Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Elevating Form Over Substance: Liberals Now Argue that They Oppose the Label of Bush's Program, Not the Substance

Formalism is the big trump card for liberals who strain to reconcile their opposition to Bush's "rendition"/"extraordinary rendition" program with their support of the reported continuation of certain aspects of this practice by Obama. As a constitutional law professor, I believe that language is highly relevant. But liberals who opposed Bush's policy of forcibly transferring individuals to another country were not engaging in constitutional interpretation. Instead, they were focusing on the specific content of his policies -- as they should have.

In prior posts (see here and here), I provided quotations from position papers of human rights groups that detailed specific practices of the Bush administration's rendition policies they believed were either illegal or undesirable. In some of the position papers, the organizations used the labels "rendition" and "extraordinary rendition" interchangeably -- which alone undermines the liberal defense that seeks to parse these two terms.

Four pervasive themes appear in the liberal critiques of Bush's "rendition" program. Liberals argued that the program was improper because: 1. Rendered individuals were transferred without the ability to contest the transfer before a judge; 2. Rendered individuals could not consult an attorney prior to transfer (or even after transfer); 3. Rendered individuals were often rendered for the purpose of torture - or this was the inevitable consequence of their transfer; and 4. Rendered individuals were often "disappeared" and confined in secret CIA prisons.

Although human rights groups condemned all four sets of practices, the inclusion of elements 3 and 4 presumably distinguishes Bush's program from past practices (although some data suggest that some rendered persons in the Clinton administration faced torture). And this fact alone has created something akin to a liberal loophole. Defenders of Obama's rendition program (assuming the factual accuracy of the L.A. Times article) contend that elements 1 and 2 represent old-fashioned and acceptable "rendition," while 3 and 4 are elements of Bush's evil "extraordinary rendition." If Obama simply removes 3 and 4 (which he promises to do), then all is good for the defenders of rendition.

But this forms the basis of the charge of hypocrisy. Human rights groups detailed in numerous policy statements the specific aspects of Bush's program with which they disagreed. These practices certainly included rendition to torture and indefinite detention, but they also involved the lack of judicial oversight and denial of access to counsel. If liberals now believe that some activists overreached by criticizing the lack of judicial oversight or legal representation in their arguments condemning Bush, then they should express this point. It is absolutely disingenuous to argue instead that human rights groups only disagreed with rendition to torture and indefinite detention, when the organizations' own words demonstrate that they made a fuller set of arguments.

Furthermore, describing Bush's plan as "extraordinary" does very little to defend "rendition" in the Obama administration. Labels do not give rise to human rights violations. Specific practices do. And in terms of concrete policies, many human rights groups condemned the four sets of practices (see above) that this essay identifies. Obama's planned cessation of two of these practices does not respond to the full set of concerns that human rights groups expressed. If my fellow liberals defend his program, despite its replication of some of the very practices that human rights groups condemned during the Bush administration, then they are being hypocritical. If they now believe that the procedural protections are unnecessary, they should say so.

Finally, many bloggers, especially Hilzoy, have been extremely committed to elevating "form" over "substance." Hilzoy and others have attempted to legitimize the CIA's old-fashioned "rendition" program by using generic web-based definitions of rendition, which link the practice to established and widely accepted concepts like deportation and extradition. On a generalized level, these practices are indeed connected; they all involve the removal of a person from one nation to another against the person's will.

But general dictionary meanings (even from legal dictionaries!) do not provide a basis for criticizing or validating a specific set of governmental behaviors. In practice, the CIA's rendition program does not contain the procedural protections that make extradition and deportation accepted practices. Therefore, regardless of the abstract connection between rendition and extradition, in reality the CIA's rendition program is light years from extradition in terms of the level of due process provided to individuals subject to removal and transfer.

Under extradition, for example, individuals can typically seek judicial review of the determination to send them to another territory for prosecution or imprisonment. And persons can only be extradited for concrete purposes: to stand trial or to serve a sentence. Other common provisions allow countries that do not apply the death penalty to refuse extradition of an individual who would potentially face the death penalty in the receiving country.

Many human rights groups demanded that Bush extend similar protections to individuals subject to rendition. Although the Obama administration has not indicated that it will give rendered individuals these procedural rights, liberals still try to validate his program as something fundamentally different than Bush's.

