Thursday, August 27, 2009


As a candidate, Barack Obama railed against rendition, the practice of shipping terror suspects off to other countries where they would most likely be tortured even more severely than at U.S. facilities like Guantanamo. But in the past day or two, the Obama Administration confirmed that extraordinary rendition would continue, albeit under more stringent oversight to ensure that suspects aren't tortured.

Can someone explain to me why we need to bother sending suspects overseas if we aren't torturing any more and our rendition "partners" aren't going to be allowed to torture any more? Are we not able to question them here? Is it a political move to make closing Guantanamo more palatable? Is it simply to put suspects in a position to undergo "enhanced interrogation" but not run the risk that the CIA or other U.S. agencies be held legally liable?

The concept of rendition is forever tainted by the spectre (and reality) of torture committed previously. Realistically, is anyone going to believe that it isn't happening again? After all, once a suspect is shipped off on a secret flight to somewhere else and held incommunicado, who is to know?

I understand that upon becoming President, Barack Obama and his team came into possession of more information than he had as a candidate and more than we'll ever have. Obviously, that has led to a change in position but all in all, it's still just another touch of disappointment in the compromises made by the Obama Administration.

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