Using Transportation to Investigate CIA Kidnappings
ALEX CHADWICK, host:
The secrecy of these extraordinary rendition cases makes it hard to find anyone to hold accountable. Still, human rights activists are trying in many different forums.
From Oregon Public Broadcasting, Colin Fogarty has the story of one such effort.
COLIN FOGARTY: Extraordinary rendition requires a plane. Several human rights groups and investigative journalists have documented one jet in particular - a Gulfstream V - as a likely vehicle for CIA kidnappings.
For a time that same jet was registered to a company in Portland. It's called Bayard Foreign Marketing LLC. And its owner is listed as Leonard Bayard.
But he's not an easy man to find. The downtown suite listed in legal papers as the company's address is really a law firm. There's no sign of Bayard Foreign Marketing.
Unidentified Woman: Hi.
FOGARTY: Hi. How are you?
Unidentified Woman: I'm fine. How are you?
FOGARTY: Good. My name's Colin Fogarty, and I'm a public radio reporter in Portland.
Unidentified Woman: Uh-huh.
FOGARTY: And I'm looking for Leonard Bayard. Do you know who he is? Does he work here?
Unidentified Woman: No. No.
FOGARTY: He doesn't work here?
Unidentified Woman: No.
FOGARTY: Have you ever heard of him before?
Unidentified Woman: No.
FOGARTY: It's Bayard Foreign Marketing, LLC.
Unidentified Woman: No.
Unidentified Woman: Really.
FOGARTY: Okay. Not here at all?
Unidentified Woman: Nuh-uh.
FOGARTY: Okay. All right.
Unidentified Woman: Okay?
FOGARTY: Thank you.
Unidentified Woman: You're welcome.
FOGARTY: All right.
The security guard hadn't heard of Leonard Bayard either. The number listed on the company's annual corporate report goes to an answering service, according to the woman who picked up the phone.
Unidentified Woman #2: Oh, he's not going to be in until next week.
FOGARTY: Oh, really?
Unidentified Woman #2: Mm-hmm.
FOGARTY: And does he work there?
Unidentified Woman #2: Yes.
FOGARTY: Is he out of town?
Unidentified Woman #2: Yes, he is.
FOGARTY: Oh, I see. Okay. And does he normally work in that office?
Unidentified Woman #2: Yes, he does.
FOGARTY: Okay. Well, could I leave a message for him?
Unidentified Woman #2: Sure.
FOGARTY: If I get a call back I'll have quite a scoop. Investigative reporters from the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, and the Portland Oregonian failed to find any sign of Leonard Bayard - no home address, no Social Security Numbers, no credit history. The city of Portland tried to track him down too. Scott Carter with the Portland Revenue Bureau says the city tried to impose a $100 business license fee on Bayard, to no avail.
Mr. SCOTT CARTER (Portland Revenue Service): We often search property tax records. We, you know, we have a number of tools available to us. But we were unable to find enough evidence to actually set up a business license account.
FOGARTY: The CIA declined to comment on the plane that was owned by Bayard. But the agency's former director, George Tenet, has acknowledged the practice of extraordinary rendition. The story about Bayard's Gulf Stream Five caught the attention of a retired political science professor in Portland, Michael Munk. He can't do much to vent his outrage at the CIA. But he can do something to a lawyer in his hometown. Portland attorney Scott Caplan helped create Bayard Foreign Marketing back in 2003. In fact, that downtown Portland office, where Leonard Bayard was nowhere to be found, is Caplan's law firm. So Munk filed a complaint with the Oregon State Bar.
Professor MICHAEL MUNK (Political Science): I raised the question with the bar, whether they should tolerate an attorney who at least creates the public perception that he is an enabler of torture and kidnapping.
FOGARTY: Munk says filing papers for someone who doesn't exist would be dishonest. In Oregon, lying violates the rules that govern lawyers, according to Kateri Walsh, a spokeswoman for the Oregon State Bar.
Ms. KATERI WALSH (Oregon State Bar): We do have a rule that deals with conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. So our - the extent of our investigation has to do with whether he violated any of the ethical rules that lawyers are bound to.
FOGARTY: Attorney Scott Caplan declined to be interview, but his written response to the Oregon State Bar says he had no reasons to believe the company he helped established in 2003 was anything but a legitimate legal entity. The state bar expects its investigation of Scott Caplan to take several more months. Caplan refuses to divulge anything more, citing attorney-client privilege.
For NPR News, I'm Colin Fogarty in Portland.
CHADWICK: Stay with us on DAY To DAY.
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