Labels, however, cannot mask specifics. If Obama enforces policies that deny a rendered individual's access to courts or attorneys prior to or after the transfer, then he will fall short of the demands made by many human rights groups during the Bush administration. Although the CIA may no longer render to torture or confine individuals indefinitely, it might continue to snatch individuals without judicial oversight or attorney representation. Prior to the Obama administration, many liberals condemned torture-free CIA kidnappings. Today, however, they defend this practice. Why?

[Editor's Note: I modified an earlier blog post to distinguish dictionary labels from specific policy; one blogger took that as a sinister maneuver. It was not. I stand by both versions of the post. The blogger's post never responds to the specific content of the critiques of human rights groups; instead, the person focuses on labels.]

Update: A version of this article now appears in the New York Times. Blogger Hilzoy has responded to my criticism of her and other liberal bloggers who defend Obama's use of rendition. Here is my response (which I have forwarded to the New York Times):



Blogger Hilzoy has responded to my criticism with the following observation: "I. . .find the idea that I relied on ‘generic web-based definitions’ of rendition odd: I cited cases, statutes, etc." But Hilzoy relied upon a Wikipedia definition of rendition in order to advance the following claim: Rendition is just moving people from one jurisdiction (in the cases at hand, one country) to another; includes [sic] all sorts of perfectly normal things, like extradition, which are not problematic legally.” I understood Hilzoy’s argument as an attempt to justify (or simply describe) the CIA’s practice of rendition by linking it to established legal concepts such as extradition. Hilzoy explained that she was not discussing the CIA program but simply the abstract meaning of rendition, and I accepted her statement some time ago.

As I explained on my blog, however, rendition as an abstract or generic concept might include concepts like extradition, but the specific CIA program -– whether described as “extraordinary rendition” or simply as “rendition” -- differs substantially from extradition because it lacks procedural due process. Unlike extradition in its typical form, the CIA’s policy does not include judicial or administrative oversight, and captured individuals do not have a right to counsel. Another common procedural safeguard associated with extradition allows countries to refuse to transfer an individual if he or she would face the death penalty in the receiving country for a crime that does not qualify as a capital offense in the transferring country.

Ironically, Hilzoy strives to distinguish Bush’s program from Obama’s on the ground that rendition in the new administration will lack the torture and indefinite detention elements. Leon Panetta, however, has said that he will use diplomacy to minimize the risk of torture, but that the CIA could seek the use of harsher interrogation methods “if necessary.” And both Elena Kagan and Eric Holder take the position that the administration can indefinitely detain torture suspects so long as the country is “at war” with Al Qaeda.

These positions substantially replicate Bush’s policies. Bush denied intentionally sending individuals to torture and stated that his use of diplomacy could prevent it. He also stated that the war against terrorism justified indefinite detention of terrorism suspects. Many human rights groups contend that diplomatic assurances are ineffective against torture, and they have passionately condemned indefinite detention. Although Obama has made some formal changes, his rendition policies still look a lot closer to Bush’s practices than Hilzoy and other liberals seem willing to
admit.


Related Readings from Dissenting Justice:

Will Defenders of the "Kinder, Gentler" Rendition" Beat Up the United Nations?

Still a Flip-Flop: My Fellow Liberals Push Back Against Allegations of Inconsistency Concerning Rendition

Major Flip-Flop by Human Rights Watch: Organization Waiting for Obama to Develop Kinder, Gentler Rendition Program

Other Articles Recent Articles:

The "Yes We Can" Movement Gets Sudden Reality Check!

Hold Them Accountable Part II: If Conservatives Caused the Economic Crisis, They Had a Lot of Help from Democrats!

Hold Them Accountable Too: Many Democrats Supported Policies of the "Worst President" (Part I)

56 comments:

WJ said...

Where are the indisputable facts to say that President Bush had an explicit policy for your points 3 & 4?

Repeating something you want to believe over and over and over and over and over does not necessarily make it true.

jukeboxgrad said...

I hope you'll eventually find time to address certain questions that have been addressed to you. Those questions can be found via here.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

WJ - I was recounting the arguments of the activists. I have noted elsewhere that Bush denies rendering people for torture. His own waterboarding undermines the credibility of this claim. Also, he went to the Supreme Court to defend indefinite detentions in other contexts, so it's not a stretch to believe the evidence which shows that the CIA detained individuals in foreign cells for indefinite periods.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Jukebox - where is the question? Although you provide a great accounting of my web activity on Volokh's blog, you don't state a question in that post. So - why not ask it here.

junyo said...

"... some data suggest that some rendered persons in the Clinton administration faced torture" does it.

Come on. We handed people over to Middle Eastern intelligence services, and we know what their human rights record is.

