Sunday, January 02, 2005

The Return of "Air America" Jet Is an Open Secret in Terror War

I know someone very well who used to collect frequent flyer miles on "Air America" (names will be changed here to protect the not-so-innocent). Joe Schultz was a Chinese linguist in the US Air Force during the Vietnam war stationed (if I remember correctly) in Thailand. He used to get into planes marked "Air America" owned and operated by a company of the same name, ostensibly a private carrier but actually a front for the CIA. He would fly--quite illegally--over North Vietnam and China intercepting and translating radio communications.

Say what you will about the war in Vietnam, but Joe Schultz served his country better than he even cares to admit (like many Vietnam vets--or most of them not nursing grudges--he doesn't talk much about the war or his experiences during his service).

Now, word is out about another mysterious airline, one which no one seems to remember before just a few years ago, and whose owners appear to exist only on paper: Premier Executive Transport Services, Inc. Their mission? Renditions, i.e., transporting or "rending" hooded terror suspects from American detention camps to "friendly" Arab countries, like Saudi Arabia, where they can be "interrogated" in a manner more conducive to the production of useful information (see the related story on life sentences for unindicted suspects).

(Some future right-wing apologist on the Bush administration: "Yes, but the trains ran on time...")

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