A mysterious registered company in Massachusetts, Premier Executive Transport Services, recently sold its private Gulfstream jet to a mysterious registered company in Portland, Oregon, Bayard Foreign Marketing, who's sole corporate officer, Leonard T. Bayard does not show up in any public records, other than those for the registered company.
So what's up with Bayard and the jet? Firstly, it's likely that Bayard does not exist, eventhough Scott Caplan, a partner at a Portland law firm, Jordan, Caplan, Paul & Etter, is Bayard Foreign Marketing's registered agent. Mr. Bayard's legal address is the law firm's. He's likely a created fiction of the CIA, as were the officers of the Massachusetts company. Clearly this transaction was meant to cover-up violations of national and international law since the i.d. numbers on the tail of the plane were changed.
Bayard's jet has drawn international attention for having been pegged as a secret plane that ferries terrorist suspects to countries that have legalized torture, like Egypt and Syria. In a nutshell, it's a US torture jet.
One such suspect, Muhammed Al-Zery, claims that "US agents inserted an unknown drug into his...rectum, diapered him, and shackled him before bringing him aboard the plane," and then in Egypt "interrogated (him) under violence." He has since been cleared of all charges against him.
There are a lot of issues here. First of all, we are getting more information that points to our government's involvement in condoning torture and finding questionable legal avenues for making it possible, thanks to Attorney General nominee, Alberto Gonzales. Some believe that in order to stop terrorism, torture has to be used, but experts disagree* with this assertion based on the recorded history of torture. So why is our government using it?
Secondly, the government is using a law firm in Portland, Oregon as a front to conduct its illegal, inhumane covert activities. Every decent Oregonian should be up in arms about this, and we should work on exposing the activity for what it is.
- Update (01/02/05) - One of the partners, Richard E. Paul, at the Portland law firm, Jordan, Caplan, Paul & Etter, is an evangelical Christian. He once represented Hope Presbyterian Church in its action against another Presbyterian church that had elected a gay deacon. Paul won the case for the church making the gay deacon ineligible. Am I insinuating something here? O.K., yes I am, only because of the obvious nexus between the Christian-right and the neoconservatives.
*Does torture work?, by Darius Rejali, professor of political science at Reed College and 2003 Carnegie scholar - free Salon day-pass required. Let me know if you have problems getting to this archived article. It's a must read:
"We can learn from the mistakes of other democracies that have tortured. These democracies lost their wars because the brutality they licensed reduced their intelligence, compromised their allies and corrupted their military and government, and they could not come to terms with that."