At the highest level, very few people gave a damn about "international law" or human rights, or any of the things that we came to care so deeply about during the Bush years. According to Richard Clark, extraordianry renditions not only occurred during the Clinton adminstration, they were endorsed, personally, by Clinton and Gore; "The first time I proposed a snatch, in 1993, the White House Counsel, Lloyd Cutler, demanded a meeting with the President to explain how it violated international law. Clinton had seemed to be siding with Cutler until Al Gore belatedly joined the meeting, having just flown overnight from South Africa. Clinton recapped the arguments on both sides for Gore: "Lloyd says this. Dick says that. Gore laughed and said, 'That's a no-brainer. Of course it's a violation of international law, that's why it's a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass.'""

According to Michael Scheuer, the CIA author of Clinton's rendition program, it was specifically designed to sidestep any constitutional protections that suspects might gain by being brought on US soil. "The obvious choice, Scheuer said, was Egypt. The largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid after Israel, Egypt was a key strategic ally, and its secret police force, the Mukhabarat, had a reputation for brutality. Egypt had been frequently cited by the State Department for torture of prisoners. According to a 2002 report, detainees were “stripped and blindfolded; suspended from a ceiling or doorframe with feet just touching the floor; beaten with fists, whips, metal rods, or other objects; subjected to electrical shocks; and doused with cold water [and] sexually assaulted.” Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s leader, who came to office in 1981, after President Anwar Sadat was assassinated by Islamist extremists, was determined to crack down on terrorism...
In 1995, Scheuer said, American agents proposed the rendition program to Egypt, making clear that it had the resources to track, capture, and transport terrorist suspects globally—including access to a small fleet of aircraft. Egypt embraced the idea. “What was clever was that some of the senior people in Al Qaeda were Egyptian,” Scheuer said. “It served American purposes to get these people arrested, and Egyptian purposes to get these people back, where they could be interrogated.” Technically, U.S. law requires the C.I.A. to seek “assurances” from foreign governments that rendered suspects won’t be tortured. Scheuer told me that this was done, but he was “not sure” if any documents confirming the arrangement were signed.
" - Jane Mayer, February 8, 2005, The New Yorker

So from 1995 on it's documented fact that the US delivered terror suspects to the tender mercies of the Egyptian Mukhabarat, starting with Talaat Fouad Qassem, who hasn't been seen since he was handed over. And we gladly collected the extracted intel, with nary a peep from most of the people claiming that the Bush years were a stain on the otherwise pristine national psyche. But to anyone with half a brain, the only real difference between Clinton's rendition and the Bush administration's version was the failure to play coy about what they were doing and a willingness to get hands on when the occasion called for it.

Infidel753 said...

It's the issue of torture that gave the opposition to rendition most of its emotional force. I can imagine someone including points #1 and #2 in their objections, but deciding they can live with them if #4 and especially #3 are stopped. I do agree with you that if that's their position, they should say so explicitly.

Also, if the US keeps doing renditions to countries where torture is practiced, we can't really claim certainty that it won't happen to the people who are sent there.

And I still think that if Bush had modified the redition program in exactly the ways Obama is doing, most of the former critics who are now defending Obama would not be similarly defending Bush.

Anonymous said...

Darren,

If it's any consolation, JBG has gone *years* without answering questions addressed to him about his selective reading and interpretation of events on other blogs and comments sections starting, to my knowledge, all the way back to Swift Boats and perseverating since ...

thanks for taking the time to document what should be intuitively obvious.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Infidel - I agree with you as usual. But my point is that some are departing from their own prior positions (HRW) while some are distorting the body of liberal opposition (Greenwald, Horton, etc).

Anonymous: I suspect that there's a lot of, um, "history" among people who have flooded my blog lately. I enjoy the debate, but some of the valiant defenses of other bloggers seem like the work of web buddies.

Juno - I love that you read and become moved by parentheticals (which inherently are not central or integral to my argument). It appears that you agree with me that some data suggest...blah blah blah....

jukeboxgrad said...

hutchinson: "where is the question?"

I pointed to them clearly. I will now point again: here and here.

Nickleby said...

Hi Darren,

You've laid out your argument very well, and, again, I'm glad to have a continuing dialogue/critique--I voted for Obama twice (not in the same election), but I voted for him only because I thought he would do a good job in his positions. (That is, I thought he would do good--I didn't think that anything he did would be good by virtue of him doing it.) As far as that goes, I'm glad to have some critiquing.

