With fresh ammunition from a University of North Carolina law school report, activists renewed their call Thursday for state officials to take legal action against Aero Contractors Ltd.
For years the Johnston County, N.C., air transport company, which has links to the CIA, has been accused of being a taxi service for paramilitary teams that pick up terrorism suspects in one country and fly them to another where it's easier to interrogate and, perhaps, torture them. The process is known as extraordinary rendition.
Law professor Deborah M. Weissman and members of the protest group North Carolina Stop Torture Now gave copies of their report to representatives of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper and Gov. Bev. Perdue on Thursday morning, then released it during a news conference at the Johnston County Airport, where Aero is based.
The report does not accuse Aero employees of engaging directly in torture. Still, they are accountable for aiding and abetting violations of human rights that are protected under various international treaties and federal laws, Weissman said.
Because the U.S. government has signed those treaties, each state is legally obligated to uphold them, she said.