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Dodgy plane takes flight when search requested

category clare | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Sunday September 14, 2008 19:01author by J. Jefferies Report this post to the editors

A Gulfstream V executive jet came under suspicion today at Shannon airport when local activists Edward Horgan and Tim Hourigan along with others in Shannon for today's monthly Torture Watch exercise spotted the aircraft with no markings other than its registration number

It has been ascertained that the twin-jet aircraft was on its way from Shannon to Teterboro, New Jersey. It is not known at this time where the plane was before it came to Shannon.

N5GV is registered to Wilmington Trust Company of Wilmington, Delaware, USA. This company's name has come up previously in relation to rendition flights. In March of this year the Slovak Spectator claimed that an aircraft connected with Wilmington Trust and which had landed at Bratislava airport was working for the US Central Intelligence Agency. At the time a journalist Jan-Petter Helgesen, the journalist who covered the story said: - "The owner of the plane [Wilmington] is a private company that works very closely with the CIA."

see report: http://www.spectator.sk/articles/view/31047/2/cia_uses_....html

Seasoned Shannon watcherd Edward Horgan and Tim Hourigan became suspicious of the plane and asked gardaí on the scene to search the plane which they are entitled to do under international law. Within moments of their request the plane's cabin door closed and it prepared for take-off. It was gone within minutes.

Tim or Edward will be giving follow-up information later this evening.

Related Link: http://www.spectator.sk/articles/view/31047/2/cia_uses_bratislava_airport.html
author by Margaretpublication date Sun Sep 14, 2008 21:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

While the registration of this plane (N5GV) didn't mean much to us at first, on hearing the address (and the name in this case) of the company involved, all ears perked up. Wilmington, Delaware is one of those addresses that instantly makes you sit up and take notice. A number of CIA shell companies operate out of Wilmington. Don't take my word for it - check out the report on CIA shell companies from from the European Parliament Temporary Committee on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transport and illegal detention of prisoners, November 16 2006. http://www.statewatch.org/cia/documents/working-doc-no-...6.pdf

Here are some of the planes with addresses in Wilmington that are known or suspected CIA planes. A number are known to have been involved in rendition flights and many have landed at Shannon numerous times.

N54PA
Owned by VPC Planes and operated by Phoenix Air, a company strongly linked with rendition flights. This plane is known to have landed at Guantanamo Bay, sometimes within days of having been at Shannon airport. It is listed as an air ambulance on the Phoenix Air website but it is known that it was previously not designated and fitted out as an ambulance.

N163PA LLC and N173PA LLC
The company name is the registration number of the planes. Both are listed as the same address, 824 Market St Mall Ste 1000, Wilmington, Delaware and both operated by Phoenix Air.
These planes are known to have landed at Shannon a number of times and frequently fly to US military air bases.

Three planes listed as rendition planes by the European Parliamentary Committee that investigated rendition flights through European airports, were operated by Tepper Aviation and had the same address - 824 Market St Mall Ste, Wilmington, Delaware. These planes are N2189M, N8183J and N4557C. These planes were all registered to Rapid Air Transport, another CIA shell company at other times. Tepper Aviation, Rapid Air Transport and Phoenix Air all held a CALP permit, which permitted them to land at any US military base worldwide.

N2189M was registered to JJS&D, 824 Market St Mall Ste, Wilmington, Delaware 2006-2007. This is a Lockheed L-100-30 Hercules (C-130). This plane has used Shannon airport in the past.

N8183J was registered to Q2P LLC, 824 Market St Mall Ste, Wilmington, Delaware in 2006. This is another Lockheed cargo aircraft C-100-30. This plane has used Shannon airport in the past.

N4557C was owned by Northcap LLC, 824 Market St Mall Ste, Wilmington, Delaware in 2007.

Just down the road we have Wilmington Trust Company, at 1100 N Market St, Wilmington, Delaware. Wilmington Trust are the owners of the plane seen at Shannon today. At one stage in 2006 this company bought and re-registered the infamous N379P “Guantanamo Bay Express” jet. This plane was involved in the rendition of two Egyptian asylum-seekers Agiza and el-Zary from Stockholm to Cairo on 18 December 2001, the Italian citizen Elkassim Britel from Islamabad to Rabat on 24 May, 2002, the British residents Bisher Al-Rawi and Jamil El-Banna (who was granted refugee status) from Banjul to Kabul, via Cairo, on 8 December 2002, and the Ethiopian citizen Binyam Mohammed, legal resident in the UK, from Islamabad to Rabat on 21 July 2001.

Other planes listed as possible rendition planes from Wilmington.
N100VR DCS Enterprises, Wilmington, Delaware
N549PA CFF Air, Wilmington, Delaware

I've just scratched the surface here. I'm sure that there are many more CIA shell companies I haven't listed but next time you hear that a plane comes from Wilmington, Delaware, you'll know why it interests us so much.

author by Margaretpublication date Sun Sep 14, 2008 22:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

N5GV is currently registered to Wilmington Trust Company. It has only had this registration since August 6th, 2008. Previously it was registered to the same company as N502KA and it still uses this callsign.

Recent publically available flights log are
as N502KA (pre August 6th 2008)
19-Jul-2008 Chicago Executive (KPWK) to Outagamie County Rgnl (KATW)
15-Jul-2008 Outagamie County Rgnl (KATW) to Chicago Executive (KPWK)
31-May-2008 Westover Arb/Metropolitan (KCEF) to Outagamie County Rgnl (KATW)
31-May-2008 Beirut Int'l (OLBA) to Westover Arb/Metropolitan (KCEF)

more recently as N5GV
14-Sep-2008 Shannon (EINN) to Teterboro (KTEB)
14-Aug-2008 Westover Arb/Metropolitan (KCEF) to Cote D Azur (LFMN)
14-Aug-2008 Dupage (KDPA) to Westover Arb/Metropolitan (KCEF)
14-Aug-2008 Quad City Intl (KMLI) to Dupage (KDPA)
14-Aug-2008 Chicago/Rockford Intl (KRFD) to Quad City Intl (KMLI)
14-Aug-2008 Dupage (KDPA) to Chicago/Rockford Intl (KRFD)
14-Aug-2008 Outagamie County Rgnl (KATW) to Dupage (KDPA)

It flew in at about 17:32 today and out again at 18:40.

