The First Year of Kick Boeing to the Curb

Below are a few of the actions and events Kick Boeing to the Curb was involved in throughout 2007 and the beginning of 2008.

April 4, 2007: Break Up with Boeing action: A rally at Daley Center and march to Boeing headquarters in which over 100 people attended. We called Boeing’s Ethics Line and read a break-up letter over the phone.

May 1, 2007: We participated in the May Day Immigrants Rights March, handing out over 500 bilingual fliers about Boeing’s militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border. We then picketed outside of Boeing headquarters.

June 17, 2007: Members of Kick Boeing to the Curb helped organize and participate in Operation First Casualty, an Iraq Veterans Against the War action. By using street theater, veterans re-enacted the reality of the brutal occupation in Iraq, including arresting, hooding and cuffing volunteers outside of Boeing headquarters.

August 11, 2007: KBC members attended and participated in an action outside Blackwater North’s facility in Mt. Carroll, IL. Video of the demonstration is here: Youtube A clip from the speech by KBC member Brad Thomson starts at approximately 4 minutes and 15 seconds into the video.

September 8, 2007: We endorsed and participated in an anti-war action at Rahm Emanuel’s office focused on ending Congressional funding for the War in Iraq.

September 19, 2007: We participated in “How We Fund,” a discussion at the Hyde Park Arts Center as part of the Pedagogical Factory. The discussion was about funding for progressive and artistic projects and addressed Boeing’s funding within the arts community here in Chicago.

December 22, 2007: In the holiday spirit, members of Kick Boeing to the Curb passed out hundreds of coupons announcing a “Bomb Blowout Sale” at Boeing, with discounts on missiles, bombs and other destructive weapons.   

January 7, 2008: KBC member Brad Thomson spoke on 8th Day, the radio program for the 8th Day Center for Justice: WLUW

January 14, 2008: Kick Boeing to the Curb was the recipient group for the monthly Peace Party held at Danny’s bar.

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Inside the World of War Profiteers

This article is a cover story from the Chicago Tribune, documenting the corruption of war profiteers in Iraq.

Inside the world of war profiteers

From prostitutes to Super bowl tickets, a federal probe reveals how contractors in Iraq cheated the U.S.

|Tribune reporters

ROCK ISLAND, Ill.—Inside the stout federal courthouse of this Mississippi River town, the dirty secrets of Iraq war profiteering keep pouring out.

Hundreds of pages of recently unsealed court records detail how kickbacks shaped the war’s largest troop support contract months before the first wave of U.S. soldiers plunged their boots into Iraqi sand.

The graft continued well beyond the 2004 congressional hearings that first called attention to it. And the massive fraud endangered the health of American soldiers even as it lined contractors’ pockets, records show.

Federal prosecutors in Rock Island have indicted four former supervisors from KBR, the giant defense firm that holds the contract, along with a decorated Army officer and five executives from KBR subcontractors based in the U.S. or the Middle East. Those defendants, along with two other KBR employees who have pleaded guilty in Virginia, account for a third of the 36 people indicted to date on Iraq war-contract crimes, Justice Department records show.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in Rock Island sentenced the Army official, Chief Warrant Officer Peleti “Pete” Peleti Jr., to 28 months in prison for taking bribes. One Middle Eastern subcontractor treated him to a trip to the 2006 Super Bowl, a defense investigator said.

View the rest of the article here: Chicago Tribune

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Kick Boeing to the Curb on WLUW

On Monday, January 7th, Kick Boeing to the Curb member Brad Thomson will be appearing on “The 8th Day,” a radio show dealing with social justice issues hosted by 8th Day Center for Justice. The show will be addressing the issue of torture and he will be discussing Boeing’s role in the CIA torture flights.

“8th Day”
Monday, January 7th
10:00-11:00
WLUW 88.7 FM
Also available through live webcast: WLUW

**Update: The show, “Torture: Chicago, Guantanamo and Boeing’s rendition flights” is archived on 8th Day’s website.

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Kick Boeing to the Curb Fundraiser!

We are excited to announce that Kick Boeing to the Curb has an upcoming fundraiser.  The bar Danny’s hosts a Peace Party once a month, donating half the bar sales to a non-profit group and this month, KBC will be the recipient organization.  There will be a DJ playing music all night and all you have to do is come dance, drink and socialize!

Here are the details:
Danny’s (1951 W. Dickens)
Monday, January 14th
10:00 pm-2:00 am
No cover

The funds we raise will be used to organize upcoming events,  publish informational materials, bring in speakers for teach-ins and conferences and help the organization in a number of other ways.

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United for a Fair Economy Reports

For years, United for a Fair Economy (UFE) has put out excellent reports about CEO compensation.  Over the past few years, they have focused on CEO compensation for defense contractors.  Below are links to .pdf files for their two most recent reports.

Executive Excess 2006

Executive Excess 2005

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Boeing’s Role in Torture

Here are resources for information on the CIA’s extraordinary renditions (torture flights) and the role Boeing plays in them.

Amnesty International: Below The Radar– Feature Section with general information about extraordinary renditions.

Have A Nice Flight– Village Voice article from February 4, 2007.

Flog is My Co-Pilot– Article appearing in Seattle Weekly on November 29, 2006 about the torture flights and Boeing’s involvement.

Also, read the article, “Boeing Unit to Face Suit in CIA Seizures” posted on this site.

Kick Boeing to the Curb is actively involved in the Coalition to Ground Boeing Torture Flights.

