Roger Whittaker

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book cover
Ghost Plane
Stephen Grey

The subtitle of this book is "The Inside Story of the CIA's Secret Rendition Programme".

Stephen Grey is largely responsible for the knowledge which is now in the public domain of the way in which the American authorities have picked people up all over the world and taken them, often by executive jet to be tortured in third countries.

Grey was able to piece this story together from personal accounts and the records of aircraft movements, which he was able to show matched up.

He tells the story of Khalid al-Masri, a German citizen who went for a holiday in the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia and disappeared for months, having been taken by US agents to a prison in Afghanistan.

He also describes the experiences of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, who was in transit at JFK airport in New York when he was arrested and taken to Jordan and then to Syria where he was tortured.

Both these innocent men and others were unlucky enough to have vague associations with people the CIA considered terrorist sympathisers. They paid for these vague associations in a terrible way.

The cases which Grey describes in this book are the tip of an enormous iceberg: they are the few who "got way". Meanwhile, at enormous expense, the US authorities are ferrying people around the world in private jets for torture and interrogation on a regular basis. And there is at least some evidence that this is being paid for by the proceeds of the sale of drugs carried on the return journeys (although this is not discussed in the book).

Buy it from Amazon (UK)