author by Timpublication date Sun Sep 14, 2008 23:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I arrived early for the hour long vigil, to have a look around. The airport was quiet, with little on the ground, and a few Ryanair jets departing.
There was a good turn out with people coming from Cork, Galway, Dublin and Limerick.
There was good response from the public who beeped and gave thumbs up as they saw the banners by the roundabout.
After a good while of vigiling and talking to the other activists, two of us decided it was time to go and see if anything else had landed (the bad weather made it hard to see or hear approaching aircraft, and there's not much line of sight from the roundabout)

Rather than take the long walk to our usual spot, we went to the fence near West-Air (next to the entrance gantry and bus-stop, but before the Airport Police checkpoint) .
On the opposite side of the fence, the driver of Airport Police vehicle AP 12 (a jeep) was watching us.
Straight away, Mark and I noticed a private jet at Stand 22. I got out my binocs to have a look, and the Airport Police officer got excited, pulled back, and I thought he would do the usual tactic of driving across to block our view, instead he reversed back about 20 yards, and seemed to be talking on the radio.
The aircraft was a Gulfstream 5, and there didn't seem to be a lot going on around the plane, as if they weren't in a hurry to fuel up and go, and the door was wide open at the front.
I got the reg of the plane N5GV, and it seemed suspicious, but these days there are so many of these phantom jets, I wanted to double-check, just in case my memory wasn't 100%, so we rang a few people to check the records, and sure enough, it was registered to one the companies that operates CIA used aircraft.
After a couple of minutes we were joined by Ed Horgan and John Lannon, and briefed them on the jet.
We thought that there was a high probability that the crew or other passengers on board might have information useful to the Gardaí in relation to investigating torture, and we approached the checkpoint and Ed asked to speak to the Garda in charge.

None of the Gardaí or airport police wanted to deal with us, despite their being at least two detectives there (Det. Andy Hayes and what appears to be a more recent arrival, presumably a Detective Sgt.) .
Instead they called a Uniformed Sgt to drive down to deal with us. He arrived by squad car, about a minute later.
The time was 18:25

It was interesting that these Airport Police and Gardaí all seemed very nervous of us, and in fact, when we approached the checkpoint, they abandoned it, and all stood about 6-20 feet away from us, with the 2 Detectives even further away. Perhaps they knew why we'd come.

The Sgt, who is known to both Ed and me, is one of the more genuine Gardaí in Shannon, and is fairly close to retirement, and we could tell he had a sense of wishing it was someone esle's problem, as his colleagues all shirked and stood away, trying not to be involved.

We made it obvious that both John Lannon (local Amnesty group) and I were both making audio recordings using our mobile phones (to be uploaded soon).
We'd been recording even before we knew which Garda we'd be dealing with, thinking we might get one who was more less accustomed to honesty than this particular Sgt.

The Sgt was visibly nervous and reluctant to take any complaint,so much so that he repeatedly interrupted Ed as he was trying to tell him the registration of the plane that we wanted them to investigate. He invited Ed to make a statement down at the station, and didn't want us to point out the plane to him. After interrupting a determined Ed Horgan more than once, the Sgt blurted out, "I know which one it is! It's the one on stand 22"
He made some complaint about not letting himself be "bullied by the five of ye"
We didn't feel the need to point out that there were only four of us, but we weren't bullying him, and only Ed was talking to him, and at any rate, the Gardaí outnumbered us more than 2 to 1.
He then made reference to orders he had received in relation to these planes, but wouldn't explain further.
Ed insisted that the plane be investigated as soon as possible and the crew should be questioned, before they had a chance to leave.
The Sgt said he would investigate it and talk to the tower, but refused to talk any further in front of us, so he took out his notebook, and asked Ed to accompany him across the road where they spoke in private.
Less than two minutes later, Ed returned, and said that his formal request for inspection of the plane was noted, and the Sgt had promised to investigate.
I then suggested that we go to the fence to monitor the aircraft and see if they did indeed investigate anything.
By the time I got to the fence ( a short distance) , the plane was making a hasty departure from stand 22, and proceeded to taxi off to Runway 24 and make good it's escape, which we believe was towards New Jersey.
Time of departure was 18:35.
So, if indeed the Gardaí did communicate to the tower, the pilot or the handling company, it certainly doesn't seem that the aircraft was ordered to stay at the stand and wait for the Gardaí to check that there were no torturers on board.

P.S.
for anyone else out there tracking this aircraft, beware the frequent registration changes.
The serial no. of the plane is 502 and Transponder is 51432750
It is currently registered to :

WILMINGTON TRUST CO TRUSTEE
1100 N MARKET ST
WILMINGTON
NEW CASTLE
DELAWARE 19890
UNITED STATES

N5GV on the ground at Shannon.
N5GV on the ground at Shannon.

Some of the people who turned out today.
Some of the people who turned out today.

author by Tim.publication date Mon Sep 15, 2008 00:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I should have mentioned of course, that when the four of us approached the checkpoint, three of us were wearing bright orange 'GITMO' jumpsuits. The incoming road traffic was full of confused looking drivers and passengers watching 10 cops backing away from 3 orange clad men, and a man dressed in black.
Are they that afraid of being asked to do their job, that they immediately referred us to a Sgt who had to drive down, and then they all made sure to stand away from him and us, lest they too be asked to inspect a CIA aircraft? Normally when a Sgt has to deal with a group, other Gardai will make sure to stand in close to show support.
The body language in this case was ' Sgt, you're on your own'.
We are asked to sympathise with their position, that they have to follow orders, and have to worry about their jobs.
And of course, to some extent we do sympathise with the Gardai, as they are put in the middle of a situation created by politicians.
But, at the same time, they refuse to show sympathy with the innocent victims in Iraq, and the many innocent people who have been tortured by the CIA and their murky allies.
Men like Murat Kurnaz, totally innocent, who lost five years of his life, and was tortured brutally, have to wonder why this is allowed to go on. Murat was in Limerick this summer, and spoke about what he endured, and that many other innocent men are still held in places like Guantanamo. No Gardaí, politicians, Airport Police came to hear him speak of course.

Do these Garda not have the bravery to do their clear duty? Do they really fear that they could be punished when they could easily show that they were acting to uphold the law by preventing torturers from passing through Shannon, contrary to the Criminal Justice (UN Convention Against Torture) Act?
Do they not realise that a lot of people would back them up for taking a stand, because the country is sick of accepting wave after wave of corruption, blind eyes and dodgy deals that benefit those who pull the strings of others.
Is the rule of 'Omerta' so strong in the Garda Síochana? Or is it just the fear itself that has gripped them?
Surely the conspiracy of silence is the method of the organised crime gangs the Gardai are supposed to combat, rather than something they should copy.
In our short conversation with the Sgt. Two things were made perfectly clear.
The Gardai were all aware of what aircraft we were watching, and why.
The Gardai have been instructed to ignore the law, and not to enforce it, even though dealing with a serious crime i.e. Torture.

