CIA rendition flights exposed in mundane billing lawsuit

The CIA’s super-secret rendition program–to whisk terrorist suspects in the dark of night to CIA black sites for interrogation–has been further exposed to the light of day in rather humble fashion: a billing dispute in upstate New York.

The flight logs for a Gulfstream IV plane hired by a one-man Long Island firm are among the 1,700 pages of documentation in court records filed in conjunction with a 2007 breach-of-contract suit filed in Columbia County, New York. The records show, among other things, a curious itinerary for the plane over a four-day period in August 2003–northern Virginia’s Dulles airport, Bangkok, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, Tripoli, Ireland.

As the Washington Post’s Peter Finn and Julie Tate report Wednesday: “The Gulfstream IV’s itinerary, as well as the $339,228.05 price tag for the journey, are among the details about shadowy CIA flights that have emerged in a small Upstate New York courthouse in a billing dispute between contractors.”

The two contractors involved in the litigation are Richmor Aviation, a Hudson, NY-based aviation services firm which leases out private aircraft and flight crews; and Sportsflight, based in Long Island, NY, which hired Richmor to conduct dozens of flights between 2002 and 2007. Richmor, in turn, was reportedly hired by defense contractor DynCorp, working at the behest of the CIA, the Associated Press reports.

Read the whole story here.

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