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Navy Secretly Contracted Jets Used by CIA
The Associated Press
Saturday 24 September 2005
San Diego - A branch of the U.S. Navy secretly contracted a 33-plane fleet that included two Gulfstream jets reportedly used to fly terror suspects to countries known to practice torture, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
At least 10 U.S. aviation companies were issued classified contracts in 2001 and 2002 by the obscure Navy Engineering Logistics Office for the "occasional airlift of USN (Navy) cargo worldwide," according to Defense Department documents the AP obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Two of the companies - Richmor Aviation Inc. and Premier Executive Transport Services Inc. - chartered luxury Gulfstreams that flew terror suspects captured in Europe to Egypt, according to U.S. and European media reports. Once there, the men told family members, they were tortured. Authorities in Italy and Sweden have expressed outrage over flights they say were illegal and orchestrated by the U.S. government.
While the Gulfstreams came under scrutiny in 2001, what hasn't been disclosed is the Navy's role in contracting planes involved in operations the CIA terms "rendition" and what Italian prosecutors call kidnapping.
"A lot of us have been focusing on the role of the CIA but also suspecting that certain parts of the armed forces are involved," said Margaret Satterthwaite, a New York University School of Law researcher who has investigated renditions.
The Navy contracts involve more planes than previously reported - other news outlets totaled 26 planes; the AP identified 33 planes.
Italian judges have issued arrest warrants for 19 purported CIA operatives who allegedly snatched a Muslim cleric from Milan in 2003 and flew him to Cairo, according to FAA records cited by the Chicago Tribune, aboard Richmor's Gulfstream IV. The jet belongs to a part-owner of the Boston Red Sox, who told The Boston Globe that the team's logo was covered when the CIA leased the plane. Another case involves two men taken from Sweden to Egypt in 2001 aboard Premier's Gulfstream V.
Neither the CIA nor a Navy spokeswoman at the Pentagon would comment for this story. Officials at the Navy Engineering Logistics Office, or NELO, in Arlington, Va., didn't respond to messages requesting comment.
Nigel Bunyan, Nick Allen and Gordon Rayner
March 12, 2008
A chief constable who plunged to his death in Snowdonia had been drinking before he was found dead at the bottom of a cliff.
Michael Todd had also used his mobile phone to text members of his family in the hours before he died, sources said.
It was believed he may have been texting up to the moment he jumped or fell off the cliff.
One source said the high flying officer was “reeking of gin” when he was found. A half drunk bottle of gin was found nearby.
He was partially clothed, although it was unclear whether he had taken his own clothing off or it was ripped off in the fall.
North Wales Police said his death was not suspicious....
Todd led an investigation into claims by human rights groups that British airports were used by the US Central Intelligence Agency to move terrorism suspects to secret prisons. His inquiry found no evidence to support the allegations.