In a very interesting story in the Boston Globe today, staff reporter Farah Stockman reveals a Boston(Dedham) connection to presidentially-directed removal of prisoners "outside the normal extradition procedures."
This spring, the Swedish government launched a series of investigations into the 2001 operation.
Since that time, the jet -- apparently on long-term lease to the US military -- has surfaced in other alleged cases of what the CIA calls "extraordinary" rendition -- the secret practice of handing prisoners in US custody to foreign governments that don't hesitate to use torture in interrogations.
The covert procedure, which must be authorized by a presidential directive, has gained little attention inside the United States.
"People are more or less openly admitting that there are certain practices that we would rather not do in the US, so why not let our allies do it?" said Ray McGovern, a former CIA operations officer who has frequently criticized the tactics used in the war on terror.
In recent weeks, the practice has become nearly synonymous with the white, 20-seat, private Gulfstream jet, numbered N379P and registered in Massachusetts.
The Sunday Times of Britain reported two weeks ago that it had obtained a classified flight log of the plane that showed 300 flights from Washington, D.C., to 49 nations, including Libya, Jordan, and Uzbekistan -- three countries where the State Department has reported the use of torture. The story focused on the jet and Premier Executive Transport Services, the Massachusetts-registered company that owns it.
Sightings of the plane -- at refueling stops in Ireland and in Karachi, where it reportedly picked up another suspect -- have been published in newspapers across the globe and on the Internet. Records at the US Army Aeronautical Services Agency show the civil aircraft has a permit to land at US military bases worldwide.
But in Massachusetts, little is known about the jet, apparently even by the lawyer who serves as the public face of the company that owns it.
Wait! How many flights? Prentice-Hall? The publishers? How the heck...?
When asked why the company wanted to be authorized to do business in Massachusetts or whether the plane ever traveled to Logan International Airport, Plakias said he "can't respond."
The company first incorporated in Delaware in 1994 and then in Massachusetts two years later. Neither Plakias [the company's Boston lawyer] nor the Delaware resident agent, The Prentice-Hall Corporation System, would release any information about the company or its owners. Both Plakias and an employee at Prentice-Hall said their main role was to forward mail and update annual filings to the government. Plakias acknowledged that he had not filed the required annual report to the Massachusetts secretary of state's office since 2000.
The identities of the company's owners are obscure at best. The most recent records at the Massachusetts secretary of state's office list Bryan P. Dyess as the president and member manager and Mary Anne Phister as treasurer. No Massachusetts address could be found for Phister. The only Bryan P. Dyess that a Globe reporter could locate receives his mail at a post office box in Arlington, Va., on North George Mason Drive, 7 miles from the Pentagon.
Let's not get too excited. The only thing they're doing is exporting lots of people for, um, fraternity hazing, right? Those fun-lovin' neocons!
But wait! There's more, much more! Read on...