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Open Edit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 12:31 PM
Original message
Blackwater
Edited on Wed Nov-14-07 08:14 PM by stillcool47
This new topic is awaiting edits. It was started by ProSense.

A New Breed of Warriors

MOYOCK, N.C. - Today's after-lunch lesson: How to break a man's arm with your bare hands.

The students pay close attention. On a patch of grass under a powder-blue sky, they pair off to practice the moves - like the steps to some merciless dance:

Hold here. Pivot there. Trap arm. Bend. And snap.

Slavko Ilic circles the grappling forms, darting in to shout encouragement or correct a technique. He's an extra-large martial arts expert. He sports a shaved head, chiseled arms and the look of a man who does not back down.

"Again!" Ilic barks. "Do it again!"

<...>

On the other side is Blackwater USA, a booming private military company that's helping put a new face on 21st century warfare.

Only the authorized get past the gate. A buzz-cut guard sees to that, a handgun strapped to his thigh. Inside, a winding road leads to the heart of the 7,000-acre compound - a bigger spread than any military base in South Hampton Roads.

<...>

Just past a 15-acre lake is the new nerve center: a 65,000-square-foot headquarters with 300 rooms. Opened this spring, it is the largest building in Camden County. Machine-gun barrels serve as handles on the heavy front doors. A receptionist sits behind a desk fashioned from armor plating.

more


Blackwater: Profitable Patriotism

<...>

But in 2000, in the fallout from the terrorist attack on the destroyer Cole, Blackwater found its future: providing security in an increasingly insecure world.

There is nothing humble about the company today. In March, Fast Company business magazine, under the heading “Private Army,” named Blackwater President Gary Jackson No. 11 in its annual “Fast 50” list of leaders who are “writing the history of the next 10 years.” It made special note of the company’s estimated 600 percent revenue growth between 2002 and 2005.

Blackwater has rocketed from obscurity to the big time in less than a decade. Peter Singer, author of “Corporate Warriors” and a scholar at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank, says that although Blackwater might not be the biggest player in the private military industry, “they’ve certainly gained the biggest profile.”

They’ve done it with deep-pocket backing, high-powered political connections and an uncanny knack for capitalizing on the violent milestones of a turbulent time.

more


Blackwater: On the Front Lines

<...>

Executives of the North Carolina-based company landed a meeting with Paul Bremer III, the diplomat chosen by Bush to head the Coalition Provisional Authority, Iraq's interim government.

"Nobody had really figured out exactly how they were going to get him from D.C. and stand him up in Iraq," Blackwater President Gary Jackson said. "The Secret Service went over and did an assessment and said, 'You know what? It's much, much more dangerous than any of us believed.' So they came back to us."

In August 2003, Blackwater was awarded a $21 million no-bid contract to guard Bremer, and U.S. agencies have been tapping the Blackwater well ever since. The company now has about 1,000 contractors in Iraq - the most it has ever had.

<...>

In fact, the private sector has put more boots on the ground in Iraq than all of the United States' coalition partners combined. One scholar, Peter Singer of the Brookings Institution, suggests that Bush's "coalition of the willing" would be more aptly described as the "coalition of the billing."

more


Blackwater: When Things Go Wrong

<...>

According to the lawsuit, Blackwater broke its contractual obligations to the contractors by sending them into hostile territory in unarmored vehicles without automatic weapons or a rear gunner.

The lawsuit says: “Blackwater cut corners in the interest of higher profits.”

Blackwater won’t talk about Fallujah now, but eight days after the ambush, Patrick Toohey, a senior company executive, told The New York Times that the company had already made changes in its “tactics, techniques and procedures.”

Today, Taylor will say only: “We don’t cut corners. We try to prepare our people the best we can for the environment in which they’re going to find themselves.”

The lawsuit says otherwise, alleging that a Blackwater employee refused to give the team maps of the area, telling them “it was too late for maps.”