All that said, here's where our actual disagreement starts:

You claim liberal hypocrisy by pointing out that liberal supporters of Obama seem okay with his rendition program (which includes at least one Executive Order meant to preclude the possibility of rendition for torture) while human rights groups and some law scholars argue that any rendition without judicial consent is a violation of the law.

I think this is very interesting--for the past 7 years or so, I've been incensed over the use of torture and the collusion to torture, and by the absence of judicial review after custody, but maybe I should also have been paying attention to judicial review before the transfer took place.

But do you see where I'm going? Most liberals are not law scholars or human rights activists--the lack of judicial review before the transfer was not the issue. In other words, I disagree with the heading of your section titled "Liberals Opposed Rendition Regardless of Whether It Led to Torture."

Now, if you'll look at that section, you'll note the evidence for "liberals" opposing rendition tout court:
1) two reports from Amnesty International
2) one report from the European Parliament (this is the one that really sticks in the craw--this is evidence of liberal's position?)
3) one article in the Harvard Human Rights Journal
4) one Human Rights Watch document.

Now, for what should be obvious reasons, I'm not moved by #2 since I never heard about the European Parliament's interest in this case; #3, similarly, gives me a possible new goal to shoot for (end of rendition), but didn't actually express the position of most people (very few of whom read the HHRJ, fewer of whom agree with it).

I'm probably most convinced by #4, but let's look closer at it--you'll notice that they oppose rendition and they want compensation, but that also they want the gov't to "Repudiate the use of "diplomatic assurances" against torture and ill-treatment as a justification for the transfer of a suspect to a place where he or she is at risk of such abuse." That is, even in this one piece of evidence that is meant to prove that HRW is against rendition tout court, we find that one of the main reasons for their opposition was the potential for torture.

So, I don't find your evidence convincing because:
a) some of these groups are not necessarily liberal or don't necessarily speak for liberals (European Parliament, one article in the HHRJ);
b) the one piece of evidence which actually does belong to a group that I (as a liberal) pay attention to does highlight torture as one of its main problems with rendition.

So, we may disagree on this again, but I don't think you've proven that "Liberals Opposed Rendition Regardless of Whether It Led to Torture"--from where I sit, it looks like liberals opposed rendition because of the possibility of torture.

So, you're argument that liberals are being inconsistent is not convincing because you haven't proven that they did X then but are doing Y now. If you wanted to argue that HRW is changing its policy, that might fly a little better--except, as I've tried to show, HRW's main objection was also torture.

(In which case, I think you have it exactly backwards: liberals aren't opposed to the word "torture," even if you call it "rendition"--they oppose torture (first), and so if your program does not include torture, liberals are probably not going to oppose that program, even if it's called "rendition." See, it's not the label that matters--it's still, and always has been, the torture that matters.)

(That said--at length!--I do think it useful to have this conversation, and would like to know more about the objection to rendition for reasons of judicial review.)

jukeboxgrad said...

anon: "JBG has gone *years* without answering questions addressed to him"

You've provided an impressive number of examples: zero. I see that like hutchinson, you are inclined to make claims without bothering to show proof.

Nickleby said...

p.s. to be clear, your section title "Liberals Opposed Rendition Regardless of Whether It Led to Torture" was in your last post, not this one.

Anonymous said...

JBG -

The fact is easily Google-able.

Try it. Also, your tendency towards "perseveration" precludes my feeling the need to assuage your concerns.

Lastly, there's that whole reading comprehension thing wherein you could just, you know, post the question here rather than hyperlink. (note: Excessive hyperlinking is a sign of perseveration.)

Anonymous said...

I agree with much of what you have said, but I think you are unrealistic about the rendition process. You list these four points of objection to rendition.

1. Rendered individuals were transferred without the ability to contest the transfer before a judge;
2. Rendered individuals could not consult an attorney prior to transfer (or even after transfer);
3. Rendered individuals were often rendered for the purpose of torture - or this was the inevitable consequence of their transfer; and
4. Rendered individuals were often "disappeared" and confined in secret CIA prisons.

I concur that Obama has not indicated that he will grant rendered individuals access to an attorney or judicial review prior to transfer, so on those two counts there is no apparent change.

On the remaining two counts, I think it is wishful thinking to imagine that Obama could prevent them while still utilizing rendition. Once an individual is turned over to the custody of another government, we have little to no control over what happens. Perhaps we can do a little CYA and get some official to sign a piece of paper agreeing that the individual will not be tortured, but that paper does more to protect the administration that it does to protect the prisoner.
The last point is that individuals were held in secret CIA prisons. Obama has apparently ordered the CIA to stop "long term" detention, so prisoners can only be held in secret CIA prisons for a short time. Then they can be turned over to another government. From a human rights perspective, does it really matter if an individual spends 5 years in a secret CIA prison or 5 years in an Egyptian prison?

