulco Bay
It is perfect for a flying honeymoon, they do say
Come on and fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away

Once I get you up there where the air is so rarefied
We're gonna glide absolutely starry-eyed
Once I get you up there I'll be holding you so very near
You might even hear a gang of angels cheer just because we're together

Weather-wise it's such a groovy day
You just say those words we'll whip those birds down to Acapulco Bay
It's perfect for a flying honeymoon, they do say
Come on fly with me, let's fly, let's fly
Pack up your bags and let's get out of here
Come on let's fly away


A team of masked men (and maybe masked women) kick in your apartment door, or grab you on the street, put a leather bag over your head, bound your hands and feet, stick a butt plug up your anus, put incontinence diapers on you, and drive you to an airfield, where you are put aboard a small private plane, a corporate jet, and flown halfway around the world to a secret prison, where you are held indefinitely and tortured often. No legal processes accompany this surprise adventure. After a year held incommunicado, if you are very lucky, another team flies you and dumps you somewhere near your home. They may have targetted you because some perfect stranger, while being tortured, mentioned your name, or a name very similar to yours. You will certainly never see a consul from your homeland, you will certainly never have access to a lawyer or legal advocate. Or your family.

This is roughly an accurate description of an initiative undertaken and supervised by the United States government hundreds of times since the terrorist attacks on USA targets on Tuesday 11 September 2001.

Somewhere in Los Angeles there's a billboard of the above rendition world flight map, you can stand across the street and look at it the way you'd look at a Calvin Klein jeans billboard.

And now here it is for your viewing convenience on Vleeptron.

Baku, Azherbaijan will be the site of the Eurovision Song Contest in April, because an Azherbaijani duet won the last Eurovision contest in Germany. Apparently there is Something Else going on not far from Baku Airport of world significance, an aspect of the USA's close relationship or alliance with Azherbaijan.

~ ~ ~

You have absolutely no right, authority or power to ask this question, or to expect any answer, but are you comfortable living on Planet Earth in this era, where governments commonly order these bestial subhuman things to happen?

This is one very big fucking elephant in the bathtub. Sooner or later you'd think a lot of people would notice this enormous wild animal bathing with them, and if the people are lucky enough to have been permitted some degree of free speech by their government security apparatus, you'd think lots of people would make an enormous amount of angry noise about the way a lot of the world agrees to work these days.

Will it make any difference if I throw in "human rights" or "rule of law" of "human dignity"? Will my concerns for these things make one rat's ass of difference in reducing or slowing or eliminating these practices?

If you are offended by my vulgar tone about what I feel to be a very serious subject, remember that I'm complaining about men (and maybe women) who introduce themselves to perfect strangers by binding their hands and feet and sticking a butt plug up your anus.

In many of these renditions, the targets just never return to the light of day and the real world. They are gone. Deseparado.

There is a huge debate -- and in fact the debate has lodged like a gallstone or hemmorhoid or tumor just inches from the center of the USA presidency. Somehow he -- and not long from now it will be she -- communicates to his/her subordinates that they should commence kidnapping strangers -- of any degree of guilt from None to Fiend -- and detain and torture them to extract intelligence, to be used to safeguard Western allies from terrorist attacks.

The huge and very angry debate centers on the reliability of intelligence extracted in this manner.

In olden days, nobody really wanted intelligence. They just wanted you to shriek for hours in whimpering agony, as a public example to others, or to mouth some theological ritual apologizing for your many heresies and blasphemies.

Now they say they want intelligence.

Is it worth shit? I am trying to imagine what I would say to make the masked men and women stop  torturing me.


Agence France-Presse/AFP (newswire)
Thursday 1 September 2011

Billing dispute reveals 

details on CIA rendition flights

A billing dispute in New York has revealed details of secret CIA rendition flights that transported terror suspects around the world following the 9/11 attacks, court documents reviewed Thursday show.