Our government should be ashamed for issuing instructions to the Gardai that corrupts them and pressures them to shrink from their duty (and is thus contrary to the Offences against the State Act 1939. s9)

author by Fed Johnstonpublication date Mon Sep 15, 2008 02:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

N5GV certainly is noted as being at Schipol airport between May and June of 2002; odder still, it is listed as a military aircraft at:

http://www.militaryaircraft.de/pictures/serial-number.html

It has turned up at air-displays in the UK, where military aircraft are on show.

author by Timpublication date Mon Sep 15, 2008 02:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors


"Transponder is 51432750"

I should have mentioned, that is the OCTAL format of the transponder number,
the MODE S equivalent is A635E8
and if you're the type who checks the binary, then you probably spotted the octal format anyway, and you're one of those Uber nerds who converted it to 10100110 00110101 11101000
in your head. : )

(note to general readers : the above may be boring to you, but if you ever meet some of these serious plane spotter types, you'll find out just how technical they are about these things,
It still amazes me that people do that as a hobby... : )

author by Timpublication date Mon Sep 15, 2008 05:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

N5GV certainly is noted as being at Schipol airport between May and June of 2002;

See, here's the trouble that they keep changing the reg.
THAT plane you mention, also a Gulfstream, registered as N5GV at that time, is not the same plane that was at Shannon today, even though they look identical.

The N5GV that was at Schipol in 2002, was re-registered as N888CW and I think it has changed again since last year, I think it's currently registered as XA-BAL (Mexican registration)
In fact it had previously been registered as N645GA, N1HC and N55GV., and in fact in 2001, yet another Gulfstream was using the N5GV reg - actually it's a pretty classy reg for a Gulf 5 or using Roman numerals Gulf V )

Nope. The plane that was here today, only recently became N5GV. Up until last month it was N502AK.

It left Shannon today at 6:35 pm for Teterboro, New Jersey, and then made a short flight from there to Westover Arb/Metropolitan airport, where it landed about 2 hours ago.
If their flights plans are accurate, then they actually left Shannon slightly earlier than planned today. Can't think why....

Thanks for searching Fred, it was an easy mistake to make. You have to cross reference with the FAA records, and also check the c/n number and Transponder number.
That's the nerdy stuff I posted above. It's a bit like a chassis and engine number on a car.
The jet in Shannon today had c/n number 502, whereas the plane that had the N5GV registration in 2002 had the c/n 545, and still does have that c/n number even though it has a different reg.
It's really boring stuff to check up on, and as you can see, they change them around a lot. But it is possible to track them down (unless you're a Garda, in which case you see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing and do nothing about them)

author by Johnpublication date Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks to all for their research on N5GV. It just shows that unravelling the torture web is not an easy task.

Of course there is no way of knowing for sure at this stage if N5GV was engaged in legal or illegal activities. But it certainly looked suspicious. And it warranted investigation … after all, if a car had its registration changed several times, was owned by a known associate of a drugs gang, and was travelling on a regular drugs route, it would get Garda attention.

Let us hope that it's only a matter of time until a member of the Gardai or Airport Police, or some other worker at the airport has the strength to break the silence, to say what they know or to admit what they have been told to ignore/deny. Speaking out is the right thing to do - it could save hundreds, even thousands, of lives. And it could help end the systematic disregard for human rights that is becoming accepted worldwide.

While Guantanamo Bay – the least secret of the illegal US detention centres – now only holds 270 or so prisoners, the US is still holding over 25,000 people without trial in secret prisons around the world (many of these are prison ships - see Guardian report from June at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jun/02/usa.humanrights). The idea of these prisoners being held indefinitely in small holds and cells, suffering daily torture, kept out of sight without hope, is very disturbing.

Clive Stafford- Smith, Director of the UK-based NGO, Reprieve, believes up to 80,000 people have been “through the system” since 2001. How many of these passed through Shannon, or had the planes used to transport them refueled in Shannon?

Every vigil held at the airport reminds the Gardai and others that they are ignoring serious violations of international human rights law, and are assisting in the savage physical and mental torture of fellow human beings. Thanks to all who attended on Sunday despite the wet weather … your presence is another important reminder that something must be done about Shannon’s role in international torture and war.

The vigils will be held every month for as long as is necessary, but they will move to the earlier time slot of 2 – 3pm (second Sunday of the month) to facilitate travel. They will continue until we stop Irish complicity in disappearances, torture, war and illegal weapons transportation. And until we get some accountability for past complicity.

author by Edward Horganpublication date Mon Sep 15, 2008 23:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks to all concerned for the quick response in researching the past history of this plane.
However, this event demonstrates that we urgently need more active monitoring of aircraft at Shannon airport.
On this occasion, we were about to return home after the vigil ended, when I happened to spot and photograph this plane as I drove Margaretta to the airport to catch the bus back to Galway. I managed to get through the security checkpoint in spite of my Guantanamo orange suit. While the monthly vigils are a great idea, and will continue, we really need more impromptu visits and vigils at Shannon airport. There are now very good public transport means of getting to Shannon, and I would appeal especially to those priviledged people who have free public transport, to use this advantage to travel to Shannon any time you have free time on your hands. A small number of people are doing this, but we need far more.
Lets start an "Under Ninety Citizens Against Torture (UNCAT)" group. Support will be provided whenever possible by a few of us local activists.
edward_horgan@hotmail.com

author by Contrarianpublication date Wed Sep 17, 2008 00:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So, the "dodgy" aircraft made a "hasty" departure and "flees" from Shannon making good its "escape". Riiiiiight!!! It arrived at 1732 and departed at 1835 (or 1840.) As 30 minutes is adequate for refuelling, how does staying over 60 minutes equate to hasty? Seems like a perfectly normal arrival/departure sequence to me.

Perhaps the use of dramatic terms like "flee" and "escape" and "hasty" is simply designed to exaggerate the effect of the so-called "torture watch" vigil.

author by John Jefferiespublication date Wed Sep 17, 2008 08:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If this aircraft, N5GV is so innocent then how is it that it has, since yesterday, requested a popular US aircraft spotters site to stop tracking its movements?

Sensitive about something, are they?