Basically, I think that 3 and 4 are likely consequences of 1 and 2, so I am not persuaded that there is any real difference between Obama's rendition program and Bush's rendition program, other than the fact that human rights groups who once opposed rendition now find it acceptable.

JeanE

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Nickelby - thanks for coming back. I enjoy the conversation too - so long as people act in good faith and assume the same of me. People who are regulars on this blog know that I am an honest person and that I love to put my arguments in the public domain. If I were really trying to be sinister or sneaky with respect to Hilz, why would I even cite to her blog?

Anway, I hear you -- headlines can be overinclusive. So I could modify my post and say "some" or "many" liberals supported ......But that still does not alter the thrust of my argument. I thought that most people would not take the comment literally to mean that every person on the globe who identifies as a liberal had a set of values concerning rendition.

I have a little time to comment on some of your other concerns. HRW, Amnesty, the Minnesota Law Professor and (debatably) the report of the Euro Parl. are definitely liberal. But again, I accept your criticism and admit that the liberal critiques are not universal -- which, of course, if you agree could undermine your argument that liberals only had a uniform disagreement with rendition - its link to torture. This is not true. The authors of the Harvard article, for example, argued that the deprivation of juducial review alone constituted a human rights violation. I explained that point. Also, as I explained in my earlier post, HRW demanded the prophylactic cessation of rendition due to a concern for torture (so this is not a "gotcha" moment). But they said that diplomatic assuraances were ineffective to prevent torture. That, of course, makes the Obama use of rendition subject to the same problems -- which leads to the argument concerning hypocrisy.

I encourage you to step back for a moment. Look at the level of our disagreement. We are debating who is a "liberal," whether all, some, or many liberals believed a position, and whether they hated rendition because it inevitably led to torture, whether the judicial issue was a leading concern or secondary one, whether I want judicial review or not, etc. All of these things seem like trivial points that take us away from the big picture (which is why I keep reiterating what that means to me). SOME liberal/human rights/activists... argued against 4 elements of rendition that I have listed. Obama has promised to elimiate 2 of them. Bush denied doing 1 of them (rendition to torture). Now, SOME liberals are contradicting their own prior positions (HRW) or distorting the scope of prior liberal commentary (among SOME liberals) regarding the subject. This is wrong. I am not saying that Obama is evil, that the lack of judicial review is evil, that liberals (some or all) are evil, or that rendition is evil (minus torture and prolonged detention). Instead, I have merely pointed out inconsistencies. I am actually startled by the passionate effort to defend against this claim which seems so obvious. It does not malign the Democratic party or liberals. I am not a conservative. I think it strengthens the Left if we can take tough positions that are consistent - even if they implicate "our" leaders. Although many people have responded to my arguments by engaging in healthy debates, others choose to wallow in accusations of foul play. Thanks for moving away from that. I appreciate it.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Jean - I read a lot of human rights literature which makes the same argument. It makes a lot of sense. If individuals had a right to access attorneys, etc., on a perpetual basis, then incidents of torture could be discovered/prevented. Judicial review could prevent unfair removal and prolonged detention. So -- yes, the points flow together, which, I believe, is precisely why many of the human rights organizations wanted all of the practices to stop.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Jukebox - I do not live on the Volokh blog. I find it odd that you were on that blog demanding answers to your question. Faster service on Dissenting Justice!

Here's your question:

Why are you making hilzoy et al responsible for statements made by other parties (e.g. David Weissbrodt and the European Parliament)? If you're claiming that, say, Greenwald is contradicting himself, why don't you compare his current statements to his past statements? Instead, you're comparing his current statements to someone else's past statements. What makes that a fair comparison?

Can you show us an example of, say, Greenwald asserting that rendition is categorically unacceptable, even in situations where there is good reason to believe that torture will not occur? That would be a relevant comparison. In the absence of such a comparison, it seems that the one who "distorts history" is you.


I did not say that they backtracked from their own prior comments. Instead, I said that they distorted the scope of prior liberal criticism of the rendition program. E.G.:

Despite the broad opposition to CIA rendition, liberal defenders of Obama have labored to revise history by portraying liberal opposition to rendition as related only to the torture and the secreting of individuals....

