Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Archival Rescue 6 ~ Outsourcing Detention


Airliner said to fuel CIA ghost jail system
February 22, 2005, Agence France-Presse, Sydney
Morning Herald.

Washington: The CIA allegedly whisked foreign terrorism suspects to clandestine interrogation facilities using a Boeing 737 dedicated for that purpose, according to Newsweek magazine.

The allegation, if proven, is "further evidence that a global 'ghost' prison system, where terror suspects are secretly interrogated, is being operated by the CIA", Newsweek reported.
The magazine wrote that it had obtained the aircraft's flight plans, indicating that the CIA had used the plane "as part of a top-secret global charter servicing clandestine interrogation facilities used in the war on terror".

It said US Federal Aviation Administration records showed the plane was owned by Premier Executive Transport Services, a now-defunct company based in Massachusetts. US intelligence sources told the magazine the company fitted the profile of a suspected CIA front. The plane's records date to December 2002 and show flights up until February 7, the magazine said.

Newsweek also noted previously disclosed flight plans of a smaller Gulfstream V jet used for similar purposes.

The magazine quoted Khaled el-Masri, a German of Lebanese descent, who claimed to have been abducted by US operatives while on holiday in Macedonia on December 31, 2003. Three weeks later, Mr Masri said, he was put on a plane to Afghanistan, where he was shackled, punched and interrogated about extremists at his mosque in Ulm, Germany, Newsweek said. Masri said he climbed high stairs "like onto a
regular passenger airplane". He was released months later and dropped off on a deserted road leading into Macedonia, he told the magazine. The dates in the flight information obtained by the magazine confirm Mr Masri's story. Last month Mr Masri told The New York Times that when he was left on the road, he tried to explain his situation to a border guard who made light of his story. "The man was laughing at me," he said. "He said: 'Don't tell that story to anyone because no one will believe it; everyone will laugh'."

Agence France-Presse


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