Related Link: http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N5GV
author by .publication date Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors


The aircraft made ready to go, as soon as one of the cops finished talking on his radio.
Given that the cops had said they would check out the plane, the logical conclusion is that they told the plane to depart, rather than asked the tower to keep it on the ground until they got out to do their promised 'inspection'.
Hence "flee" as in evading justice, by getting out of the area. Perfectly accurate description.

author by Contrarianpublication date Wed Sep 17, 2008 13:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Logical conclusion or logical fallacy? Lets see. A request is made to a Garda to "investigate." Minutes later, the aircraft, having been on the ground for over an hour, takes off. The logical fallacy is that B follows A, therefore B was caused by A. Possible, yes; likely, hardly. Having refuelled and with the Atlantic Ocean to cross, I can't possibly imagine why the aircraft would hang around on the ground in Shannon. Surely it would get airborne just as soon as it got ATC clearance. No mystery, no big deal, just an aircrew who want to get back to base as soon as possible. SOP, not "fleeing" or "escaping" or evading anything.

Alternatively, you could postulate that the Gardai, in a sudden reversal of their consistent policy over at least 5 years, decided, on the whim of a local Sergeant, late on a Sunday afternoon, following the umteenth request from Tim & Ed & co that they WOULD investigate by inspecting this particular aircraft. You could further suppose that they then advised the tower, who advised the aircraft, who decided to hurriedly depart. Except you can't really hurry a departure. You're either fuelled up, ready to go and have an ATC oceanic clearance or you're not.

Once more it seems than this ongoing "torture watch" amounts to no more than a bundle of ifs, mights and maybes. There is still not a single shred of hard evidence that proves even one prisoner has been subject to extraordinary rendition through Shannon. If there are details, let's have them. Names, dates, times???

author by John Jefferiespublication date Wed Sep 17, 2008 14:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ok Contrarian, let's start with your own....

author by Tim Houriganpublication date Wed Sep 17, 2008 15:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is still not a single shred of hard evidence that proves even one prisoner has been subject to extraordinary rendition through Shannon. If there are details, let's have them. Names, dates, times???

Not only contrary to logic, but contrary to the law, eh?

We didn't claim that there was a prisoner on board N5GV. And if you are as thorough and logical as you like to present, then you would know that the torture victim is not the focus of the Criminal Justice (UN Convention Against Torture) Act 2000 . It is focused on the torturer and those who aid and abet the torturer, or those who impede the investigation.

We have no hard proof yet of torture victims being on the planes, and we haven't claimed that there were for sure. However. it is likely to have happened, and we are required by law take all effective steps to prevent it.
There is no requirement to actually catch the guys red handed in the middle of torturing somebody while refuelling at Shannon, but the pilots and crews of these jets certainly should be held for questioning as part of an investigation as there is plenty of hard evidence that CIA planes we have seen in Shannon were used repeatedly to abduct people and bring them to places of torture.

I know, that of course you have read the Criminal Justice (UN Convention Against Torture) Act 2000 and that you know that under that act, the Garda are required to detain a person present in our territory, who is suspected of committing torture anywhere .

There's a very high chance that these pilots know quite a bit about several torture flights.
In the case of the rendition from Sweden, the pilot was giving instructions about the kidnapping operation, so he was doing more than just flying a plane from A to B.

You ask for proof of names, while knowing that there is a much smaller chance of anyone getting hard proof as to individual torture victims having passed through Shannon along as the Gardai refuse to check the planes.
And you know as well as I do, that the reason they won't check the planes, is purely to avoid getting the evidence, and then facing a choice of acting on it, or ignoring it.
There certainly is no plausible deniability here. The Gardai know exactly which aircraft are suspicious, and from the conversation with the Sgt on Sunday, he admitted already knowing which plane we were suspicious about, and didn't want to be told the registration number.

In the meantime, more and more people are watching these planes, more torture victims are giving statements, and the flight logs are being cross referenced, and in some cases, the real identities of some of the pilots has been uncovered. The longer this is covered up, the worse it will look when it cracks open.

author by WhoseJobIsItAnyway : )publication date Wed Sep 17, 2008 15:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Confused Contrarian wrote "There is still not a single shred of hard evidence that proves even one prisoner has been subject to extraordinary rendition through Shannon."

and whose job is it to gather evidence?
Them lads in the photo with the orange uniforms?
Or the lads and ladies in the blue and yellow uniforms with the word Garda written on them?
Or, maybe we're waiting for the CIA torture squad to land and simply confess all without any prompting at all?
Is that how crimes get solved where you live?
What world are you living in?

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Wed Sep 17, 2008 19:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is odd that this 'innocent' aircraft should request a tracking site to stop tracking it. Shy, are they? I think it would be silly at this stage for anyone to deny that Shannon is being and has been used by aiurcraft involved in illegal 'renditions.' I think we've moved beyond that. Whereas it is possible to make a mistake while attempting to track an aircraft, it is not possible to ignore an aircraft's, eh, request that it is permitted to fly around un-tracked. But the government, who have sold Irish rights and sovereignty as a matter of course - be it to Shell or the US - will refuse to do anything about the Shannon shame. Mightn't get invited to the White House on Paddy's Day for the hand-over of the bowl of shamrock - it may interest them to know that the word 'shamrock' derives from the Arabic word for a flower, 'roughly 'sham-hrog.' So there is a certain irony there, I suppose.

author by Contrarianpublication date Thu Sep 18, 2008 00:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

While Tim and others have dealt in some details with allegations of torture, nobody has really contradicted my basic if mundane point about the circumstances not justifying the overblown language in the report. The aircraft appears to have departed normally after refuelling, it didn't flee, get over it!

We didn't claim that there was a prisoner on board N5GV.
No, but such claims have been hastily made in the recent past (not least by Ed Horgan) and then rather embarrassingly withdrawn.

And if you are as thorough and logical as you like to present, then you would know that the torture victim is not the focus of the Criminal Justice (UN Convention Against Torture) Act 2000 . It is focused on the torturer and those who aid and abet the torturer, or those who impede the investigation.
Yes, thank you Tim, I know that.

We have no hard proof yet of torture victims being on the planes, and we haven't claimed that there were for sure. However. it is likely to have happened,
Not sure what you mean here. If you mean torture victims were likely to be on CIA jets, certainly yes. If you mean torture victims were likely to have been moved through Shannon on CIA jets, then this is pure speculation unsupported by any hard evidence whatsoever.