Glenn Greenwald, one of my favorite bloggers, similarly distorts the scope of liberal opposition to rendition.....

And over on Washington Monthly, Hilzoy contends that because Obama has ordered interrogators to comply with laws that prohibit torture and has ordered the CIA to close its prisons, rendition in the Obama administration will not violate the law or present the same problems that angered liberals during the Bush administration......


So I didn't say these individuals contradicted their own words, but that they revised the history of liberal opposition.

Richard Fagin said...

If you have to ask "why" then you do not understand the political dynamics of your fellow "liberals." Their goal was not to cause the United States to respect human rights, but to embarass and discredit the Bush administration.

Plutosdad said...

"but deciding they can live with them if #4 and especially #3 are stopped"

hahahah

the whole point is people believe we only use rendition in order torture. Who on earth would ever believe we would send someone to Egypt to be "interrogated" if it did not involve torture. No one in their right mind would, that's who.

The very fact we are continuing it means we want to keep torturing people in secret. There is absolutely no other reason to use rendition.

Thus the hypocrisy of "human rights" groups who don't care about victim's human rights if they like the people doing the violating.

Out of his mind said...

Plutosdad said...

"Who on earth would ever believe we would send someone to Egypt to be "interrogated" if it did not involve torture. No one in their right mind would, that's who."

Sure, if it is for interrogation. But not all renditions are for interrogation. Sometimes we just want their home countries to take them so its one less person in Gitmo. Also, they've had some success with religious counseling (de-radicalizing people by exposing them to a more moderate interpretation of the Koran)....

KCinDC said...

This post doesn't substantiate the imflammatory accusation in the headline. There's nothing about people who "oppose the label of Bush's program, not the substance". If anything, it's Professor Hutchinson himself who's making that error, by assuming that anyone who opposed something labeled "rendition" must be just as opposed to everything else labeled "rendition", regardless of whether the underlying substance is different.

Paul Baker, PE said...

Professor Hutchinson:
The discussion you are having is good, and we need to have more of this dialog as we look backwards on the past 8 years and forward on the next four years. But you are treading on dangerous ground here.

The first step on becoming an ex-progressive and a full fledged conservative is to identify the illogic and hypocrisy expounded on the left. But you have already gone to the second stage, which is confronting it. Expect to be hounded and hooted by all that you called allies. This will lead to an even deeper introspection.

I will enjoy coming back to this blog to find out how you are doing in your journey. In the meantime, defend yourself with class and dignity.

jukeboxgrad said...

anonymous: "The fact is easily Google-able."

You're claiming that it's easy to find proof that I've "gone *years* without answering questions addressed to [me]." If it's so easy, then you should be able to present a long list of examples. So far you've presented this many: zero. That's because your claim is pure wind.

jukeboxgrad said...

hutchinson: "I do not live on the Volokh blog."

You might not "live" there, but you show up there frequently. In particular, you posted five times in this thread. You seem to be unfamiliar with many aspects of blog etiquette. Here's one: if you post repeatedly in a particular thread, it's a good idea to check back and respond to questions that arise from your posts. If, on the other hand, you abruptly disappear, once those questions are raised, that might create the impression that you're ducking those questions.

"I find it odd that you were on that blog demanding answers to your question."

I find it odd that you find it odd. I was "on that blog" asking you a question because you chose to deposit five comments "on that blog," and it was those comments that gave rise to my question.

And I wasn't "demanding" anything. I was merely pointing out that my question had not been answered.

"Faster service on Dissenting Justice!"

Really? I notice that the same question I asked, at VC, was also asked here at DJ, by commenter DR. And he didn't get "faster service," or any service. In that thread, you posted 5 more comments, subsequent to his question, without answering or even acknowledging his question.

"I did not say that they backtracked from their own prior comments."

The title of your article begins with these words: "Still a Flip-Flop." When you accuse someone of a "Flip-Flop," you are indeed asserting that they "backtracked from their own prior comments." Trouble is, you have demonstrated a "Flip-Flop" on the part of no one, with the possible exception of Malinowski. And as KCinDC astutely pointed out here, your emphatic accusation against Malinowski ("Major Flip-Flop by Human Rights Watch") "is based on a single sentence in which the word 'renditions' isn't even part of the quote … It might have been good for someone to find out what Malinowski actually said -- what language he used and what he meant by it -- before calling him a hypocrite." And that same point was also made here.