“They were sent on a suicide mission,” Helvenston’s mother said.

more


Blackwater: On American Soil

<...>

For battle-hardened Blackwater, New Orleans appears to be gravy work – at least at this point. It’s the tail end of a milestone mission: the private military company’s first domestic deployment – an undertaking that, at its height, employed close to 600 of the company’s contractors.

Blackwater’s men were among the first outsiders to reach the Gulf Coast after the costliest hurricane in U.S. history made landfall Aug. 29. The company’s quick response led to a windfall of work, both government and commercial.

It also has affected the way disasters within the nation’s borders will be dealt with in the future. Katrina woke Americans to the harsh fact that calamities can overwhelm even the government, and rescue can be a long time coming. Some people girding for the next one have already laid plans to hire their own deliverance from companies like Blackwater.

At first, Blackwater’s arrival set off alarms in New Orleans. The company’s work in Iraq has forged a soldier-of-fortune image, and nerves jangled when Blackwater’s commando-types surfaced on the streets of Louisiana, outfitted with body armor and assault rifles.

more


Blackwater: New Horizons

<...>

Blackwater wants all doors open. The company says it has more than two dozen projects under way, an almost dizzying pursuit of new frontiers.

<...>

The company confirms that it does recruit in foreign lands. Taylor said Blackwater has hired roughly 20 Filipinos for guard duty in Afghanistan, where there is no ban on such work.

A few years back, Blackwater created a diplomatic embarrassment for Chile by recruiting Chileans who had trained under the ousted regime of military dictator Augusto Pinochet. The new Chilean government was concerned about its country's reputation abroad and worried that the former henchmen of a toppled dictator would not represent it well.

Similar concerns surface here at home about the way America's private military companies represent the country overseas.

Thomas X. Hammes, a retired Marine colonel, encountered U.S. contractors during his 2004 tour of duty in Iraq. To the Iraqi people, Hammes said, those contractors were America:

"We are held responsible in the people's eyes for everything they do, or fail to do."

more


The shadow war in Iraq

Blackwater Chief at Nexus of Military and Business

Top Shiite cleric (Sistani) hits out at Iraq security contractors

Officials balked on '05 Blackwater inquiry (State Dept. e-mails discussed how to deflect questions)

Iraq cabinet okays law to end foreign firms' immunity

Blackwater Launches Campaign Urging Supporters To ‘Influence’ Congress With Misleading Spin

Did Blackwater sneak silencers into Iraq?

U.S. Colonel: Blackwater “Actually Drew Their Weapons On U.S. Soldiers.”



Blackwater Mounts a Defense With Top Talent

By JOHN M. BRODER and JAMES RISEN
Published: November 1, 2007

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 — Blackwater Worldwide, its reputation in tatters and its lucrative government contracts in jeopardy, is mounting an aggressive legal, political and public relations counterstrike.

It has hired a bipartisan stable of big-name Washington lawyers, lobbyists and press advisers, including the public relations powerhouse Burson-Marsteller, which was brought in briefly, but at a critical moment, to help Blackwater’s chairman, Erik D. Prince, prepare for his first Congressional hearing.

Blackwater for a time retained Kenneth D. Starr, the former Whitewater independent counsel, and Fred F. Fielding, who is now the White House counsel, to help handle suits filed by the families of slain Blackwater employees.

Another outside public relations specialist, Mark Corallo, former chief spokesman for Attorney General John Ashcroft, quit working for Blackwater late last year because he said he was uncomfortable with what he termed some executives’ cowboy mentality.

Blackwater is pursuing a bold legal strategy, going so far in a North Carolina case as to seek a gag order on the lawyers for the families of four Blackwater employees killed in an ambush in Falluja in 2004. The company argues that the dead men had signed contracts that prohibited them from talking to the press about Blackwater and that this restriction extended to their lawyers and their estates even after death.