...and we are required by law take all effective steps to prevent it. There is no requirement to actually catch the guys red handed in the middle of torturing somebody while refuelling at Shannon, but the pilots and crews of these jets certainly should be held for questioning as part of an investigation as there is plenty of hard evidence that CIA planes we have seen in Shannon were used repeatedly to abduct people and bring them to places of torture.
I hate to turn all civil libertarian on you but there is no power of arrest in Irish law for general questioning on the basis that you might know something about something. Gardai can only arrest on reasonable suspicion that a serious criminal offence (including torture) has actually been been committed. Case law requires the reasonable suspicion to be based on evidence of a specific identified offence. Not a generalised "I know you're a bad lot and you're up to no good and your mates are up to no good either" kind of suspicion. (BTW I'm not saying the Gardai always uphold this high standard of respect for civil liberties, but that's what they're supposed to do anyway!)

I know, that of course you have read the Criminal Justice (UN Convention Against Torture) Act 2000 and that you know that under that act, the Garda are required to detain a person present in our territory, who is suspected of committing torture anywhere .
Yes, I have and no, it doesn't. (You do know the difference between the Act and the Convention, don't you?)

There's a very high chance that these pilots know quite a bit about several torture flights.
Yeah, this is possibly true. If indeed they do, then what do you think the chances are these highly trained military type pilots will abandon their right to silence under interrogation?

author by Tim Houriganpublication date Thu Sep 18, 2008 19:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Not sure what you mean here. If you mean torture victims were likely to be on CIA jets, certainly yes. If you mean torture victims were likely to have been moved through Shannon on CIA jets, then this is pure speculation unsupported by any hard evidence whatsoever.

The word likely doesn't imply hard evidence, that's why I used it . Once you have hard evidence the 'likelihood is 100%.'
But given that the number of CIA landings was as high as 147 some years back, according to Ed, Time and some EU report, it's probably 200- 300 now, so Yeah, tis likely that some of the renditions did use Shannon to transport prisoners. We know they certainly used Shannon on their way to get them so, that means that the torturers HAVE passed through here, unimpeded.

I hate to turn all civil libertarian on you but there is no power of arrest in Irish law for general questioning on the basis that you might know something about something.

The cops were not asked to arrest anybody. They were asked to inspect the plane. That doesn't require an arrest. So what straw man are you building here?
The very act of checking the plane, and getting the people on board to show proof of identity, would cause a dramatic drop off of CIA use of Shannon. And, without having to arrest anyone, it would by itself, ensure that nobody is ever rendered through Shannon.

Gardai can only arrest on reasonable suspicion that a serious criminal offence (including torture) has actually been been committed.

That suspicion already exists, seeing as their is evidence from a Swedish Policeman, a solicitor, various ex-inmates of CIA black sites, and a host of others, that have shown torture to take place, and linked these aircraft to them. (or do you imagine that the statute of limitations on torture is very short?)
The fact already exists that a jet that left Shannon went on to pick up a torture victim. And the same jet came back here again, and no attempt was made to see if the same torture crew were on it.

Yes, I have and no, it doesn't.

Oh, really? Then how come in the Act it says (exact quote but with emphasis added)

Offence of torture.
2.—(1) A public official, whatever his or her nationality, who carries out an act of torture on a person, whether within or outside the State, shall be guilty of the offence of torture.
(2) A person, whatever his or her nationality, other than a public official, who carries out an act of torture on another person, whether within or outside the State, at the instigation of, or with the consent or acquiesence of, a public official shall be guilty of the offence of torture.
(3) A person guilty of the offence of torture shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life.

and section 5 says
5.—(1) Proceedings for an offence under this Act may be taken in any place in the State and the offence may for all incidental purposes be treated as having been committed in that place.

And that's from the Act itself, not the Convention, nor the schedule to the act.

what do you think the chances are these highly trained military type pilots will abandon their right to silence under interrogation?
Fairly low, but they would certainly be required to provide proof of identity, and allow access to the plan and provide a manifest. And the negligence of the Gardai and Airport Police in demanding these things, and inspecting the plane to check the contents match the manifest (no warrant required, under existing air transport navigation acts and byelaws) is what makes it so easy for these guys to carry out their work, anonymously and without any legal oversight. It also shows how little the Irish State is prepared to do to prevent torture. As mentioned earlier. The real names of some of these pilots has been obtained as well as the aliases used by them. So, contrary as you may be, the facts are that even the most limited of inspections could be effective in discouraging the use of Shannon for torture.

author by Contrarianpublication date Thu Sep 18, 2008 22:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I may be contrary, Tim but you are contradicting yourself.

Today you say: The cops were not asked to arrest anybody. They were asked to inspect the plane. That doesn't require an arrest. So what straw man are you building here?

but yesterday you said: the pilots and crews of these jets certainly should be held for questioning as part of an investigation
Hard to be held for questioning without being arrested, eh?

Furthermore you quote sections from the Act that create the offence of torture and allow for proceceedings to be brought. But nowhere does the Act impose the obligation that you claim exists, namely that under that act, the Garda are required to detain a person present in our territory, who is suspected of committing torture anywhere

Finally I accept that the evidence points to use of CIA planes for rendition for torture of some individuals. That's pretty much beyond dispute. There is still no evidence that any torture victims were rendered throuigh Shannon. Basically you're saying they came through here hundreds of times, they MUST have been up to no good on at least some of those occasions. Hardly watertight! Not even strong enough to justify the use of "likely" as an indice of probability.

Personally, and this is just pure opinion/speculation, I think it extremely unlikely the Americans would risk bringing a prisoner through Shannon. There's too much that could go wrong. Suppose the undercarriage collapses on landing and the aircraft is blocking the runway and has to be removed by the emergency services? Suppose there's a fire on landing and the aircraft has to be evacuated? A crash on takeoff? The military assess, plan for and minimise risk. Using a civilian airport to transport tortured prisoners would be an unnecessary risk and one which I suspect the CIA would not take.

author by Timpublication date Thu Sep 18, 2008 23:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

but yesterday you said: the pilots and crews of these jets certainly should be held for questioning as part of an investigation

You are comparing apples and oranges here.
The jet N5GV was not, to our knowledge, used in a rendition flight, and we asked for an inspection of it.
When I wrote that the pilots and crews of these jets, it was in the context of jets known to have been used in torture flights and therefore there would be grounds to suspect and question those crews in relation to aiding and abetting torture, or conspiring to torture, which is contrary to the Irish Law mentioned above.

Are you seriously trying to argue, that in general the Garda Síochána, are not required to arrest someone who they have reason to suspect has committed a serious offence, which is contrary to Irish Law which can be prosecuted here in the Central Criminal Court?