"I said that they distorted the scope of prior liberal criticism of the rendition program"

Greenwald (for example) made a general statement about "the scope of prior liberal criticism of the rendition program." You have (possibly) demonstrated a few exceptions to that statement. So what? That doesn't mean he "distorted" anything. He never stated his generalization was perfect, or that it would be impossible find exceptions to his generalization. Generalizations generally have exceptions, and this doesn't mean that someone stating the generalization has "distorted" anything.

And your double standard is incredibly transparent. I note, for example, that you said this: "Liberals Opposed Rendition Regardless of Whether It Led to Torture." Guess what: I am a "Liberal," and I did not "Oppose[d] Rendition Regardless of Whether It Led to Torture." Therefore, by your own standards, you have "distorted" the truth, by stating a generalization that has exceptions.

How is your own behavior any different than what you are accusing Greenwald et al of doing?

Anonymous said...

jukeboxgrad, you claim that there is no evidence that you avoid answering questions put to you, but on the volokh conspiracy thread you link to as part of your demand that Mr. Hutchinson answer your questions, there are several direct questions put specifically to you by various other commenters that you avoided answering, even as you continued commenting in that thread.

People only need to follow the links that you provided to see evidence of your hypocrisy and question-avoidance.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

KC -- thanks for the comic relief!

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Paul - I will not become an ex-progressive, but thanks for the invitation! I am a "post-partisan progressive." And I tend to attract a lot of post-partisan conservatives or nonpartisan conservatives.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Jukebox - thanks for posting!

KCinDC said...

Thanks for the substantive response. I still see no one fitting into the category of "liberals arguing that they oppose the label, not the substance". There are people who opposed rendition to torture who continue to oppose it, and are glad to see it ended. That has nothing to do with labels.

Then there's you, who write things like "Although the Obama administration has not indicated that it will give rendered individuals these procedural rights, liberals still try to validate his program as something fundamentally different than Bush's." Bush and Obama are the same, because they both support something labeled "rendition", and you consider the changes Obama has announced in the program unimportant and assume that everything else will be just as before.

Also, as jukeboxgrad says (annoying as you may find it), you vehemently attack Greenwald and other bloggers for making general statements about liberals that are only true for some liberals, while you yourself are making sweeping generalizations about the hypocrisy of liberals that are only true for some liberals (a much smaller fraction, I'd say, than the liberals Greenwald's assertions are true for). What is the difference that makes generalizations by others so offensive that you go on a crusade against them using your own generalizations?

KCinDC said...

To be clear, I think you have some legitimate criticisms in there somewhere, but they're so encrusted with hyperbole and Obama- and liberal-bashing that it's hard to extract them.

junyo said...

I love that you read and become moved by parentheticals (which inherently are not central or integral to my argument). It appears that you agree with me that some data suggest...blah blah blah....

I agree with your main point; I was however criticizing your parenthetical, and how it weakens the overall argument. The "liberal loophole" of supporting some mythical old fashioned extraordinary rendition versus new and improved extraordinary rendition, is in and of itself a false dichotomy, based on the assumption that there's a substantive difference between how other administrations used the program vs how the Bush admin did. Your aside bolster's that impression by speaking as if there's doubt as to whether suspects who faced rendition during the Clinton era were tortured and/or whether it was policy, and therefore makes the distinction seem reasonable. There isn't and it's not. As has been pointed out, no thinking person doesn't understand that the Clinton rendition program was constructed pretty much for the purpose of outsourcing torture; they most definitely hit all 4 of your objectionable points. Therefore any distinction between the administration's respective programs is mainly one of volume. Therefore the mere claim of significant distinction between the programs is misinformed at best and hypocritical at worst.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

KC - given the lengthy exchange on this issue we had on another blog today, do you think you are really advancing debate by implying that I am evading discourse? I made tons of posts responding to people on that blog. I do not see why I should make the sme arguments all over again here.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Junyo - thanks. As I said, there doesn't seem to be any disagreement. I am really focusing on the reaction to Obama. Launching into Clinton would really not assist in the argument. But for the record I can accept the argument that there was probably strong evidence of this during the Clinton administration. At least ACLU has stated this in their position papers. But I - a hypocrite for not criticizing Clinton's rendition? Now that's a good one! Didn't Reagan utilize it too?

jukeboxgrad said...

anonymous:

"there are several direct questions put specifically to you by various other commenters that you avoided answering"

Really? Why are you refusing to be specific? The thread is here. Show us your proof. Unless you prefer to "avoid[ed] answering."

jukeboxgrad said...

hutchinson: "Jukebox - thanks for posting!"

