UN Report Implicates Obama/CIA in Illegal Gunrunning via US Company Used Under Cheney for Rendition/Torture Flights

The recent UN Report issued Feb. 15 on the shipment of weapons from Libya to Syria reports that the U.S. firm Jeppesen, a Boeing subsidiary based in Colorado, supplied the flight plans for 28 flights from Libya in 2013 by the Qatari Air Force which flew weapons to Qatar and then on to Turkey for shipment to Syrian rebels, in violation of the UN arms embargo.

On October 30, 2006, Jane Mayer wrote an article in the New Yorker entitled “Outsourcing; The C.I.A.’S Travel Agent” in which she revealed that Jeppesen’s clients include the CIA and that among the international trips that the company planned for the agency are “extraordinary rendition” flights for terrorism suspects.

The involvement of Jeppesen in Dirty Dick Cheney’s rendition/torture program and Jeppesen’s now disclosed role Obama’s illegal gunrunning from Libya to Syria must be investigated immediately by the Senate and the House. The role of Jeppesen is undoubtedly at issue in the fight between the Senate Intelligence Committee and Obama/Brennan over the withholding of 9000 documents on the Cheney torture program. The same company must also be investigated in terms of its role in gunrunning to and from Libya prior to Benghazi September 11, 2012 as well as afterwards.

In the New Yorker article, Mayer reports the following:

“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 the extraordinary rendition flights–you 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.'”

The ACLU brought a suit in 2007 in behalf of five foreigners, Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah, a Yemeni living in Indonesia who the ACLU said was flown to Bagram air base in Afghanistan where he was tortured; Abou Elkassim Britel, an Italian citizen who was kidnapped in Pakistan and sent to be tortured in Morocco; Ahmed Agiza, who was transported to and tortured in Egypt; Binyam Mohamed, who was kidnapped in Pakistan, tortured in Morocco and sent to Guantanamo; and Bisher Al-Rawi, who was kidnapped in Africa, transferred to Guantanamo and released without being charged.

Jeppesen helped the CIA transport terrorism suspects on more than 70 flights to nations where, unprotected by U.S. law, they were tortured, according to the ACLU.

In the case, the former Jeppesen employee cited in the New Yorker article is identified as Sean Belcher.

On Sept. 8, 2010, Jeppesen won dismissal of the suit by the federal appeals court in San Francisco, saying the litigation might reveal state secrets, in a vote of 6 to 5, overruling an earlier three-judge panel’s decision in April 2009 keeping the suit alive.

According to Bloomberg.com “The ruling was a victory for the Obama administration, which relied on arguments made by former President George W. Bush’s Justice Department after the case was filed in 2007. Douglas Letter, a Justice Department lawyer argued that classified information confirming or denying the Boeing unit’s relationship with the CIA might be revealed.”

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