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North Carolina Stop Torture Now!
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North Carolina Stop Torture Now!
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On May 31, 2005, evidence of Aero Contractors' role as Torture Taxis became world news with the New York Times story on Aero Contractors Ltd., civilian aviation companies operating effectively as mercenaries, in that they are a private company facilitating military and Central Intelligence Agency operations. In response to the operations transportation operating out of their local airfield, North Carolina volunteers organized a group to protest and inform the public and lawmakers.
The group worked to pass a bill in North Carolina to prohibit torture flights, but a limp response by the legislature led to the legislation being shelved. Equally tepid was the press coverage given to their efforts, with a notable exception. Appropriately, it was Democracy Now! that broadcast the story of one of their many demonstrations, an attempt to make a citizens' arrest of 
"North Carolina Activists Target Aero Contractors Over Rendition Flights"
Here in this country, members of the group North Carolina Stop Torture Now are heading to the offices of Aero Contractors today to make a citizens arrest of three executives. Aero Contractors has been closely connected to the CIAâ€™s extraordinary rendition program and was involved in the kidnapping and torture of German citizen Khaled El-Masri. In January, German prosecutors issued arrest warrants for at least three employees of Aero Contractors involved in the El-Masri case.
- Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIAâ€™s Rendition Flights
- Stop Torture Taxis Protest YouTube
- NC Stop Torture Now! Daily Kos
- Chronology North Carolina Stop Torture Now! Notable events and influence of NCSTN on local and state politics, link is to their site.
Aero Contractors Ltd., a private charter company based in Smithfield, North Carolina, is said to provide discreet air transport services for the Central Intelligence Agency.
On May 31, 2005, the New York Times reported that the company was heavily involved in Wikipedia:extraordinary rendition, the transport of terrorism suspects to countries where they can be interrogated to extract information. An Aero Contractors plane was used in the transport of Wikipedia:Khalid El-Masri, a German citizen who was pulled from a bus on the Wikipedia:Serbia-Macedonia border and held for three weeks. He was drugged and beaten before being flown to Wikipedia:Afghanistan on a Wikipedia:Boeing Business Jet operated by Aero Contractors. El-Masri was released after five months.
Aero Corporations allegedly operates under several different shell companies, including Wikipedia:Stevens Express Leasing, Inc., Wikipedia:Premier Executive Transport Services, Wikipedia:Aviation Specialties, Inc., and Wikipedia:Devon Holding and Leasing, Inc. 
A book published in September 2006, Wikipedia:Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIA Rendition Flights  includes many details about Aero Contractors' involvement in Wikipedia:extraordinary rendition.
Pilots alleged to work for Aero Contractors
- Wikipedia:James Kovalesky (alias James Richard Fairing)
- Wikipedia:Eric Robert Hume (alias Eric Matthew Fain)
- Wikipedia:Harry Kirk Elarbee (alias Kirk James Bird)
- Wikipedia:M Mulcahey
Links to Air America
There are numerous small links between Aero and Air America. The founder of Aero, Jim Rhyne, was chief pilot for Air America in the 1970s. Jim Rhyne died in early 2000 and there is little written about who is now in charge of operations.
The authors note the discovery of the program's means of transportation, Wikipedia:rendition aircraft, by aviation enthusiasts, who spotted discrepancies in the flights of four aircraft, and correlations between their unusual flight patterns and the list of sites reputed to be the destination for ghost detainees (WP).
- Wikipedia:Aero Contractors (US) reputedly provides air transport services for the Central Intelligence Agency (WP)
- Wikipedia:Air America former United States civilian airline operated by the Central Intelligence Agency during the Vietnam War
- Wikipedia:Blackwater Watch
- Wikipedia:Extrajudicial detention
- Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Rendition and Torture Program
- Wikipedia:Rendition aircraft
- Wikipedia:Taxi to the Dark Side
- Wikipedia:Tepper Aviation
- Wikipedia:Traffic analysis
Portions of this article were taken from "Aero Contractors Ltd.", at Wikipedia:SourceWatch, a wikiproject of the Wikipedia:Center for Media & Democracy which is licensed under the Wikipedia:GFDL. The list of original authors and the article's edit history can be viewed here. Wikipedia:de:Aero ContractorsWikipedia:eo:Aero Contractors
- Stop Torture Now homepage
- [http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=/watch%3Fv%3DQNTLaJe_JCI/ YouTube vid of Wikipedia:Blackwater Watch demo
- Stop Torture Now Extraordinary rendition requires extraordinary activism.
- Headlines - Democracy Now!
- C.I.A. Expanding Terror Battle Under Guise of Charter Flights
- European Parliament Working Document No 4 on the flights operated by the CIA in Europe
- Trevor Paglen and AC Thompson, Publisher: Melville House (October 1, 2006), English, ISBN 1933633093 and ISBN 978-1933633091
- Christina Stefanescu, "Wie enttarnt man einen CIA-Kidnapper? (How does one unmask a CIA kidnapper?)" (PDF), Zusammenfassungen zur nr-Jahreskonferenz 2007 (Summaries to the NR yearly conference 2007), page 22, netzwerkrecherche.de, 2007.
- James Kovalesky (alias James Richard Fairing), Wikipedia:SourceWatch, July 27, 2007.
- Eric Robert Hume (alias Eric Matthew Fain), SourceWatch, July 27, 2007.
- Harry Kirk Elarbee (alias Kirk James Bird), SourceWatch, July 26, 2007.
- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/31/national/31planes.html?_r=2&oref=slogin New York Times article
- Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIAâ€™s Rendition Flights, Wikipedia:Melville House Publishing.
- Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIAâ€™s Rendition Flights. Wikipedia:Democracy Now!.
- Excerpt from the book
- Paglen's websiteWikipedia:Category:ActivismWikipedia:Category:Central Intelligence Agency front organizations