Group wants Johnston County officials to push feds on torture reports


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) - The fence guarding the entrance to Aero Contractors is fairly new - the Johnston County Board of Commissioners paid for the fence with a federal block grant a couple months ago.

The fortified entrance keeps the curious at bay. According to Christina Cowger of the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture, there are reasons to look past the gate.

"For that first period, from 2001 to 2004, which was the first critical years of the rendition and torture program, North Carolina hosted 80 percent of all torture flights," she said. "And that was just two airports in North Carolina - Smithfield and Kinston"

EARLIER: Smithfield-based company accused of flying terror suspects across globe

After years of research, it is now believed that Aero Contractors flew 70 missions and transported at least 49 individuals as part of the CIA's detention and interrogation program, though there are likely more, according to Cowger.

"We would like to ask Sheriff Steve Bizzel and District Attorney Susan Boyle, who are responsible for (fighting) criminal activity in that county, to investigate what is going on out at that airport, to use the testimony, the documentation," she said. "So we want them to ask for that investigation. That should have happened long since, but it should still happen. Then, if they wouldn't do that we would like the commissioners to appeal to Attorney General Josh Stein and Gov. Roy Cooper for a multi-level investigation."

The Johnston County Board of Commissioners have yet to act on a single request presented by the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture.



More Stories

North Carolina News Headlines

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center