Of all the crimes, I've ever heard of being prosecuted in the Central Criminal Court, I cannot think of one instance where anybody would argue that the Garda had the option of not arresting the suspect.
If that's true, then the line ' I was just doing my duty' is a bit redundant then?

To a certain point, I enjoyed our correspondence and perhaps some of the indy readers found it informative. Now it's just farcical.

author by Contrarianpublication date Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tim,

I have also enjoyed the discussion (and previous discussions on Shannon) and hope that it has indeed brought some clarity to bear on the matter. I have previously pointed out on other threads the futility of demanding that the Gardai make arrests for "a violation of international law" and I note with some satisfaction that the demands are now couched in terms of violations of an Act of the Oireachtas. Fair enough. Progress is progress I suppose.

However I will continue to point out inaccuracies and contradictions where I see them. My instinctive view is that the wrongdoings of the USA (and Israel) while they do exist are much exaggerated and over-emphasized. Every opportunity, real or imaginary is used to have a go at these countries in particular. I am merely attempting to bring a bit of balance to bear.

Yesterday you said "When I wrote that the pilots and crews of these jets, it was in the context of jets known to have been used in torture flights and therefore there would be grounds to suspect and question those crews in relation to aiding and abetting torture, or conspiring to torture, which is contrary to the Irish Law mentioned above.
thus appearing to distinguish these flights from N5GV's flight on Sunday.

But on Sunday you said specifically about N5GV:
We thought that there was a high probability that the crew or other passengers on board might have information useful to the Gardaí in relation to investigating torture, and we approached the checkpoint and Ed asked to speak to the Garda in charge.

and

Ed insisted that the plane be investigated as soon as possible and the crew should be questioned, before they had a chance to leave. (my emphasis)

Thus by your own words there was a request that the crew of N5GV be "questioned, before they had a chance to leave" which necessarily implies an arrest. Thus there is a clear contradiction between what you said on Sunday (Ed requested an arrest of the crew for questioning) and what you implied yesterday (merely an inspection was requested)

I'm sorry if pointing out this upsets you and I don't want to come across as mere nit picking but if serious allegations are going to be made then they should be capable of serious justification. I don't regard pointing this out as farcical.

(On a separate note, there are many instances where behaviour that is a serious criminal offence is routinely ignored, apparently as a matter of policy by the Gardai. EG any birth to a mother under about 17 and a half has obviously required the commission of the offence of engaging in a sexual act with a minor. This is a serious crime with a ten year jail term for a first offence. However it not policy to investigate or prosecute where the father is of a similar age (and generally speaking, rightly so.) But it does give lie to the concept that the Gardai must always arrest where there is suspicion or even knowledge of a serious crime. In other words, there appears to be a discretion to be exercised. Not the best analogy perhaps but you get the idea....)

Finally, all this started off when I said that the aircraft was likely to have departed normally rather than "escaped" or fled the scene. That has not been seriously challenged.

author by Timpublication date Fri Sep 19, 2008 14:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think you have that mixed up.
You do NOT have to be arrested to be questioned.
I've been stopped at a Garda checkpoint and has questions asked of me, without any arrest being made.
Perhaps you were thinking of the 'dragged down the station and put in custody' type of questioning?

author by Mary Kellypublication date Fri Sep 19, 2008 15:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

http://www.reprieve.org/press/htm

This may already have been reported on indymedia. See link that shows letter from Reprieve founder and legal reresentative of Gauntanamo prisoners to Irish Taoiseach Cowen " Reprieve urgently requests Irish evidence of Binyam Mohammad's torture crew" see Cowen's response and Contrartian may begin to understand the importance of this thread and other similar reports of rendition traffic through Shannon. Despite the occasional mis representation of the law and the facts it is a genuine effort with much hard committed work in very difficult conditions. It would be a great boon if some qualified legal heads got their hands dirty on this issue while Cowen & Co remain in closed-rank denial.

Accross the water, legal muscle flexes, as Clive Stafford Smith is not deterrred by Cowen's response and fires back a thorough request..

author by Contrarianpublication date Fri Sep 19, 2008 20:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In fairness, Tim, you argument on questioning is now wearing a bit thin. Or possibly farcical. Yes the Road Traffic Act provides a statutory basis for the Gardai to demand answers to a limited range of questions if you are stopped in a public place in charge of a mechanically propelled vehiccal. Equally, the Offences Against the State Act makes it mandatory to "account for your movements" in certain circumstances. There may well be other specific examples where there is a statutory right to question but, in general, there is no obligation on anybody to allow themselves be questioned without being under arrest. So you are painting a scenario whereby Ed's request that "the crew should be questioned, before they had a chance to leave" merely involves the Gardai trying to ask a few questions qhich the crew have absolutely no obligation to even listen to yet alone respond to. In fact, they could simply turn on their heel and walk away. Or fly away. Not a very practical suggestion, I think. Any reasonable construction of the phrase "questioned before they had a chance to leave" implies a denial of that right to leave during the questioning. Which implies an arrest. QED

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Sat Sep 20, 2008 13:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Since it is not possible to know who Contrarian is, I would tend to ignore his comments. He seems successfully to have managed to have us fighting over angels on the head of a pin, here, and avoiding the real issue: namely, that the Gardai have a duty to inspect aircraft which are suspected of being engaged in a crime, and they are patently being told not to bother, at Shannon.

author by Contrarianpublication date Mon Sep 22, 2008 08:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fred,

The validity of my comments do not depend on my identity. It is purely my own opinions and inferences with which, of course, you are perfectly entitled to disagree. I am not saying that there is no basis for concern about Shannon. I am simply making the point that a lot of the claims made by the Shannon "torture watch" lobby are overblown and unsustainable.

