Many flights where the US Central Intelligence Agency moved suspected terrorists around are now a matter of public record.
WASHINGTON — On Nov. 8, 2002, a Richmor Gulfstream, Tail No. N85VM, took off for Shannon Airport in Ireland, then to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, on a flight that paralleled the arrest that month of USS Cole bombing suspect Abd al-Nashiri.
It was the first of a run of secret long-distance flights by the Gulfstream between 2002 and 2005 that paralleled the suspected movements of captured al-Qaida and other terrorist leaders who vanished into CIA-run black prisons after their arrests following the Sept. 11 attacks.
You might expect the CIA to keep this sort of stuff secret. But a billing dispute between two companies involved in these flights has spilled into public records filed in a lawsuit. Apparently the CIA made no effort to prevent this from happening.
Incompetence or calculation?
The CIA operates with the power of a sovereign government and has been given legal authority to do things with a degree of secrecy that most agencies are not allowed to have. Does it lack the legal authority to, say, buy its own airplanes and then operate them without record of where they've been? Can't it rent an airplane with a contract that does not record where the airplane is going to go? Maybe just rent by the 25,000 mile increment?
Anyone understand how competent the CIA is at keeping secrets it really wants to keep?
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2011 September 03 10:03 AM Terrorists Western Response|