A mysterious source (with a return address in a domain in Scandinavia) suggests that we take a look at recent news (here are, respectively, stories on the subject published at Daily Kos, "world content" and "airliners.net"; at least one of those sources is not, IIRC, in English)... on the subject of a CIA Gulfstream II business jet crashing in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula with over 3 tons of cocaine aboard, some time last September.
Regular readers know that this particular aspect of how The Company does business fascinates me, which is why we have interviews from both Trevor Paglen (co-author of "Torture Taxi") and Stephen Grey (author of "Ghost Plane"), both of which track the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program with an emphasis on the seemingly ordinary appearing business jets used to carry out the transportation part of the dirty work. The problem for The Company is that it must contend with free societies where people are free to track civilian airliners, and it must behave as if it were not engaged in suspicious, illegal activities using public facilities and records, at least superficially.
Hence, the specific aircraft (N987SA) at issue has such public records available, including a registration of its corporate owner,
DBA Donna Blue Aircraft (as noted here, a particularly half-hearted effort at track-covering), or the last record of a flight departure from the United States (just days before the reports of the crash in Mexico), or the fact that the accident itself is reported on a database of aviation accidents indexed to "the owner".
I'm not going to stand here and say that the CIA doesn't do illegal things... it does. Indeed, that's what it's there for: subltety. (This is in part what is so galling about the renditions and the ghost prisons and the torture and so forth... the very scale of it all. If we needed "the Sherman tank approach", we could deploy the military itself to do it.)
The difference, really, is that for the first time since the CIA's creation, we now have a government with the cojones not merely to try to hide what it does (and then have high officials deny that they knew anything about it when the Company gets caught doing them)... but the cojones to try to argue that the crimes committed by agents of the state aren't crimes at all (see, e.g., Senator Huckleberry's last-minute tackle of a bill that would have explicitly made torture by the CIA illegal... as if it weren't already!)
In short... this is different. Amazingly, of course, "the truth is out there", and, at least once you have the airplane's tail number, not even all that hard to find. Speaking of "the truth is out there"... perhaps you all noticed that when good old Rupert Murdoch made the signature show of the '90's "The X-Files" ("trust no one"), he did so for the express purpose of undermining people's faith in their government as long as we had a Democrat in the White House. Seriously: note that "X-Files" started in 1993, of course, and, though out of gas by '97 or thereabouts, hung around and went off the air around February 2002, a few months after 9-11, when it was no longer needed... "X" was replaced by Rupert with a show designed to inure us into trusting our government with torture..."24" (beginning... you got it... in November 2001, around 2 months after 9-11!)
Oh... did I say all that out loud? This has been... "Company News".
Whoa, horsey. The cancellation of "The X-Files" at the end of that season had been announced a year earlier (for one thing, both the sars had announced that they were tired of it), and the initiation of "24" was announced several months before 9-11.
Posted by BruceMoomaw at December 17, 2007 1:12 AM
Bruce-- What part of "trust NO ONE" did you miss!
Seriously, though, all you'e done is prove my point either way; "24", about how our government can competently and nastily deal with an external threat was in, and the X-Files, about the threat being the Government itself, was safely canceled, just as soon as a Republican was in the White House. Had "9-11" been known about in advance, it would have made the "24" decision scarier still.
I don't think it's an idle point-- pitching story lines and innuendos is, as we know, far, far more important to a people much more willing to believe in leprechauns than in laws of nature. Fox certainly does both, but its news channel isn't that well rated; its "entertainment" shows sure as bleep are.
Posted by the talking dog at December 17, 2007 9:32 AM