Incidentally, the emergency landing by a military jet on Saturday was exactly the sort of incident I mentioned in an earlier post that, in my opinion, makes it extremely unlikely that the Americans would ever try to transport a prisoner through Shannon, yet alone do it as a matter of routine.

author by R Blakepublication date Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is purely my own opinions

Perhaps they are your opinions, perhaps not.
You seem to begrudgingly admit that there is a need to prevent torture being facilitated at Shannon, but you make obscure points in response to the people who are actually calling for inspections. Obscure to the point of distraction.
As either Tim, Ed, or one of the others pointed out, they don't even bother to ask basic questions of these people, which they are entitled to do under existing laws, without needing to arrest them.
Now, if these people refused to give evidence of identity, then the Garda could take a different position, and nick them.
For you to suggest that they are looking for the extreme situation where a small number of Gardai are dispersed around the Globe to investigate 'every report of torture' shows how committed you really are to exchanging opinions.
You certainly don't add much in the way of news, or updates on the law.
I'm sure I'm not alone in wondering when you will do your own research and publish your own article, for others to comment on.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Mon Sep 22, 2008 13:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'Contrarian' above is wrong to suggest that his identity doesn't matter when he's voicing an opinion; that's naive, apart from anything else. But no further proof of this is required beyond his belief, above, that the US would actually give a toss about the fate of prisoners being transported on their aircraft! They don't even count civilian dead in Iraq, for God's sake.

author by Contrarianpublication date Tue Sep 23, 2008 01:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No, I'm not naive and I certainly don't believe that the US is deeply concerned about the fate of its prisoners. My point about the emergency landing was that it typifies that things can go wrong when aircraft are landing. If an aircraft has an incident on landing then it opens up the possibility that the emergency services will have to attend and come on board. Not a risk the US would take if it were transporting prisoners.

Still don't see why my name matters? Would it matter if I was supporting the general Indy consensus on the use of Shannon?

Interesting suggestion by R. Blake, I may take it up.

author by Smokey Robinsonpublication date Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If an aircraft has an incident on landing then it opens up the possibility that the emergency services will have to attend and come on board. Not a risk the US would take if it were transporting prisoners.

Now that is naive.
You should recall a World Airways emergency landing of an MD-11 cargo plane operating for the US military. (Feb 14 2002)
The cargo was never declared, and even though the pilot (a civilian) had called for the emergency services, having detected smoke in the cargo hold, when the aircraft landed, the military personnel onboard refused access to the plane (they were clearly armed) while others were seen to be running about with handheld extinguishers looking for the fire, (which turned out to be a rupture in the air bleed duct of Engine no. 2)
There's a great photo from the Clare Champion of the plane surrounded by about 15 units, from Ennis, Shannon and Limerick Fire services, backing up the airport fire tenders. And not ONE fireman got inside the plane. By the way, it is illegal for a ship or aircraft to call the emergency services and then refuse them access once they've arrived, but as with many things at Shannon, that didn't seem to matter.

Believe me, If a CIA plane has engine trouble, then the engineer will stay outside by the engine, and never be allowed inside the plane.

author by MKpublication date Tue Sep 23, 2008 15:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

extract from Reprieve's letter Letter to Taoiseach Cowen 25 July 2008

Dear Prime Minister:

I am writing on behalf of Binyam Mohamed, the British resident who is currently held in Guantánamo Bay ... [and] has now spent one fifth of his life in illegal US detention. Before his four year incarceration in Guantánamo Binyam suffered two years of torture in US secret prisons, having been rendered to Morocco and the “Dark Prison” in Afghanistan by the CIA. Amongst other horrors, in Morocco, Binyam’s torture included a razorblade regularly being taken to his genitals... I am writing this letter to request your assistance in helping Binyam prove his innocence, and demonstrate the torture that he has suffered.

I am instructed as Mr. Mohamed’s attorney in both the US military commissions process and the US habeas corpus litigation. I have the full authority of Mr. Mohamed.I write to you because Binyam Mohamed’s rendition to torture was facilitated through Shannon and Irish authorities may hold information central to his defense.

This is a very urgent matter. While I am prohibited by US rules from revealing the full
details, suffice it to say that I am facing an imminent deadline at which time I will have to take steps on behalf of Mr. Mohamed. I very much hope that the Irish government will cooperate fully in the development of exculpatory evidence, which could prove the innocence of a prisoner facing the loss of his liberty and potentially, his life. The US Military Commissions have been condemned by almost every world leader, and described as a “kangaroo court” by Lord Steyn. As you may know, any prisoner charged in the US military commissions in Guantánamo Bay can face the death penalty.

He was seized by the Pakistani authorities on an immigration charge in April 2002. He was abused badly by the US and Pakistani authorities. Then, in July 2002, he was rendered by the CIA to Morocco, where he underwent 18 months of horrific torture, which included periodically having a razor blade taken to his penis.

This medieval treatment was undertaken by Moroccan agents, acting as the proxies of the US, and with consistent US direction of his torture and interrogation. Having rendered Binyam from Pakistan to Morocco, N379P and its crew flew directly to Shannon on the 22nd July 2002. The U.S agents implicated in Binyam’s prolonged torture and illegal detention refuelled their plane in Shannon and stayed there overnight…

On January 22 2004, Binyam was rendered by the CIA from Rabat to the Dark Prison in Kabul, where he endured a further five months of torture in the ‘Prison of Darkness.’ Again Binyam’s rendition was facilitated by Ireland. N313P flew from Washington to Shannon on 16 January 2004, arriving at 07:29. The crew responsible for the illegal rendition of Binyam Mohamed and later, Khaled el Masri, stayed overnight in Shannon…[the] crew flew to pick up Binyam in Rabat, Morocco on 21 January 2004 staying overnight there before transferring him on 22 January 2004 to Kabul. Since that time, he has been badly mistreated by the US authorities, and he continues to suffer prison conditions that are worse than any I have witnessed in the US in 25 years of visiting clients on Death Row across the Southern States.

You will understand, then, why I am seeking written and explicit assurance from the Government that the Irish authorities will cooperate fully with Mr. Mohamed’s request for exculpatory evidence.

I recognize that some of this material may be considered confidential on one level or another. While I do not mean to overstate my own qualifications, I think that both the US and the British governments will vouch for my trustworthiness. I have a security clearance
provided by the US authorities allowing access to secret evidence. Thus, I am allowed access to classified evidence, under rules that I scrupulously respect. The UK government has been supportive of my efforts to provide pro bono assistance to British nationals and
British residents in Guantánamo Bay, and was generous enough to recognize the work that I have done over the years with an OBE for services to humanity in 2000. The following are the categories of exculpatory evidence that exist in the possession of the Irish government that would assist Mr. Mohamed in defending against charges in Guantánamo Bay, with a brief explanation of what it in the hands of Irish authorities and why this is important to the defense of Mr. Mohamed:

1. All information regarding the CIA flight (N379P) that stopped in Shannon on
22 July, 2002 having illegally rendered Binyam Mohamed to torture in Morocco

Reprieve believes that the Irish authorities have access to the following information, either by a simple request or by a more formal order...
-The flight records that will include the (given) names of all personnel who were on
the plane when it arrived in Shannon and when it left.

