More complete details on the ACLU's lawsuit against Boeing and its Seattle-based "travel agent for torture" are now available here, and the Village Voice's Nat Hentoff writes about it today here.
Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen Dataplan Inc., based in San Jose (where the lawsuit was filed in federal court), operates the flight-planning unit in the Boeing Commerical Airplane division here. Jeppesen allegedly cleared the airways and runways for the CIA rendition flights - the secret transfers of unconvicted and sometimes innocent terror suspects to countries with more liberal views of torture - providing landing and navigation assistance, scheduling flight crews, and booking hotels for them.
The ACLU says Boeing knew or should have known what was happening to its passengers on the torture-outsourcing flights. What did happen? Here's one example, says the lawsuit - the case of terror suspect Binyam Mohamed, who was whisked off to a black prison in Afghanistan:
At first, his cell was pitch black for twenty-three hours a day. There was a bucket in the corner for his toilet, but it was difficult to use in the dark without spilling the contents all over his only blanket . . . On his first day in the `Dark Prison,' Mr. Mohammed was hung from a pole in his cell. On his second day, he was allowed only a few hours sleep and then hung up again. By the time he was taken down-two days after that-his legs were swollen and his wrists and hands had gone numb. Over the following weeks, loud music, the sounds of 'ghost laughter,' thunder, aircraft taking off, the screams of women and children . . . were piped into his cell twenty-four hours a day. To ensure that sleep was difficult, if not impossible, masked guards would visit the cells throughout the night and make loud noises."