<...>

The company’s chief Washington lobbyist is Paul Behrends, who worked at the now-defunct Alexander Strategy Group, a Republican firm with close ties to the jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Mr. Behrends, who now works at C & M Capitolink, a Washington lobbying firm, declined to discuss his work for Blackwater, which has paid his company $300,000 since last year.

more






Published on Monday, October 29, 2007 by Associated Press
Blackwater Bodyguards Promised Immunity
by Lara Jakes Jordan
http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/10/29/4891 /

WASHINGTON - The State Department promised Blackwater USA bodyguards immunity from prosecution in its investigation of last month’s deadly shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians, The Associated Press has learned. 1029 11

As a result, it will likely be months before the United States can - if ever - bring criminal charges in the case that has infuriated the Iraqi government.

“Once you give immunity, you can’t take it away,” said a senior law enforcement official familiar with the investigation.
----------------------------------------------------
Official: Guards spoke after given protection
Officials said the Blackwater bodyguards spoke only after receiving so-called “Garrity” protections, requiring that their statements only be used internally - and not for criminal prosecutions.

At that point, the Justice Department shifted the investigation to prosecutors in its national security division, sealing the guards’ statements and attempting to build a case based on other evidence from a crime scene that was then already two weeks old.

The FBI has re-interviewed some of the Blackwater employees, and one official said Monday that at least several of them have refused to answer questions, citing their constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination. Any statements that the guards give to the FBI could be used to bring criminal charges.


http://www.thenation.com/doc/20071015/scahill

Making a Killing

Jeremy Scahill
article | posted September 27, 2007 (October 15, 2007 issue)

It's being described as "Baghdad's bloody Sunday." On September 16 a heavily armed State Department convoy guarded by Blackwater USA was whizzing down the wrong side of the road near Nisour Square in the congested Mansour neighborhood in the Iraqi capital. Iraqi police scrambled to block off traffic to allow the convoy to pass. In the chaos, an Iraqi vehicle entered the square, reportedly failing to heed a policeman's warning fast enough. The Blackwater operatives, protecting their American principal, a senior State Department official, opened fire on the vehicle, killing the driver. According to witnesses, Blackwater troops then launched some sort of grenade at the car, setting it ablaze. But inside the vehicle was not a small sect from Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia or the Mahdi Army, the "armed insurgents" Blackwater described killing in its official statement on the incident. It was a young Iraqi family--man, woman and infant--whose crime appeared to be panicking in a chaotic traffic situation. Witnesses say the bodies of the mother and child were melded together by the flames that had engulfed their vehicle.

Gunfire rang out in Nisour Square as people fled for their lives. Witnesses described a horrifying scene of indiscriminate shooting by the Blackwater guards. In all, as many as twenty-eight Iraqis may have been killed, and doctors say the toll could climb, as some victims remain in critical condition. A company spokesperson said Blackwater's forces "acted lawfully and appropriately" and "heroically defended American lives in a war zone." Blackwater's version of events is hotly disputed, not only by the Iraqi government, which says it has video to prove the shooting was unprovoked, but also by survivors of the attack. "I saw women and children jump out of their cars and start to crawl on the road to escape being shot," said Iraqi lawyer Hassan Jabar Salman, who was shot four times in the back during the incident. "But still the firing kept coming and many of them were killed. I saw a boy of about 10 leaping in fear from a minibus--he was shot in the head. His mother was crying out for him. She jumped out after him, and she was killed."

Salman says he was driving behind the Blackwater convoy when it stopped. Witnesses say some sort of explosion had gone off in the distance, too far away to have been perceived as a threat. He said Blackwater guards ordered him to turn his vehicle around and leave the scene. Shortly after, the shooting began. "Why had they opened fire?" he asked. "I do not know. No one--I repeat no one--had fired at them. The foreigners had asked us to go back, and I was going back in my car, so there was no reason for them to shoot." In all, he says, his car was hit twelve times, including the four bullets that pierced his back.

