May 15, 2003

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The Air and Marine Interdiction Coordination Center in Riverside, Calif., confirmed that it had tried to find Laney's Piper Cheyenne at the request of Texas law enforcement. The agency could not find the plane, but state officials eventually did.

Craddick said it was Laney's plane that led to the discovery that the Democrats had fled to Ardmore.

"It's a matter of great concern," Doggett said in an interview. "When you have a man as powerful as Tom DeLay saying he has a U.S. attorney researching it and that the FBI ought to be involved and Homeland Security tracking aircraft, there's reason to raise the alarm."

The letter was signed by 16 of the 17 U.S. Texas Democrats. Rep. Ralph Hall, D-Rockwall, a conservative Democrat close to the White House, did not sign it.

On Tuesday, DeLay, the architect of the map that would give the GOP five to seven additional Texas seats in redrawn districts, told reporters that he would like the federal agencies to be involved "because this is a federal issue, these are congressional seats."

"If it's legal, it would be nice for them to help them out -- help out the Texas Rangers and Texas troopers," DeLay said.

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Heck, even if it's illegal it would be 'nice' of them to help.... but I heard of no drug smuggling, illegal immigrant smuggling, or terrorist activity associated with the missing plane. So this smells like an abuse of authority..... since Craddick sayus they did find the plane, and someone at the AMICC seems to be playing a good game of CYA.

and if it turns out not to be an abuse of authority.... it should be made one.


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