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Boeing Subsidiary Sued for Role in Torture Flights

Boeing unit to face suit in CIA seizures

International Herald Tribune

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

NEW YORK: The American Civil Liberties Union plans to file a lawsuit Wednesday alleging that a subsidiary of Boeing aided the Central Intelligence Agency in the forced transportation of three plaintiffs who say they were captured and flown to overseas prisons and in some cases tortured.

The civil suit is to be filed in San Jose, California, under the Alien Tort Claims Act of 1789. This law specifies that U.S. government agencies and U.S. corporations can be held responsible for human rights abuses against foreigners resulting from activities in a foreign country.

The legal action against Jeppesen, a flight-support services unit of Boeing based in San Jose, will represent a fresh attempt to shed light on a practice known as extraordinary rendition, under which the CIA arrested, transported and interrogated terrorist suspects after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

“Evidence points to Jeppesen as a major player in the extraordinary rendition program,” said Steven Watt, staff lawyer for the ACLU.

“European flight logs identifying Jeppesen reveal that over a four-year period, the company was actively involved in the provision of flight and logistical support services to at least 15 aircraft which, European investigations confirm, were used by the CIA in its program of extraordinary rendition.”

Watt added, “The evidence here also points to Jeppesen contracting to profit from torture.”

Jeppesen referred any request for comments to Boeing. Tim Neale, director of communications at Boeing, declined to respond “because to do so would mean commenting on the work Jeppesen does for clients under contracts that call for confidentiality.”

“It seems to me you are asking a question about an issue that involves the U.S. government,” Neale said. “Jeppesen, as with the rest of the Boeing company, operates in accordance with the laws.”

Asked about Jeppesen’s role in the rendition program, Mark Mansfield, CIA director of communications, said, “We don’t comment on such matters.”

Companies like Jeppesen typically provide flight-support services like weather forecasts, flight plans, landing permits, overflight exemptions, refueling, ground handling of the aircraft, catering arrangements, hotel accommodations and payment of airport fees.

An investigation conducted by an Italian business daily, Il Sole 24 Ore, also independently found evidence that two of the three plaintiffs in the ACLU lawsuit and another individual who was also a victim of an extraordinary rendition were transported aboard a Gulfstream V and a Boeing 737 with the logistical support from Jeppesen.

The four men were Kassim Britel, a Moroccan-born Italian citizen; Khaled el-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese origin who was mistaken for a terrorist and abducted from Macedonia; an Egyptian who had asked for asylum in Sweden; and an Ethiopian citizen with resident status in Britain.

“Without Jeppesen’s services, the planes would never have been able to make those flights,” said Francesca Longhi, the Italian lawyer for Britel, one of the plaintiffs in the ACLU lawsuit. “If Jeppesen hadn’t serviced the CIA’s Gulfstream V, my client would never have been illegally deported to Morocco, where he has endured months of torture and years of illegal detention that is still going on.”

Longhi said Jeppesen was involved in what many legal experts, the British Foreign Office and a special European Parliament commission consider an illegal act under international law.

Britel was arrested in 2002 in Pakistan, where the authorities claimed that he was traveling on a false Italian passport, according to Longhi. Britel was handed over to about six men, Americans he presumes were CIA operatives, who forced him onto of a Gulfstream V jet, Longhi said.

During the nine-hour flight to Morocco, Longhi said, Britel was kept hooded, with his hands and feet bound. After landing in Rabat, he was taken to a special jail run by local intelligence. Eighteen months later, he was tried and convicted on charges of being a member of a local terrorist cell and for “participating in unauthorized meetings” – although he had not been in Morocco for five years.

Britel, 39, is in Aïn Borja prison, in Casablanca, serving a nine-year sentence. Longhi said his conviction was based on a confession that followed weeks of torture.

Neither the Moroccan Ministry of Justice nor the Ministry of Communications, contacted by Il Sole 24 Ore, answered a request for comment.

In Italy, Britel fell under suspicion in 2001 when a booklet containing a transcript of an Osama Bin Laden’s interview on Al Jazeera television and an electronic file with a statement of support for the Taliban’s destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas were found in his home near Milan. But last September, the Italian authorities cleared him of any terrorism charges.

“The fact is that Britel never committed any crime,” Longhi said. “Not in Morocco, not in Italy, not anywhere.”

Before the CIA began extraordinary renditions, companies like Jeppesen were in the business of enabling wealthy people to fly smoothly around the globe.

After Sept. 11, 2001, according to human rights organizations and European investigating commissions, new customers appeared – charter companies operating planes on behalf of the CIA.

The first documentary evidence bearing Jeppesen’s name was retrieved in June 2005 by the Spanish Guardia Civil, when it investigated reports in a newspaper, Diario de Mallorca, of CIA planes flying into local airports. The Spanish authorities found that four planes – two Boeings and two Gulfstreams – had repeatedly landed and refueled in Mallorca and that they were serviced by two local companies on behalf of Jeppesen and Air Routing International.

Similar documents were uncovered in Portugal by a newspaper, Diario de Noticias, which found the name of Jeppesen in communications related to rendition planes that used the airports in Porto and Santa Maria de Azores.

Jeppesen UK was also named in British newspapers as the company that arranged for ground support services to a rendition plane that landed at Glasgow Prestwick Airport in June 2004.

Specific mention of the Gulfstream V jet that European investigators and Longhi say was used to transport Britel to Morocco first surfaced in October 2001. On Oct. 23 that year, at the airport in Karachi, Pakistan, masked men handed an individual to a group of Americans who had just landed on a Gulfstream V executive jet.

Claudio Gatti is an investigative reporter for Il Sole 24 Ore.

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