Winston could not definitely remember a time when his country had not been at war, but it was evident that there had been a fairly long interval of peace during his childhood, because one of his early memories was of an air raid which appeared to take everyone by surprise... In his childish way Winston [had] grasped that some terrible thing, something that was beyond forgiveness and could never be remedied, had just happened. It also seemed to him that he knew what it was. Someone whom the old man loved -- a little granddaughter, perhaps had been killed. Every few minutes the old man kept repeating: "We didn't ought to 'ave trusted 'em. I said so, Ma, didn't I? That's what comes of trusting 'em. I said so all along. We didn't ought to 'ave trusted the buggers." But which buggers they didn't ought to have trusted Winston could not now remember.
Since about that time, war had been literally continuous, though strictly speaking it had not always been the same war... The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible. 
- Fearing a legal circus, and further exposure of the CIA's use of North Carolina as a hub for its kidnap and torture flights, the Johnston County District Attorney has decided to drop trespass charges against three activists from North Carolina Stop Torture Now. The charges arose from an attempt to conduct a citizen's arrest on the premises of kidnap airline Aero Contractors.
- Fearing the wrath of its powerful ally, Germany has dropped efforts to extradite the 13 CIA agents accused of complicity in the kidnap and torture of Khaled El-Masri.
- October 18th: The House Committee on Foreign Affairs is holding a hearing on the extraordinary rendition of Maher Arar. More details here.
- October 27th: North Carolina Stop Torture Now are holding a rally in Smithfield, NC, against the use of their state as a hub for the CIA's rendition flights. Events will include a march to the headquarters of Aero Contractors. Details here.
Rendition good, journalists bad
CIA chief Michael Hayden is worried about journalists reporting on his agency's use of kidnap and torture: "Revelations of sources and methods--and an impulse to drag anything CIA does to the darkest corner of the room--can make it very difficult for us to do our vital work... In a war that largely depends on our success in collecting intelligence on the enemy, publishing information on our sources and methods can be just as damaging as revelations of troop or ship movements were in the past."
And there's really no need for journalists to take an interest, because renditions are invariably "...conducted lawfully, responsibly, and with a clear and simple purpose: to get terrorists off the streets and gain intelligence on those still at large."
He must be talking about the lawful and responsible kidnap and torture of Khaled El-Masri in 2003, based on having a name one letter different to a known terrorist suspect, and on a hunch of the head of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center's al Qaeda unit. More on Hayden's spectacularly dishonest speech here.
Our friends in the South
According to veteran Canadian intelligence hack Stéphane Lefebvre: "I saw no role for TC Intel to play with respect to a friendly visit to Canada from our friends in the south. Since when do we have to worry about the CIA visiting Canada?". 
Impunity no more
NEW: Kidnap pilot James Kovalesky flew his Cessna runabout down to Bob Sikes Airport recently. That just happens to be where those rude boys at Tepper Aviation are based. Birds of a feather, flock together? (Hat tip: North Carolina Stop Torture Now)
- "Get orff my land!" It's been a favourite saying of English farmers since time immemorial. And now it's being used by CIA pilot James Kovalesky (alias James Richard Fairing) as he chases off reporters asking awkward questions. For example, about how he allegedly aided and abetted the kidnap and torture of an innocent man. I hope he's got a good attorney.
- Kovalesky's co-pilot on the El-Masri kidnapping flight was Eric Robert Hume (alias Eric Matthew Fain). When those pesky German journalists come calling, Hume has some different methods of dealing with them. The first time, he sent his father out to note down their license plate number (that's what dads are for!) The second time, the local sheriff's department showed up and warned the journalists they were committing a parking offence (clearly much more serious than torture). You can watch the second doorstepping incident in this video. If you can't understand German, this machine-translated transcript is clear enough to allow you to follow the report.
- 'Kirk James Bird' was the alias of the third pilot on the El-Masri flight. Of the 850,000 records in the FAA pilot database, only 90 match or are a superset of Bird's set of certificates and certificate ratings. Of those ninety people, only one has "Kirk" anywhere in his name. And that person just happens to live in Clayton, North Carolina - the same town as Kovalesky and Hume. With a golf course as his backyard. Step forward, Harry Kirk Elarbee (alias Kirk James Bird).
- Lyle Edgard Lumsden III is the only currently identified member of the El-Masri kidnap 'cabin crew' - and is also the only suspect who travelled under his real name, rather than an alias.
- 1 Bottled it
- 2 Forthcoming events
- 3 Rendition good, journalists bad
- 4 Our friends in the South
- 5 Impunity no more
- 6 UK political leaders
- 7 They really said that
- 8 My current interests on SourceWatch
- 9 Other interests
- 10 Three very useful resources for SW contributors
- 11 Technical interests
- 12 Database errors
- 13 Things I'd like to know
- 14 My articles
- 15 Quick links
UK political leaders
- David Cameron - complete coverage of "Team Cameron" coming soon.
- Gordon Brown - he specializes in special advisers.
My current interests on SourceWatch
- Exxon Mobil, the International Monetary Fund, the Republic of Algeria, and a host of weapons manufacturers... Judging from the guest list at the launch event for Blackwater's international mercenary outfit, Greystone, Ltd., there's an awful lot of people interested in "providing stability to locations experiencing turmoil". Although given that Greystone have left the list of attendees (including job titles and addresses) on an unsecured webserver for the last two years, I wouldn't advise potential customers to try the company's offer of "a complete solution to your most pressing security needs".
- Despite an unfortunate misunderstanding with Indian air traffic control a few years ago, CIA-operated N610G has managed to maintain a remarkably low profile. That's nothing that can't be fixed.