Documents filed in a New York appeals court detail dozens of rendition flights -- to locations including Bucharest, Baku, Cairo, Djibouti, Islamabad and Tripoli -- organized by Sportsflight, a private, one-man aircraft business on Long Island [a drive east of Manhattan] that procured the charter flights for the US government.

According to the documents, copies of which were obtained by AFP from a London-based rights group, Sportsflight secured a plane from Richmor Aviation, which is now suing Sportsflight for breach of contract.

When Sportsflight began procuring the flights in 2002 shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, the purposes "were undisclosed at the time."

But "it was ultimately learned that the flights would be going to and from Guantanamo Bay [a US military base on Cuba] and would be used for assorted rendition missions," according to the court filing.

Secret CIA flights were conducted in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks to transfer "war on terror" suspects to third countries for interrogation. Many of the suspects subjected to the rendition program said they were tortured.

The business dispute, in which the two companies are fighting over more than $1,100,000 sought by Richmor for unused but contracted flight hours, has helped lift the veil of secrecy on the rendition program.

The 1,775 pages of documents include the invoices and itineraries of numerous CIA flights, and they are extraordinary in that they have become part of the court record.

Richmor, which flew its final flight for the government in January 2005, billed at a rate of U$4,900 an hour for the use of the plane, which was chartered to transport "suspected terrorists," the documents said.

The Washington Post, citing the invoices and other court records, reported that Richmor earned at least U$6,000,000 over three years.

It accounted for a small percentage of the total flights, according to the Post, suggesting that the Central Intelligence Agency spent tens of millions of dollars to use private planes to transport suspects for interrogation.

The spy agency would not confirm any of the details.

"The CIA does not, as a rule, comment on pending litigation, especially that to which we are not a party," agency spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood told AFP.

The State Department also declined to comment.

The court documents said Sportsflight had agreed to make the Gulfstream IV executive jet available to fly at 12 hours' notice.

"The client says we're going to be very, very busy," Sportsflight told Richmor, according to the filing. "We're going to fly more than 50 hours a month."

The same documents quote Richmor President Mahlon Richards as saying "we were transporting government personnel and their invitees."

The court filing was brought to media attention by Reprieve, a group which advocates for prisoners' rights and focuses on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, in Cuba, where the United States has held high-profile terror suspects since 2001.

The Post described one such rendition flight that took place on August 12, 2003, when a Gulfstream IV aircraft carrying six passengers took off from Dulles International Airport near Washington and flew to Bangkok.

Before returning four days later, it touched down in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates and Ireland, and appears to have coincided with the capture of Riduan Isamuddin, a suspected terrorist from Indonesia known as Hambali.

The entire journey cost U$339,228.05, the Post said.

Hambali, the alleged planner of the 2002 terror attacks in Bali, was captured in Thailand and would spend the next three years being flown between secret prisons until his transfer to Guantanamo, where he is currently held.

The Gulfstream IV was identified publicly in 2005 after it was used in the capture and rendition of a cleric in Milan who was flown to his native Egypt, where he says he was tortured.

Britain's Guardian newspaper, which also received the court documents, said the plane may have also been used in the rendition of senior Al-Qaeda militant Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks who was later waterboarded 183 times in a single month.

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The New Yorker (magazine USA)
Thursday 1 September 2011


Flying Torture Victims 
(and the Red Sox)

Posted by Amy Davidson

If you’re going to get mixed up in a rendition program that extrajudicially flies people to secret prisons to be tortured—and I hope that you aren’t—it helps to pay your bills. The Obama Administration, like the Bush Administration, has been shockingly quick to invoke the state-secrets privilege to get whole cases thrown out of court when they are brought by prisoners, including one who was kidnapped and beaten in what everyone agrees was a case of mistaken identity. (He was the subject of a Talk of the Town story in 2006.) But the government doesn’t seem to have thought through a legal fight in upstate New York between Richmor Aviation and SportsFlight Air about the invoices for a charter flight that carried people to be tortured. The lawyer for Richmor told the Washington Post,

    I kept waiting for [the government] to contact me. I kept thinking, “Isn’t someone going to come up here and talk to me?”

