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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Please limit carry-ons to one Tazer

Have you been following the CIA torture jet story? Somehow in the midst of the holidays and year-end, I missed it until yesterday.

It seems there's a jet that the U.S. government apparently uses to fly prisoners to places where they can be subjected to cruel interrogation techniques because the destination country doesn't care too much about human rights. Or something like that.

Anyway, the jet's been tracked by torture opponents all over the Middle East, and even photographed in Europe. And when you track down its ownership, it belongs to an Oregon limited liability company with an apparently fictitious owner named Leonard Bayard. The company's registered agent, a downtown Portland lawyer named Scott Caplan, isn't fictitious, however, and he swears his client is real. Meanwhile, when you call the company's phone number, it's answered by a switchboard that sounds like it's in CIA headquarters.

How strange is that? Media coverage begins here and here. There's blogging and blog-like posting about it here and here and, well, I suspect lots of places.

Apparently there's a Northeast Portland residence address on one of the documents related to the aircraft. If anybody's got that, post it here so maybe we can run over and take a look when it's time to take a break from grading exams.

Comments (9)

Hey Jack,

A reporter friend of mine who has been investigating this story called me yesterday and said that the state won't open up an investigation on this until they get inquiries from Oregonians about it. Currently the only inquiries have been from reporters, and for some reason they don't open up investigations when reporters call.

Anyway, Hardy Meyers' office would be the place to call. If you want to post this on your blog that would be great. If an investigation is opened the media will be all over it.

Most people still don't believe our government engages in these practices. I was at a Democratic Meetup yesterday and I brought up the story. At first everyone looked at me like I was some kook conspiracy theorist until I gave them more details, but it took some convincing. So even Dem grass-roots activists were naive about this.

It is kinda pelican-briefish.

Thanks for posting the story. Bloggers have been keeping it alive.

I don't know what Hardy would find out that anyone can't already see from the known facts. And the state wouldn't indict CIA officers for falsifying corporation papers, would it?

A very interesting political question, however. Maybe someone could ask Ron Wyden at his town hall. Me, I'm keeping my tin foil helmet on just in case.

It's well known that what turned into Evergreen International Aviation of McMinnville was at one time a an airline owned by the CIA. Since then, Evergreen's growth has been due to government contracts.

I'm not suggesting a relationship between Evergreen and Bayard Foreign Marketing, but at least "Military-Intelliegnce-War on Terror Industrial Complex Airplanes" can join athletic apparel, forest products and politicans involved in sex-scandals in the Brand Oregon campaign.

I believe Evergreen flew the shah out of Iran. But not in the Spruce Goose.

If Leonard Bayard is fictitious, wouldn't a bogus LLC filing constitute conduct involving dishonesty, etc. under DR 1-102(3)? Who cares if you're lying for the government?

Let's get the OSB involved!

Crap like this (assuming it is real) just boils my arse. The only reason the CIA would set up a dummy company *inside* the US is to avoid accountability. "It wasn't us that did that nasty thing; no it was our subcontractor!"

One might understand a dummy company set up in a country such as Iran, to provide a base and plausible cover for intelligence agents. Intelligence organizations have a hard time getting honest answers if they enter a country and say "Hi! I'm from the CIA. Would you like to talk to me?" Doesn't work like that. And I assume there are dummy companies here in the US that are fronts for the Chinese and Saudis and probably even the French and the British. Lord knows, the government's tendency to classify everything, including their lunch, gives every other government enough reason to set up intelligence operations here.

But the CIA's setting up a domestic front can't possibly be for anything legitimate and legal. Let's get on this story, and ride it. If the CIA is doing something fraudulent, let's hang 'em. I expect the Rule of Law to apply to the government as much as to me.

I'll be posting more on this soon, but Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) is investigating this because it started in his state. My reporter friend has an appointment to talk with him tomorrow, but his office just recently found out the plane had been sold to an Oregon co.

I think our Wyden and others should join with Markey in his investigation. The Swedish government has also opened up an investigation.

I'm certain our local media will be all over this as it begins to pick up steam.

There is an interesting Oregon State Bar ethics rule (I know, an oxymoron) that prohibits "dishonesty" by lawyers, even in their private lives, and even when acting as part of a government undercover operation. That could conceivably have some relevance here.

DR 1-102(3) + ORS 63.990


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Please limit carry-ons to one Tazer:

» Torture Airlines: Based in Portland? from BlueOregon
OK, BlueOregonians, we need your help unraveling a mystery. As reported in the Oregonian today, the mystery involves a secretive Oregon company whose airplane allegedly was used to fly terrorism suspects to Third World countries to be tortured for info... [Read More]

» Just a few links you ought to check out from JohnHays.net
The first is It’s not my story, it’s my screwed up life. The post is about a guy whose sister was murdered in Canada and his journey through his anguish. I got the link via Is That Legal?. The second post is from Is That Legal about some id... [Read More]

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