The Daily Mail has an article today claiming to blow the lid off! Britain's complicity in CIA's rendition flights program. Setting aside for the moment the fact that the hysteria over the program is entirely fabricated by hyperventilating anti-US lefties in Europe (and, unfortunately, here in the US as well), the Mail's article appears to be, well, a load of bollocks, as some of my Brit friends might say.
The article centers around a twin turbo-prop airplane, with the US registration number N964BW. The airplane is a Spanish-made CASA C-212 Aviocar owned, according to the FAA, by Aviation World Wide Services and a sister company, Presidential Airways. Here's a screen shot from the N- number lookup I did myself:
actually owned by none other than (cue scary music) Blackwater USA!
Records show the plane is owned by Blackwater USA, a CIA contractor described as "the most secretive and powerful mercenary army on the planet".Actually, records show that the plane is owned by the companies named above, but that doesn't stop the Mail from intentionally misleading the reader. Later in the article the Mail further confuses the reader with the following:
The American Federal Aviation Authority lists the plane as being operated by two companies, Aviation World Wide Services and a sister company, Presidential Airways.That the European Parliament describes them as such doesn't make it so. [See update below. --ed.] But this isn't the only load of bollocks the Mail is trying to peddle. The Mail claims to have traced the route recently traveled by N964BW. Here's the graphic of that route from their web article:
The European Parliament report describes these as shell companies operating as subsidiaries of Blackwater USA, "an important contractor for the CIA and the US military" which bases the planes in Malta.
So let's take a look at the little airplane's itinerary:
- Camp Peary, Virginia to Goose Bay, Newfoundland: 2,170Km
- Goose Bay to Narsarsuaq, Greenland: 1,230Km
- Narsarsuaq to RAF Mildenhall, UK: 2,870Km
- RAF Mildenhall to Malta: 2,120Km
Which brings up the question of why, if you're the evil and all-powerful Blackwater USA/CIA you just don't use a freakin' airplane that can make all those intercontinental trips without modifications or playing hopscotch?
Sorry, but the Mail's "exposé" just doesn't pass the smell test.
Update: 10 June @ 12:15
Just for clarification, Presidential Airways is an aviation unit of Blackwater USA. That doesn't mean Presidential or Aviation Worldwide are "shell" companies. In fact, Presidential Airways is clearly described on Blackwater's web site as their aviation arm.