WMR has learned from informed sources in the nation’s capital that the Department of Homeland Security has, on the orders of the Trump White House, reactivated the Central Intelligence Agency’s old extraordinary rendition airline fleet to conduct expedited removal from the United States of undocumented immigrants. During the George W. Bush administration, a network of CIA front companies that managed a fleet of aircraft conducted kidnapping and torture operations known as “extraordinary rendition.” The targets of these operations were alleged terrorists. A number of innocent people were caught up in the CIA’s dragnet.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents recently arrested some 700 undocumented immigrants said to be on a “targeted list” of those with criminal records. However, those without any criminal record were reportedly rounded up in the ICE operation. In addition, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has authorized ICE agents to use their discretion to arrest and deport any illegal immigrant. The use of the CIA’s fleet of rendition aircraft adds a new wrinkle to the Trump deportation operations. The mere fact that front company aircraft are being used in expedited removal operations is designed to keep the operations covert and away from the eyes of the media, which President Trump recently called the “enemy of the American people.”
The use of the CIA for immigration control would represent a dangerous use of what is officially a foreign intelligence arm of the executive branch for domestic law enforcement.
The CIA’s fleet of rendition aircraft included planes as large as Boeing 737s to smaller aircraft such as Gulfstreams and Lear jets. One Boeing 737 used for renditions was associated with at least three CIA front companies: Keller and Tate Management, Premier Executive Transport Services, and Stevens Express Leasing, Inc. Other rendition aircraft were operated by Blackwater, the private mercenary firm founded by Erik Prince, the brother of Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).