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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Boeing: The CIA’s Torture-Travel Agent?

posted by on October 26 at 13:30 PM

In the current New Yorker, Jane Mayer reports that Washington’s favorite aerospace company has been helping the CIA with it’s “extraordinary rendition” program:

On the official Web site of Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, there is a section devoted to a subsidiary called Jeppesen International Trip Planning, based in San Jose, California. The write-up mentions that the division “offers everything needed for efficient, hassle-free, international flight operations,” spanning the globe “from Aachen to Zhengzhou.” The paragraph concludes, “Jeppesen has done it all.”

Boeing does not mention, either on its Web site or in its annual report, that Jeppesen’s clients include the C.I.A., and that among the international trips that the company plans for the agency are secret “extraordinary rendition” flights for terrorism suspects…

A former Jeppesen employee, who asked not to be identified, said recently that he had been startled to learn, during an internal corporate meeting, about the company’s involvement with the rendition flights. At the meeting, he recalled, Bob Overby, the managing director of Jeppesen International Trip Planning, said, “We do all of the extraordinary rendition flightsyou know, the torture flights. Let’s face it, some of these flights end up that way.” The former employee said that another executive told him, “We do the spook flights.” He was told that two of the company’s trip planners were specially designated to handle renditions. He was deeply troubled by the rendition program, he said, and eventually quit his job. He recalled Overby saying, “It certainly pays well. They”the C.I.A.”spare no expense. They have absolutely no worry about costs. What they have to get done, they get done.”

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International Trip Planning. There's a euphemism for our times.

Posted by Gabriel | October 26, 2006 1:43 PM

Boeing's always been deep in bed with U.S. military hawks. As an anecdote: in the 60s, its employees in the Seattle area had an active John Birch Society chapter, and the company allowed it to use Boeing meeting rooms to show their conspiracy flicks etc.

Posted by trevor | October 26, 2006 1:49 PM

Right, Trevor. Boeing executives also played a big role in driving the Birchers out of the state Republican Party in the 60s. Racist Birch kookery is bad for business, always has been. And of course, they're not defense contractors, they're "deep in bed". This is rhetoric taking the place of thought. It's not only a huge leap from "defense contractor" to "John Birch Society", it's a huge leap from "defense contractor" to "torture flights". This doesn't sound like anything that old-school Boeing people would have tolerated; it sounds like Harry Stonecipher and McDonnell-Douglass to me.

Posted by Fnarf | October 26, 2006 2:21 PM

well - the one thning that is not a surprise is --- the CIA spares no expense --- the black box budget which funds vast parts of the govt. in these times.

Posted by Jack | October 26, 2006 2:31 PM

"Your purchase of an eight-ball will fund one half of one extraordinary rendition. Enjoy!"

Posted by flamingbanjo | October 26, 2006 2:57 PM

The torture victims asked for this. They kept saying "If it's not Boeing, I'm not going", so Boeing had to do the patriotic thing.

Posted by Boeing Boeing | October 26, 2006 4:57 PM

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