- Private spy agency Hakluyt: "In all cases we guarantee complete confidentiality... All our work is unattributable." So it's a pity that their emails touting for trade ended up in the Enron archive.
- Let's get the extraordinary rendition hearings underway! It's a chill wind blowing from the Hill for Tepper Aviation and their thuggish ilk. The House Hearing on Extraordinary Rendition in U.S. Counterterrorism Policy: The Impact on Transatlantic Relations was largely overlooked by the media, but terrific entertainment nonetheless. Mad dog Dana Rohrabacher was on fine form, wishing the families of antiwar protesters ill, and warning that "we've got to make sure we do not let go 50 terrorists..." I guess his role in organizing a terrorist summit in Angola in the 1980s must have temporarily slipped his mind.
- Meanwhile, Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc. are being sued by the ACLU for their alleged connivance in the extraordinary rendition program. Air Routing International, Baseops Flight Planning, and Universal Weather & Aviation, Inc. are other flight planning companies alleged to have been involved with the program.
- Riggs Bank N.A. - the bank that liked to say yes (to Pinochet, money laundering, etc, etc). Now merged with PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.. Fortunately, Independence Federal Savings Bank has now stepped up to the plate, and is providing banking services of distinction to the delightful Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea. That must be why they call themselves "The Nicest Bank in the World". Meanwhile Amos Hochstein, who has spent the last few years buffing and polishing Obiang's image for Cassidy and Associates (and being handsomely rewarded for it), has gone off to join Senator Christopher Dodd's campaign for President of the United States. Smart choice, Christopher.
Rendition, CIA aviation, and private military corporations
- New tail number, same old CIA torture taxi: the infamous N2189M Hercules is now flying as N2731G, with a brand new 'owner'.
- The Hunt Oil Company: "Hoping to repeat huge discoveries in Yemen, Hunt is exploring in Canada, Ghana, Madagascar, and Oman." It's also been doing some exploring at the CIA's Camp Peary, where a private jet belonging to Hunt landed in late November 2006, despite the fact this area is not noted for its rich oil reserves. Just taking care of business?
- Q) What do Bill O'Reilly and the late Shah of Iran have in common? A) They've both flown with CIA-linked Evergreen Airlines.
- The people of Somalia can relax. Those nice folks at Select Armor have their best interests at heart, and are planning to make their lives much better very soon. Although it might require breaking an arms embargo or two. Just don't tell the f***s at the UN, ok? Perhaps CEO Michele Ballarin just wants to offer the Somalis the expertise of Cambridge Wealth Management Ltd. So let's hope they don't hear about the unpleasantness in Austria. Are the mercenaries planning to storm into Mogadishu on a herd of her thoroughbred Lippizanners?
- For that personal touch, fly CIA Air. In particular, Tepper Aviation has a fine record (allegedly) of fuelling civil wars and facilitating kidnap and torture. And if they run out of spare parts after a particularly gruelling flight, how fortunate that Crestview Aerospace is just down the corridor. It looks like Tepper has just acquired a new Hercules - but don't tell anyone, it's a secret.
British domestic politics
- John Reid wisely threw in the towel before the Labour leadership non-contest got started.
- Would you believe it? Another national debate!
- Got an unpopular new policy to push through? Call a national debate!
- The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill - Blair's enabling act? But don't worry, Jim Murphy says it's all perfectly above board.
- NHS 'modernisation' in the UK
- UK National Identity Cards Scheme - wildly illiberal and Orwellian legislation framed as protection from identity theft. Currently being steered through Parliament by Home Office minister Andy Burnham.
- Nuclear power, the 'debate' about it called for by Tony Blair, and the nuclear lobby in the UK. Thank goodness somebody is tackling Our Energy Challenge. Can you guess what the UK energy review will conclude?
- M. J. Gohel, his son Sajjan and their Asia-Pacific Foundation.
- A year ago, they lulled everyone into a false sense of security by saying they were putting them on hold. But now the UK government has announced that it will in fact be pressing ahead with electronic voting trial schemes.
- Will the real Doug Lewis please stand up? He says he was executive director of the Democratic Party in Kansas and Texas. But all the contemporary sources say he was running the Republican Party in those states. He surely didn't run both, did he?
- The British General Election 2005 and associated topics
- National Missile Defense
- The threat to democracy posed by the British National Party (BNP).
- The African Oil Policy Initiative Group and related topics.
Three very useful resources for SW contributors
- How to use the new Cite.php referencing system
- Google News archive search
- WebCite - keep your SW citations alive
- Reference converters:
- Convert your note/ref template references to using Cite.php references: User:Neoconned/LocalRefConverter
- Making the site easier to navigate: Template:SiteNavbar
- Edit summary code
- Giving the reader more control over how much of the page is visible:
These seem to be happening more frequently, of late. I'm going to list them here:
- Caused by trying to use an accented "c" within an internal link:
- A database query syntax error has occurred. This may indicate a bug in the software. The last attempted database query was: (SQL query hidden) from within function "Parser::replaceLinkHolders". MySQL returned error "1271: Illegal mix of collations for operation ' IN ' (qs1393.pair.com)".
Things I'd like to know
- I'd love to see a copy of The Red Paper on Scotland, which was edited by a youthful Gordon Brown. Anyone got a copy? (and a scanner?)
- What did the Election Center's R. Doug Lewis do between 1980 and 1986?
- Alan Milburn was paid a fee for a "speech on 14 September 2005 at a dinner organised by Portland" . That's presumably a reference to the well-connected Portland PR. Who was Portland's client, and what was the speech about?
- The Danish translations about rendition flights
- Neoconned, "Fleishman Hillard preaches spin at Intellect's ID card corporate love-in", SpinWatch, June 3, 2005.
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