While the shooting in Nisour Square has put the issue of private forces in Iraq--and Blackwater's name specifically--on the front pages of newspapers around the globe, this is hardly the first deadly incident involving these forces. What is new is that the Iraqi government responded powerfully. Within twenty-four hours of the shooting, Iraq's Interior Ministry announced that it was expelling Blackwater from the country; Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called the firm's conduct "criminal."

The next day, the State Department ordered all non-US military officials to remain inside the Green Zone, and diplomatic convoys were halted. The Iraqi government, acting as though it was in control of the country, announced that it intended to prosecute the Blackwater men responsible for the killings. "We will not allow Iraqis to be killed in cold blood," Maliki said. "There is a sense of tension and anger among all Iraqis, including the government, over this crime."
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20071015/scahill





http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,2138878,00.html
Wednesday August 1, 2007
The Guardian
A very private war
There are 48,000 'security contractors' in Iraq, working for private companies growing rich on the back of US policy. But can it be a good thing to have so many mercenaries operating without any democratic control? Jeremy Scahill reports


--------------------------------

There are now 630 companies working in Iraq on contract for the US government, with personnel from more than 100 countries offering services ranging from cooking and driving to the protection of high-ranking army officers. Their 180,000 employees now outnumber America's 160,000 official troops. The precise number of mercenaries is unclear, but last year, a US government report identified 48,000 employees of private military/security firms.
---------------------------------
A decade ago, Blackwater barely existed; and yet its "diplomatic security" contracts since mid-2004, with the State Department alone, total more than $750m (£370m). It protects the US ambassador and other senior officials in Iraq as well as visiting Congressional delegations; it trains Afghan security forces, and was deployed in the oil-rich Caspian Sea region, setting up a "command and control" centre just miles from the Iranian border. The company was also hired to protect emergency operations and facilities in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, where it raked in $240,000 (£120,000) a day from the American taxpayer, billing $950 (£470) a day per Blackwater contractor.
---------------------
At present, Blackwater has forces deployed in nine countries and boasts a database of 21,000 additional troops at the ready, a fleet of more than 20 aircraft, including helicopter gun-ships, and the world's largest private military facility - a 7,000-acre compound in North Carolina. It recently opened a new facility in Illinois (Blackwater North) and is fighting local opposition to a third planned domestic facility near San Diego (Blackwater West) by the Mexican border. It is also manufacturing an armoured vehicle (nicknamed the Grizzly) and surveillance blimps.
------------------------------------------------------------------
In early 2005, Blackwater held an extravagant, invitation-only Greystone "inauguration" at the swanky Ritz-Carlton hotel in Washington, DC. The guest list for the seven-hour event included weapons manufacturers, oil companies and diplomats from the likes of Uzbekistan, Yemen, the Philippines, Romania, Indonesia, Tunisia, Algeria, Hungary, Poland, Croatia, Kenya, Angola and Jordan. Several of those countries' defence or military attaches attended. "It is more difficult than ever for your country to successfully protect its interests against diverse and complicated threats in today's grey world," Greystone's promotional pamphlet told attendees. "Greystone is an international security services company that offers your country or organisation a complete solution to your most pressing security needs."
***An extract from Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army (published by Serpent's Tail, price £12.99). © 2007 Jeremy Scahill. To order a copy for £11.99 with free UK p&p go to guardian.co.uk/bookshop or call 0870 836 0875.


*FROM THE WEBSITE


About Us

Blackwater was founded in 1997 from a clear vision developed from an understanding of the need for innovative, flexible training and operational solutions to support security and peace, and freedom and democracy everywhere.-------------------

Blackwater USA consists of five separate business units: Blackwater Training Center (the largest private firearms and tactical training center in the U. S.), Blackwater Target Systems, Blackwater Security Consulting, Blackwater Canine, and Raven Development Group. We also have relationships with our strategic partners, Aviation Worldwide Services and Greystone Ltd.