No, and the trial produced more than fifteen hundred pages of documents about the flights, all in open filings and transcripts, which Reprieve, a British human rights group, spotted. The A.P. [Associated Press] says that the judge did try to avoid going into depth about intelligence operations, saying in court, “Does this have anything to do with the contract? I mean, it’s all very interesting, and I would love to hear about it, but does it have anything to do with how much money is owed?”

What it does have to do with the money owed is interesting enough: a flight could cost over three hundred thousand dollars. The bills included charges for “assorted muffins and bagels” ($31.80) and also, according to the Post,     multiple calls to CIA headquarters; to the cell- and home phones of a senior CIA official involved in the rendition program; and to a government contractor, Falls Church-based DynCorp, that worked for the CIA.

The planes travelled with “letters of convenience,” meaning that they had the privileges of government flights, but the official who signed them does not seem to officially exist, at least under that name. Speaking of names, “SportsFlight” is not a casual one: according to the Guardian, “In between rendition flights the aircraft was used to fly the Boston Red Sox baseball team.” (Will that cause Rudolph Giuliani, who, as he like to remind us, is a Yankees fan, to reassess his support for war-on-terrorism detention policies? Or will he just wish that those particular flights had continued on to Guant√°namo?)

It is an good day to talk about the protection of secrets, with the release of unredacted diplomatic cables from the WikiLeaks stash leading to charges and countercharges and confusion about who let them go and how. One answer to that is, of course, our government itself, which had the files poorly protected enough for hundreds of thousands of people to have access. Potentially harmful things were mixed up with dross, as well as with information that it would have been truly useful for the public to know.

What do we mean when we say that something is secret? The word tends to be used defensively, to protect the government from embarrassment that it deserves to feel, and aggressively, as with the absurd censoring of a book by Ali Soufan. (Lawrence Wright wrote about that case last week.) The rendition program was well known, in great detail; what the state-secrets privilege prevented was not disclosure but accountability. If someone in the government whose job it was to keep secrets had taken a sensible look at the billing case, rather than, as may have been, neglecting it, the result might have been the same—a laying open of the books. But we might have had a moral reckoning—one we badly need—and not just a tallying of bills.

This plane went on fifty-five flights—Baghdad, Bucharest, Bangkok, Guantanamo Bay—but there were a thousand involved in the program. One feels a bit sorry that their bills seem to have been paid, especially since it was our money, our government, our name attached to the planes and the torture and even the assorted muffins and bagels. (“We don’t ask questions,” the muffin vendor told the A.P. “We’re never told and we never ask. It could be a VIP, but to us it doesn’t matter. It’s just another customer.”) But maybe there are some stray unpaid invoices out there, and a sub-sub-sub-contractor who is angry, and a case that might let the public in.

Read More

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PatfromCH said...

A few of these flights went over CH. The swiss government, military and civil secret service were aware of this, they even gave permission. they did not want to mess with the Bush Government I reckon.

When a member of military intelligence sent a fax and documents with details to a local tabloid paper, Hell Broke Loose. Because we are neutral, the home of various human rights organizations and basically do not approve of such measures. I have worked in the facility where that fax was sent from, the only improvement was extremely tightened security.

There was a lot of screaming bloody murder. Swiss parliament and the government have done exactly Nothing about the affair. The people who approved of these flights and thus violated basic human rights are still in charge.

Oh I could tell you stories about swiss foreign policy you won't find in the pages of the New York times..(then again, that is why I am MOTG)

patfromch said...

Noticed that some of these flights also went over Lybia ?
Docuents that have surfaced claim that the CIA was on good terms with the Ghadaffi regime when it came to these flights. And while the authenticity of some of these documents still has to be proved it would not be unlikely. The enemy of my enemy is my friend I guess. Wont be the first OR lst time the CIA has effed summet up. but when it comes to effing things up on amassive scalethese guys are surprisingly good. True american work ethic I reckon....

contactos en barcelona said...

This can't succeed as a matter of fact, that is exactly what I believe.