Tuesday, May 16, 2006

CIA fronts and "renditions" in Dubai

This story in the Khaleej Times, the leading English-language newspaper in Dubai, identifies front companies involved in CIA-sponsored "rendition" flights.
According to records of approximately 3,000 flights obtained by Amnesty International and the research group TransArms, planes owned or chartered by the CIA and linked to the renditions programme, made stop offs in the UAE. The first plane, a Boeing 737, made a total of 5 stops in the UAE: four in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi. The plane was first registered by a company called Stevens Express Leasing (SEL), then by Premier Executive Transport Services (PETS) and finally in 2004 by Keeler & Tate Management (KTM).
Amnesty says all three firms are front companies set up by the CIA.
Dubai is not a democracy and does not treat prisoners softly, so why go elsewhere? When the Skyway drug-smuggling scandal came to light, I began to wonder if these "rendition" flights are only about kidnapping and torture. Maybe those planes hold other cargo. We've been hearing a lot about spooky airlines lately...