We are not simply a "private security company." We are a professional military, law enforcement, security, peacekeeping, and stability operations firm who provides turnkey solutions. We assist with the development of national and global security policies and military transformation plans. We can train, equip and deploy public safety and military professionals, build live-fire indoor/outdoor ranges, MOUT facilities and shoot houses, create ground and aviation operations and logistics support packages, develop and execute canine solutions for patrol and explosive detection, and can design and build facilities both domestically and in austere environments abroad.

Blackwater lives its core values of excellence, efficiency, execution, and teamwork. In doing this, we have become the most responsive, cost-effective means of affecting the strategic balance in support of security and peace, and freedom and democracy everywhere.


International Training
Past or Current Projects

Greece – In 2003, Blackwater USA trained special security teams that were preparing to the 2004 Olympic Games held in Greece

Azerbaijan – In 2005 Blackwater USA was contracted to enhance Azerbaijan Naval Sea Commando’s maritime interdiction capability. The contract included the facility up-grades, supply of basic maritime equipment, development of recruiting material, and maritime interdiction training.

Afghanistan – Currently, Blackwater USA is training various groups of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior in weapons and tactical operations. This training is in direct support of US Drug Enforcement Agency’s efforts to build a robust and capable narcotics interdiction capability.

For more information on International Training please email us at: international@blackwaterusa.com
---------------------

Blackwater Global Stability Solutions

Blackwater USA, has a proven track record of superior advisory support to government agencies and private organizations. We are in position across the globe ready to provide rapid planning consultation, rapid mobility/logistics, and security assistance support in areas devastated by war or natural disasters.

Our thousands of highly specialized global stabilization professionals form the backbone of our consulting and services support capabilities. Blackwater Global Stability Solutions approaches every challenge with focused analysis. We pride ourselves on providing solutions that are practical, economical, timely and effective.

When failure is not an option and hope is not enough
--------------------
Blackwater Training

Blackwater Training Headquarters - Moyock, NC
On over 6000 acres of private land and we have trained and hosted over 50,000 Law Enforcement, Military and civilian personnel.
--------------------
Provides U.S. law enforcement with useful low-cost training tools, up-to-date professional information, and state-of-the-art training tactics.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Airships

Blackwater Airships LLC was established in January 2006 as the newest Blackwater venture -- with a mission to build a remotely piloted airship vehicle (RPAV). Although seemingly different from the traditional Blackwater mission, this new venture to provide a persistent surveillance capability is fully consistent with the Blackwater goal of offering solutions which help to protect our forces wherever they are deployed and support our homeland security.
---------------------------------------

The prototype Polar 400 is completing propulsion ground tests and when fully assembled will undergo test flights and then move into production by mid-year 2007. Following successful demonstration flights, Blackwater Airships will begin selling or leasing airships to Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and other government customers. The Polar 400 is designed to operate for 48 to 60 hours at altitudes from 5,000 to 15,000 feet. The unique design of the RPAV propulsion system will give it the capability to loiter over a desired location with excellent low-speed maneuverability, along with an ability to fly at up to 50 knots to move quickly to and from a target area



Grizzly APC

The leader in the high-threat security industry, Blackwater incorporates real-world lessons learned on the streets of Iraq and Afghanistan into all of our operations. Now, we’ve gone one step further.

Blackwater presents the GRIZZLY™ – the world’s only Armored Personnel Carrier intended to counter the most lethal threats in the modern urban combat environment.

The GRIZZLY™ incorporates the Blackwater High Threat Armor Protection System TM (patent pending). This state-of-the-art technology is an exceptional armor system unmatched in the urban APC market. The Blackwater High Threat Armor Protection System is engineered to defeat projectiles up to .50 caliber and to provide an IED-survivable envelope.

We are committed to manufacturing excellence. We are dedicated to your safety in the field.

