Yes, Extraordinary Rendition To Continue Under Obama

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Barack, Military, Obama, The War On Terrorism, Torture, Transparency

But they promise that detainees won’t be abused. More on why I think that’s nonsense later on in the post.

But first, more from NY Times:

The announcement, by President Obama’s Interrogation and Transfer Policy Task Force, seemed intended in part to offset the impact of the release on Monday of a long-withheld report by the C.I.A. inspector general, written in 2004, that offered new details about the brutal tactics used by the C.I.A. in interrogating terrorism detainees.

Though the Obama administration previously signaled that it would continue the use of renditions, some civil liberties groups were disappointed because, as a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama had strongly suggested he might end the practice. In an article in Foreign Affairs in the summer of 2007, Mr. Obama wrote, “To build a better, freer world, we must first behave in ways that reflect the decency and aspirations of the American people.”

Mr. Obama continued, “This means ending the practices of shipping away prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far-off countries, of detaining thousands without charge or trial, of maintaining a network of secret prisons to jail people beyond the reach of the law.” In January, the president ordered secret prisons run by the C.I.A. to be shut down.

And here are the changes proposed so people aren’t tortured…

The administration officials, who discussed the changes on condition that they not be identified, said that unlike the Bush administration, they would operate more openly and give the State Department a larger role in assuring that transferred detainees would not be abused.

“The emphasis will be on ensuring that individuals will not face torture if they are sent overseas,” said one administration official, adding that no detainees would be sent to countries known to conduct abusive interrogations.

While these are at least movements in the right direction, we’ve seen how people have been kidnapped from their homes, detained for years and then released because they shouldn’t have been picked up in the first place.

Here’s the thing…stealing people from their lives still constitutes abuse in my book. Perhaps not the classic definition of torture, but think of the mental torment those folks went through. So if it happens again, well, shame on the Obama administration.

Truly disappointing…


This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 and is filed under Barack, Military, Obama, The War On Terrorism, Torture, Transparency. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Responses to “Yes, Extraordinary Rendition To Continue Under Obama”

  1. DK Says:

    Apparently the campaign slogan was “Change we can believe in” because that “change” was going to be something requiring active belief, such as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and underpants gnomes.

  2. mw Says:

    Justin,
    I’m glad you posted this. It goes beyond this one issue. People were rightly outraged by the executive over-reach of the Bush/Cheney administration. Torture, renditions, suspension of habeas corpus, spying on citizens, right to counsel, rule of law, politicizing Justice, the list goes on.

    At least with a divided government, Congress was exercising some oversight, exposing, investigating and reeling in the worst of the excesses. Think about the reaction in Congress now if a McCain administration promoted these exact policies.

    With the Dem majority now embracing the role of congressional lap dog, and Obama embracing and in some cases even expanding the Bush Cheney definition of the Unitary Executive, we are in a much more dangerous situation. Bush/Cheney excesses could have and should have been considered an extreme outlier, something to be rolled back by this administration and Congress. Instead, Obama is institutionalizing and making permanent the Bush/Cheney executive power grabs.

    This is bad. This is very bad.

    The Supes are the only firewall left. I just hope that Obama will appoint justices that will declare his actions unconstitutional.

  3. Nick Benjamin Says:

    You know what lawyers call the act of handing someone whose been extradited to France over to the French authorities? Rendition. You can’t really ban it completely.

    If Obama’s gonna give prisoners their day in Court, and demand assurances they won’t be tortured, his policy is a great idea. It’s what every President did before S11. If by transparency he just means telling people their fathers were sent to Syria, good luck, it’s a problem. But please don’t assume he’s gonna do the latter until he actually does it.

  4. Mike A. Says:

    “…“change” was going to be something requiring active belief, such as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and underpants gnomes.”

    Yea, like “fiscal conservatives” or “compassionate conservatism”

  5. kranky kritter Says:

    How unsurprising. I supported Obama in full expectation that our foreign policy would not reallychange all that much, especially on such matters.

    Fact is, our government sometimes uses whatever means necessary to covertly identify and locate dangerous characters. And then it sometimes skirts our most idealistic principles concerning civil rights in order to avoid letting such folks go.

    And yeah, that’s troubling and disappointing in a sense. But such folks may often be be guilty even if we can’t prove it legally. So it may well in fact keep us much safer. It’s a conundrum.

    And I guess my attitude has little bit of fennel in it. IOW, if you like your sausage the way it is now, don’t visit the sausage factory.

  6. mw Says:

    “But please don’t assume he’s gonna do the latter until he actually does it.” – nb

    Yeah we all trust Obama to always do the right thing. As a consequence, it is perfectly ok to have a government ruled by the good intentions of men and not by law. Even though I expect the 22nd amendment will be repealed and Obama will President for all of my lifetime, for some of you younger kids – you may want to just consider the possibility that these rules may someday be in effect with a Republican president. I hope you will be as sanguine about it with a President Romney or …. I can’t say it.

  7. gerryf Says:

    It’s crap. Total crap. Obama should be ashamed of himself. Before we call the democrat-controlled congress a lapdog, though, let’s at least wait a couple hours.

    I absolutely agree this stinks. And it wouldn’t surprise me if Obama chose vaction time with Congress out of town to announce it. I hope that there are enough spines left among these people to call it the way they see it and demand better.

    I agree, these are difficult questions, but we sent Obama to Washington to answer difficult questions. If we wanted and imbecile to be president there were plenty to choose from.

  8. Nick Benjamin Says:

    I didn’t say anything about trusting him. Somebody still has to pay attention to the renditions that happen.

    But there’s a time when distrust becomes psychotic.

    For example this article says jack about Extraordinary Rendition. The word “Extraordinary” does not appear in the article. At all. Which means Obama was probably talking about simple renditions.

    As extradition is a form of simple rendition the most logical conclusion from this article is that Obama will continue to extradite accused criminals, and some goo-goo types are worried that he’ll send them to shady countries. The kind of place where they find somebody the government doesn’t like, charge him with rape, extradite him, torture him into confessing, and execute him on national TV.

  9. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Obama lied. Gerry cried.

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