In our inital post, we noted that an online aircraft ownership tracking site shows that Stevens Express Leasing, Inc. – a suspicious Tennessee aviation company – sold a King Air to Samaritan’s Purse. This is confirmed by FAA records we have obtained. A key signature on this document belongs to James J. Kershaw, the president of Stevens. (His signature appears more than once, but the handwriting looks different.) Kershaw has been found to be one of many “sterile identities” by Trevor Paglen and A.C. Thompson, authors of the book Torture Taxi. A sterile identity is a non-existent person whose signature is used on documents of companies created for covert operations. Flying terror suspects to places where torture is known to take place – extraordinary rendition – is one kind of covert operation.
Stevens Express Leasing is not the only suspicious company that Kershaw works for. Devon Holding & Leasing in North Carolina and Premier Executive Transport Services in Massachusetts are two more companies that Paglen and Thompson name in their book. The New York Times also found this tangled web.
So how did Samaritan’s Purse zero in on this particular plane? How did they do a deal with people who don’t exist and who work for companies with no working address aside from a lawyer’s office? Virgil Gottfried, SP’s Director of Aviation, should know. His signature is on the FAA forms.
We thought that Samaritan’s Purse was a Christian organization. Since when did Evangelicals learn how to conjure up ghosts?