[News] CIA Contractor Now Flying Spy Drone Over Haiti
news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jan 21 19:49:28 EST 2010
Published on Thursday, January 21, 2010 by Wired
CIA Contractor Now Flying Spy Drone Over Haiti
by Noah Shachtman
A controversial CIA contractor has found new work
in Haiti, flying drones on disaster recovery duty.
When last we heard from Evergreen International
Aviation, the Oregon-based firm was offering to
post sentries at local voting centers during the
2008 election, "detaining troublemakers " and
making sure voters "do not get out of control."
Now, company vice president Sam White tells
Aviation Week that the firm is flying at least
one ScanEagle surveillance drone  over Haiti.
"The company has a fleet of 747s and a fleet of
large and small choppers, and has begun ferrying
in supplies to Port au Prince," the magazine's
Paul McLeary  notes. "White wouldn't say who
the company is moving cargo for, saying only that
we're working with different agencies, and we
have one plane coming in tomorrow full of humanitarian supplies.'"
Over the years, Evergreen has had all sorts of
interesting clients over its five-plus decades in
operation. Back in the late '80s, the company
"acknowledged one agreement under which his
companies provide occasional jobs and cover to
foreign nationals the CIA wants taken out of
other countries or brought into the United
States." In 2006, Evergreen's parent company flew
Bill O'Reilly into Kuwait in 2006 , according
toSourceWatch. Last April, the company won a $158
million contract  to supply the Air Force with helicopters in Afghanistan.
Haiti wouldn't be Evergreen's first
disaster-response mission, however. In September,
the State of California chartered Evergreen's 747
supertanker , to help put out forest fires there.
UPDATE: Brian Whiteside, executive vice president
of Evergreen Unmanned Systems, denied that his
company is flying drones for the earthquake
recovery operation. "We have no UAVs [unmanned
aerial vehicles] in Haiti - nothing currently in
Haiti, and nothing in the region,"he tells Danger
Room. Whiteside acknowledged that "we do have
teams over there that are trying to help." But
Whiteside isn't sure what, exactly, they've been
able to accomplish. "We don't have very good
comms with them." And when I asked him which
government agency or charity Evergreen was trying
to support, he ducked the question, and referred me to his spokesperson.
UPDATE 2: McLeary went back and posted the quotes
he got from Evergreen's Sam White . "We also
have some UAVs here that we're bringing in to,
uh, probably work with the press to help out
downloading live video links and aerial shots of
the devastation," he said. "We also have 747
cargo airplanes, and so we're working with
different agencies there and uh, we have a plane
landing here tomorrow to bring in a lot of
humanitarian supplies. So we'll be here for quite some time."
So which Evergreen exec is telling the truth?
Wired.com © 2009 Condé Nast Digital.
Article printed from www.CommonDreams.org
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