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27 July 2007
Thanks to Clayton Hallmark (text) and North Carolina Stop Torture Now (photos).
By Clayton Hallmark
(July 26, 2007)
This is the only known public photograph showing a CIA plane on CIA property. The photo was taken at the CIA's leased facilities at the Johnston County Airport in Smithfield, North Carolina, [Google map] which long has denied CIA involvement. The plane in the photo, with the tail number (FAA registration) N168D is shown between the blue headquarters building of Aero Contractors and a beige hangar.
In Photo: N168D
Also -- rendition victims' attorneys, are you listening? -- the photo provides conclusive proof that the "private company" Aero Contractors Ltd. operates the CIA's planes.
News media have routinely reported denials by ACL and the Johnston County Airport Authority of CIA operations -- here is proof the denials are lies. This is the first proof of charges that won Dana Priest of the Washington Post a Pulitzer prize.
The anti-torture group North Carolina Stop Torture Now (NC STN) has put up with arrests, threats, and long, boring stakeouts -- and finally achieved success July 24, 2007, with this and other photos.
Another photograph shows members of the NC STN group being arrested during an April 9, 2007, invasion of Aero's compound. The photo shows the same beige hangar on the left, to verify the location of the recent shot of the N168D. Ironically, the people were arrested near the same location.
NC STN Arrests
Aero Contractors, the CIA's torture-plane pilots, have flown N168D to Budapest, Hungary; Luqa, Malta; Kandahar, Afghanistan; Prague, Czech Republic; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Ponta Delgada, Azores; Amman , Jordan ; Baku , Azerbaijan ; Baghdad , Iraq; and Ankara , Turkey. I have photos of the plane at these locations, but this is the first one on CIA turf.
Manufactured by Construcciones Aeronauticas S.A. (CASA) of Spain, the N168D
is a twin-engine turboprop,
model No. CN-235-300, serial No. C135. The CIA/Devon Holding & Leasing, Inc. has three other C-235 aircraft. Often used as a military transport, the plane can hold 51 troops (including rendition victims) or a military cargo that can be a couple of fighter engines or Land Rovers. It is usable on short and unpaved runways.
Devon Holding & Leasing, Inc.
The plane owner is one of several aviation shell companies set up by the CIA and private attorneys around the country. They have no employees except a lawyer on retainer and exist solely as a front for the CIA. (This is in contrast to air proprietaries like ACL, who ferry the bad guys of the CIA around.) Devon was incorporated by Mark E. Klass, now a judge at the Davidson County Hall of Justice in Lexington, NC. he address the FAA has for Devon is 129 W. Center St., Suite 2, Lexington, NC, also the address of attorney Carroll C. Wall.
Planes of Devon Holding have landed also at Camp Peary, VA (as once shown on the website of ISI Consulting), where the CIA operates its training facility known as "the Farm." Its planes have had "Civil Aircraft Landing Permits" (CALPs) to land at U.S. military bases worldwide. Devon was taken off the CALP list for 2006, but this photo shows it is still on the job; and ACL is one of 10 companies still on the list.
Aero Contractors Ltd
Some alleged pilots of Aero Contractors are listed by actual names at
These are among the 13 CIA agents named by the Munich public prosecutor in the 2003 kidnapping/torture of Lebanese-German Khaled el-Masri.