Determining who owns the Boeing Business Jet being used to transport accused terrorists and sometimes innocent victims around the globe tends to lead to a number

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Rendition Airways

The Boeing/CIA jet that nobody owns.

Determining who owns the Boeing Business Jet being used to transport accused terrorists and sometimes innocent victims around the globe tends to lead to a number of attorneys with nothing to say. That's because, according to rights groups and news media reports, the BBJ is really owned by the Central Intelligence Agency, which has even less to say.

The jet was first registered in 2001 to Stevens Express Leasing Inc. of Tennessee, then in the name of Premiere Executive Transport of Massachusetts in 2002, and in 2004 to Keeler and Tate Management of Nevada, according to FAA records and information compiled by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the news media.

All the ownership companies appear to exist in name only, and are represented by registered agents - lawyers who have refused to talk to reporters.  The New York Times reports that many suspected CIA aircraft are operated by Aero Contractors Ltd., of North Carolina, thought to be the modern-day version of the CIA's Vietnam-era Air America.

The current Boeing jet registrant, Keeler and Tate, lists a Reno address. It turns out to be the office only of its registered agent, a local attorney. A receptionist there last week said they have no comment on Keeler and Tate and that the attorney was not in. Keeler and Tate is named in a lawsuit brought by Khaled el-Masri, who says he was abducted and taken aboard the company's jet to a CIA prison. The suit alleges Keeler and Tate is a CIA front. 

Coincidentally, perhaps, Keeler and Tate's attorney shares the same offices with a law and lobbying firm, the Paul Laxalt Group West. Republican Laxalt, a former Nevada governor and onetime U.S. senator, is now a  D.C. lobbyist for U.S. businesses including No. 1 defense contractor Lockheed Martin. The Reno office is apparently run by Laxalt's brother, Peter. But "Peter Laxalt doesn't come into the office," the office receptionist says. "He just calls in for messages once in awhile." We left our number. He didn't call.

 
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