Local News

ACLU, Other Groups Protest Alleged Activities of Kinston Company

Posted March 21, 2007 6:12 p.m. EDT

— There are more protests underway over "torture flights" that originate in North Carolina.

Various groups led by the American Civil Liberties Union gathered at the General Assembly  Wednesday to renew their criticism of Aero Contractors. The ACLU believes the company works with the CIA hauling terror suspects to secret locations, without due process.

The air carrier flies out of Johnston County and the Global Transpark in Kinston.  A group of state lawmakers wrote to Attorney General Roy Cooper last Thursday, asking that he order the State Bureau of Investigation to probe reports of illegal activity at the Johnston County Airport.

The letter from 22 legislators asks for the SBI to investigate Aero Contractors.

The CBS news magazine "60 Minutes" aired a story in 2005 about secret Central Intelligence Agency flights that were part of the abduction of terrorism suspects, a process known as rendition.

"60 Minutes" said the flights began in North Carolina.

WRAL has learned that a Swedish news crew traced the flights to Aero Contractors, a company based at the Johnston County Airport.

Aero denies any involvement in the flights. Protesters said they're frustrated that state leaders won't investigate.