From SOURCEWATCH

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Greystone%2C... .
Greystone, Ltd. is a division of Blackwater USA formed to market Blackwater's services to governments and other entitities outside the United States. Its website describes it as "...an international supplier of turn-key security solutions. Greystone focuses on providing stability to locations experiencing turmoil whether caused by armed conflict, epidemics, or natural or man-made disasters. Greystone has the ability to quickly and efficiently deploy anywhere in the world to create a more secure environment for our customers. We take pride in our agility, speed, and ability to execute – taking into account the surrounding culture."<1>

Greystone is a member of the International Peace Operations Association and the Private Security Company Association of Iraq.
---------------
** a must see:
http://www.greystone-ltd.com/docs/Greystone%20guest%20l...
Guest list at Greystone's 2005 inaugural event

Due to an apparent oversight, the full guest list for the 2005 'inauguration' has been left as a PDF file on Greystone's webserver. It is not linked in from any pages on the site, but is nevertheless readily accessible to the public. The document does not state it is for the inaugural event, but both the date and the list of diplomats agree with information given in Jeremy Scahill's August 2007 Guardian article.<6>
-------------------------
Satelles Solutions, Inc.
Satelles Solutions, Inc. is a Philippines-based subsidiary of Greystone, Ltd.,<1> which itself is a subsidiary of private military corporation Blackwater USA.<2>

Presidential Airways, Inc. is a sister company to Aviation Worldwide Services, LLC (AWS), both of which are owned by Blackwater USA, Melbourne, FL.

Aviation Worldwide Services, LLC
Aviation Worldwide Services LLC (AWS) is a sister company to Presidential Airways, Inc., both of which are owned by Blackwater USA, Melbourne, FL. AWS owns the planes, and Presidential Airways operates them.<1>

The company appears to provide air services to the CIA - flight records show that its N964BW has made at least two trips to the agency's Camp Peary training facility,<2> and N962BW went there in May 2006.<3> Another plane it owns, N968BW, flew from Washington Dulles International Airport to Camp Peary on March 13, 2007. <4>



http://www.greystone-ltd.com /
Greystone is an international supplier of turn-key security solutions. Greystone focuses on providing stability to locations experiencing turmoil whether caused by armed conflict, epidemics, or natural or man-made disasters.

Greystone has the ability to quickly and efficiently deploy anywhere in the world to create a more secure environment for our customers. We take pride in our agility, speed, and ability to execute – taking into account the surrounding culture.

We scale our solutions to fit the customer’s needs. Greystone can support subtle, low-profile efforts that bolster and integrate with existing security assets, or facilitate large scale stability operations requiring large numbers of people to assist in securing a region. Our goal is to foster a positive environment that promotes civilian security allowing commerce to flourish



http://www.prweb.com/releases/2003/5/prweb64820.htm
Melbourne, Florida based Aviation Worldwide Services owns and operates STI Aviation, Inc. Air Quest, Inc. and Presidential Airways, Inc. which specialize in military training operations and aviation transport.

Moyock, North Carolina (PRWEB) April 28, 2003 – Blackwater USA (“Blackwater”) announced today that its parent company has successfully completed the acquisition of Aviation Worldwide Services and its affiliated companies (“AWS”).

AWS is an aviation services company founded by Richard Pere and Tim Childrey focused on military training operations and aviation transport for the U.S. Government. AWS supports U.S. and other government agencies worldwide. AWS conducts business under three operating subsidiaries: STI Aviation, Inc. Air Quest, Inc. and Presidential Airways, Inc. Presidential Airways is an FAA Part 135 operation and STI Aviation is an FAA/JAA 145 repair station.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blackwater USA consists of Blackwater Training Center, Blackwater Target Systems, Blackwater Security Consulting and Blackwater Canine. Blackwater has set the standard for firearms and related training to the U.S. military, Federal agencies, Federal, State and local law enforcement as well as foreign military and law enforcement. Blackwater's 5,200 square acre facility located in Moyock, NC (35 miles South of Norfolk, VA) is the largest privately-owned firearms training facility in the nation and contains state of the art firearms ranges and training apparatus.
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2003/5/prweb64820.htm



