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Secret Airlines for Secret Prisons

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Secret Airlines for Secret Prisons

It's hard to believe, but the existence of the largest covert CIA operation since the Cold War would never have come to light if not for the persistence and collaborative labor of thousands of aeronautic enthusiasts.

They're called planespotters, and without the information gathered by the worldwide community of people meticulously compiling information on flight times, tail numbers and landing patterns, we would not be here talking about the CIA-sponsored program euphemistically called “extraordinary rendition”.

“Rendering” a detainee, legally, involves one government officially transferring custody to another, as in the case of an extradition. 

"Extraordinary rendition", on the other hand, has no legal basis. Instead of officially transferring custody, intelligence agencies arrive in a country, seize an individual, then transfer him outside of the country in complete secrecy.

The story of the CIA-front companies who charter jets to fly prisoners from the site of.their capture to other countries, often where the CIA operates secret prisons or where governments of places like Syria , Jordan and Egypt torture the captives.  

Even though former officials and independent research by people such as our next guest have confirmed most aspects of the program, the government has always officially denied reports of secret fights and secret prisons.

Recently, the Council of Europe released a report on complicity by several EU governments with the torture flights.  Tom Paglen, author of Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIA's Rendition Program, told Jerome about the secret CIA airlines.

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