What was bad for suspected terrorists turned out to fatten the wallets of US firms. Certain flight firms raked in cash as a result of the CIA's rendition program, in which suspects were carted off to foreign jails where they could be tortured and held without charges. The US contracted out transportation of the detainees to a network of private companies, according to new court documents revealed in upstate New York. The deal with private companies came to light because one operation is suing another over a payment dispute. The "war of terror" became "just another charter opportunity for American businesses," notes the Guardian.
The court case involves aircraft broker Sportsflight, which arranged rendition flights through flight operator Richmor at a cost of nearly $5,000 an hour (plus crew expenses), according to the court case. One invoice for $301,113 details an eight-day flight through Alaska, Japan, Thailand, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka for the rendition of the leader of an Indonesian terror network. Several flights flew in and out of Bucharest, which is known to have a prison the CIA uses. The documents "reveal how the CIA's secret network of torture sites was able to operate unchecked for so many years," said a representative for a legal charity organization.