-All passport and other information secured from anyone on the plane.
-All other information secured about the plane and its purpose.
-All flight records concerning where the aircraft had come from and where it was
going.
-The name of the hotel where the men stayed while in Shannon.
-All records of the hotel, including all telephone records.
-The records reflecting all details of those complicit in the flight, including documents filed by US representatives, and Servisair, Jeppesen and/or other private corporations involved in the planning and execution of the trip.

Reprieve has previously investigated similar flights involved in Mr. Mohamed’s torture.The names given by the US personnel are likely to be false, which itself raises important questions concerning US non-compliance with Irish and international legal obligations.
However, if provided with the requested records, Reprieve will be able to establish the true identities of those on board the flight.
The US continues to deny that Mr. Mohamed was tortured in Morocco. Thus, the evidence available to the Irish authorities is of highly significant relevance to the development of hisdefense.

All information regarding the rendition flights involving Mr. Mohamed that have been permitted by the Irish government.
Mr. Mohamed is not interested in recriminations against the Irish authorities. However, it is obviously in his legal interests to secure the political might of the Irish government to assist
him in his hour of need. Crucial to Mr. Mohamed’s successful vindication of these rights are certain materials that, as a matter of morality as well as law, the Irish authorities must therefore provide to his defense. These include:

a. Documents reflecting understandings between European countries and the
US concerning the use of European jurisdiction for military and civilian flights associated with the ‘War on Terror’.

b. Evidence concerning Irish contacts with the private corporations involved in the rendition of Mr. Mohamed.

c. Mr. Mohamed has documentary proof that Jeppesen Corporation has been
involved in rendition flights, including Mr. Mohamed’s. Officers with Jeppesen have stated publicly that they knew that their work involved “torture flights”. The Irish authorities must inevitably have the documentation of Jeppesen’s work on the flights discussed above through Irish airspace.

Various means can be considered for turning over exculpatory evidence that might be
deemed confidential. It could be provided under rules similar to those imposed by the US
authorities.

Yours sincerely,
Clive A. Stafford Smith, OBE

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Thu Sep 25, 2008 13:05author email sylfredcar at iolfree dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Surely there is now no reason under God why our Taoiseach - when he gets back from addressing the UN General Assembly! - should not act and act immediately to make it clear to the US that ALL US military aircraft as well as US private aircraft suspected of being used in any way for 'renditions' should be and will be searched by Irish security forces at Shannon. I would like to hear his excuse for not doing it, he who is so eager to address the General Assembly. It is curious too how strong unions such as SIPTU and the NUJ, as well as the Irish Writers' Union, have remained dumbfoundedly silent throughout all of this; as if it were their duty, somehow, to play at equality-for-all like kids in a sandpit, but never to act in the adult world. Little or nothing can be expected from our State-funded 'academy' of the culturally great, Aosdána: (too many possible US college invitations at risk?)The lack of Irish action shames us all. But increasingly it appears we are becoming proud of our shame!

author by eoin llewellyn - artist and anti iraq war publication date Tue Oct 21, 2008 16:26author email eoinllewellyn at gmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

To the head organisers against rendition flights in Shannon.
How are you all and congratulations on all your effort and hard work.
Can one of your organisers please contact me via email eoinllewellyn@gmail.com so I can pass on information to you of images I created too help orginisations like yours against the existence of Guantanamo and fighting torture.
Please go to my website www.llewellyn.ie and go to link Present then Guantanamo

There you will see 6-7 of images I created to help with this these can be blown up large for protest banners and other material.
Please send me mail so we can discuss and arrange to get one large one printed up for your demonstrations
All the best
Eoin

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/89449
author by Gus - ACMEpublication date Mon May 14, 2012 20:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Not sure when all of this rendition business with CIA and Guantanamo prisoners in relationship to N5GV got its start but the reason why all of the changes are very simple to explain. N5GV was the registration used and secured by Gulfstream Aerospace. Anytime they sell the aircraft that currently has that registration, Gulfstream retains the registration and the new owner must reregister the aircraft to their own choice that they usually have reserved. For example, N5GV changed to N1HC when the aircraft was sold to a company in Tulsa OK and no it is not a front for the CIA because I know he owner and he flies the aircraft himself. At the time of the sale the aircraft was a G-5, since then that aircraft was replaced by a G550 so the registration was kept by the past owner and the new owner changed it to whatever they had reserved.

Gulfstream retains these tail numbers all of the time and the flights are usually demo flight for perspective buyers so they have very nondescript paint schemes and the actual tail numbers are sometimes temporary painted over for operational purposes. This is no big conspiracy as other manufactures like Bombardier and Dassault follow the same practice. The reason why you saw someone saw N5GV being used on Criminal minds is because they had an agreement to use Gulfstream products for their flight scenes and Gulfstream got a lot of free advertising. Watch other episodes and sometimes they use N4GA or N550GV. Sometimes the aircraft is a G4 or G5 or even an Astra Jet. Watch any episode either in the beginning 15 mins or the closing 15 and you may see 2 different tails numbers for the same episode. This is just file footage provide by Gulfstream dating back to the certification of the G-IV (G4). Additionally after the model has been in circulation for a while and they certify a completely different aircraft such as the case in the G5 and G550. They can't use the registry N5GV on a G550 because the owners want people to know they are flying in the latest model and they can afford it.

So after a registry like N5GV has been around for a while Gulfstream finally releases the registry to the last person to purchase the aircraft. In this case N5GV serial number 5285 registered as Wilmington Trust Co (who finance aircraft) actually belongs to a wealthy Middle Eastern gentleman ho has absolutely nothing to do with the CIA. He isn't even Saudi if thats what your wondering but I won't reveal his name due to privacy concerns and his right to protect his identity. Same thing you would most likely do if you had 40 Million dollars to spend on a private aircraft.

I will say that these records are available to the public if you use the correct resources which are not the free search from the FAA website. Yes Wilmington Trust is the registered owner much like your auto is registered to a finance company prior to you paying the note.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Tue May 15, 2012 12:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

..folow the same practice.'

That hardly eliminates conspiracy, Gus. Are they not both arms manufacturers?Hardly paragons of open, accountable, democratic transparency.

And are you so well embedded with the CIA that you can assure us your 'Middle Eastern gentleman' is not an affilliate?

They don't just come in Saudi flavour. In fact an unusual number of them are Irish-American. Check out Tim Weiner's 'Legacy of Ashes' if you are unfamiliar with the Company's family tree. Lotsa flourescent green simians swingin in their exotic branches.

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