Saturday, June 17, 2006
Senator to look into mercenary list-up, exercises in Subic

SENATOR Rodolfo Biazon will file a resolution seeking to investigate the lease of properties, including a protected area in Subic, Zambales, for the recruitment and training ground for American soldiers for their war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Biazon, chairman of the Senate committee on national defense and security, said on Friday that the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) had approved the lease contract with Satelles Solutions, Inc., an affiliate of American security agency Greystone Limited involved in recruitment and training of prospective American soldiers.
-----------------------------------------
The senator wondered which countries the recruits will come from. Blackwater USA, also an American security agency involved in recruitment and training of prospective American soldiers that has set up similar establishments in Guatemala, has been recruiting trainees from Chile, Guatemala, Colombia, El Salvador, and Honduras.

Blackwater was actually the one applying for a lease contract with the SBMA but it was granted to Greystone.
http://www.sunstar.com.ph/static/man/2006/06/17/news/se...
(REC/Sunnex)


Here are NAMES in CIA Flights, Front-companies, Rendition Story!
Por Clayton Hallmark - Wednesday, Apr. 05, 2006 at 7:37 PM
http://argentina.indymedia.org/news/2006/04/393732.php
Amnesty International has released its long-awaited report on CIA flights by front companies for the rendition of Muslims accused of terror activities. Earlier, the Council of Europe (March 1, 2006) released its report on countries' safeguards against CIA kidnapping, torture, and prisons in Europe. It says the safeguards aren't adequate. My report goes both of them one better. Below are four pieces of photo evidence.

There are 51 different planes in the table but 57 N-numbers (FAA registration numbers, or tail numbers). Thus some planes have duplicate numbers. This is because of the CIA practice of moving a plane to another shell company once it becomes known to the public. You are not supposed to know how people are transported to torture.

There are 26 planes operated by 8 known CIA front companies ("air proprietaries"). The number of planes varies from time to time. The front companies are marked with asterisks (*) at the end. The list is as up to date and complete as practicable. Planes are moved from one front to another in a kind of shell game. The CIA buys and sells planes through the fronts and occasionally creates and deletes fronts. Some of the leasing companies in the list, like ALAMEDA Corp. (which owns former US Marshals Service prison plane N822US), might be CIA front companies that have not been identified yet. (The real cover was not Brewster Jennings but was Burke Dennehy and Paul Jennings.)

Another 10 of the planes are registered to Blackwater USA of Moyock, NC, the famous mercenary (soldiers of fortune) company. This company is an important contractor for the CIA and the US military, providing personnel and training as well as aviation services. It provides aviation services through its subsidiaries, Aviation Worldwide Services and Presidential Airways. (The latter is not to be confused with Presidential Aviation, an aircraft-leasing company owned by the super-rich Mark J. Gordon, who sold his telemarketing company for over $600 million.)

The 26 CIA-front planes and 10 Blackwater planes are CIA frequent fliers. The other 15 planes in the list (26 + 10 + 15 = 51 planes, total) represent occasional leases from companies like Gordon's. For example, N85VM is leased out by Richmor Aviation and is hangared in Schenectady, NY. This plane was used in the rendition to Egypt of militant cleric Abu Omar from Milan, Italy, in 2003. The 22 CIA abductors soon might be tried there in absentia. The plane is owned by Assembly Point Aviation. That in turn is owned by Phillip H. Morse, a Jupiter, FL, inventor/businessman who also made hundreds of millions on the sale of a business (NAMIC USA of Glen Falls, NY) and who co-owns the Boston Red Sox. Asked about his plane's use to fly prisoners to Guantanamo Bay, Morse said, ''It just so happens one of our customers is the CIA. I was glad to have the business."
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