Playing ball with the CIA

Buy yourself a Gulfstream IV jet and maybe you, too, could be a team player in the Bush administration's war on terror.

By Mark Follman
Published March 22, 2005 11:45PM (EST)

Buy yourself a Gulfstream IV jet and maybe you, too, could be a team player in the Bush administration's war on terror. From the Boston Globe:

"Phillip H. Morse, a minority partner of the Boston Red Sox, confirmed [Sunday] that his private jet has been chartered to the CIA and said he was aware that it had been flown to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where more than 500 terrorism suspects are held, as well as other overseas destinations.

"'It's chartered a lot,' Morse said by phone from his winter home in Jupiter, Fla. 'It just so happens one of our customers is the CIA. I was glad to have the business, actually. I hope it was all for a real good purpose.'

Perhaps Morse doesn't follow the news much while wintering in the Sunshine State, or, for that matter, keep track of where his plane goes. According to the Globe, "Morse said he was 'stunned' by a published report suggesting that the plane might have been used for special renditions, the controversial practice in which terrorism suspects arrested abroad have been forcibly returned to their native countries for interrogation, sometimes with methods that are barred by US law. Between June 2002 and January of this year, the plane has flown to Afghanistan, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Azerbaijan, and the Czech Republic, and made 82 visits to Dulles International Airport outside Washington, according to the Chicago Tribune, which cited records from the Federal Aviation Administration."

Indeed, Morse may be hoping against hope when it comes to the use of his plane; according to several CIA and U.S. government officials quoted in the Washington Post last week, there is little doubt that detainees secretly shipped overseas by the U.S. are brutalized by their interrogators, even when foreign governments make assurances otherwise.

"It's widely understood that interrogation practices that would be illegal in the U.S. are being used," said one U.S. official.

"They say they are not abusing them and that satisfies the legal requirement," said another, "but we all know they do."

For his part, Morse said that the only clandestine activity he knows of is with regard to his favorite ball team: When his plane is chartered, "it never has the logo of the Red Sox on it," Morse told the Globe. "They cover it up."

Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

MORE FROM Mark Follman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Baseball Cia Torture War Room