Is that your way of admitting that you have no answer to the question I asked you? And which KCinDC also asked you?

"do you think you are really advancing debate by implying that I am evading discourse?"

Do you really think it's not extremely obvious that you're "evading discourse?" Writing lots of words doesn't mean you're having "discourse." It means you're writing lots of words. "Discourse" means responding to serious questions with a serious answer. "Jukebox - thanks for posting!" is not a serious answer.

I've read dozens of comments you've left here, here, here, here and here. The question that's been raised has been addressed by you in this many of those comments: zero. So let us know when you're ready to stop "evading discourse."

Anonymous said...

I'm the original anonymous commentor - the one that made the "perseverating" comment
- not the second anonymous one who said pretty much the same thing.

Thanks for proving the point, JBG.


Please resolve all the issues you left unanswered here to the satisfaction of the original questioner before demanding that others address your concerns.

You can start with the October, 2004 issues in JustOneMinute and then move on to Althouse, OutsidetheBeltway, ProteinWisdom, and so forth.

After going through the SwiftBoat stuff, we can then move on to your take on "Bush Admitted OMG !!11!!" found on other sites ... and then to the more recent stuff.

Unless you think you "won" those debates.

In which case you're delusional.

Hold yourself to the same standards you're trying to hold others.

Or just realize that other people don't think you're as worthy of a response as you think you are.

But the delusional aspect of your nature sort of gets in the way of that, doesn't it?

Thanks for the comment-space Prof. Hutchinson. I've bookmarked your site, but won't be feeding the JBG troll anymore.

jr565 said...

Junyo quoted Al Gore with the following:
>Clinton recapped the arguments on both sides for Gore: "Lloyd says this. Dick says that. Gore laughed and said, 'That's a no-brainer. Of course it's a violation of international law, that's why it's a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass.

Al Gore is suggesting that OF COURSE the Clinton version of renditions violated international law. disregarding even whether we sent people to countries where we had no assurances that they wouldn't be tortured (we did) at the very least it should be noted that Al Gore thought that such renditions were against international law and was ok with it. So those arguing for renditions like Clintons are at the very least advocating a policy that runs counter to international law. So they are against international law at the very least.

hilzoy said...

Prof. Hutchinson: In my original post ('The LA Times on Rendition'), I was responding to people who took the LA Times article to mean that Obama proposed to continue Bush's program of extraordinary rendition. I tried to figure out what Obama's executive orders left open, and what they did not. I did not try to defend or legitimize anything.

I then tried to figure out why the reporter was (as I believed) confused. I thought he might be mistaken about the meaning of 'rendition' and/or 'extraordinary rendition', and so have misinterpreted various comments. At no point did I try to legitimize any CIA program by claiming that it was just rendition.

My next post ('Ask Dr. Rendition') was prompted by encountering a lot of confusion about what rendition was. I wanted to clear it up. Thus the focus on terminology.

Likewise, the post I wrote about you was written in response to this:

"Hilzoy also argues that absent torture and indefinite detention, rendition includes practices like extradition. This patently false assertion has floated around the web."

This is a claim about the meaning of a term. I responded by providing evidence that extradition is a form of rendition.

In none of these posts did I try to legitimize any CIA program. If you want to know my opinion on renditions performed by the CIA, here are some links:

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2005/01/oops.html

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2005/12/oops_our_bad.html

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2005/03/support_a_ban_o.html

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2006/02/maher_arars_cas.html

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2005/05/to_my_governmen.html

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2004/09/legalizing_tort.html

I don't expect you to know my history on this topic. I do expect you to read what I write, and not attribute to me positions I don't hold, or claims I have not made.

Finally, you claim that I attributed sinister motives to you. I did not. In fact, I bent over backwards not to. If you think that this imputes sinister motives, I'd urge you to read what I wrote again and reconsider:

"Different people seem to have different views about changing posts. (My own view is that I have about five minutes after a post to make changes; after that, no changing anything except spelling mistakes without indicating that I have, absent some incredibly compelling reason.) I thought this one was worth noting, however, since this post got a fair amount of play on the right, and since the change was substantial and not (as far as I can tell) noted in the text."

hilzoy said...

Trying to get the links to work:

Here's stuff I've written on Bush's rendition program (or, in the case of the last, posted at someone else's request by wholly endorsed):

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. (The last links to a series.)

You might also enjoy Katherine's and my series on the Graham Amendment that stripped habeas rights from Guantanamo detainees; links are here.

I'd appreciate it if you did not tell me that I'm trying to "legitimize" the CIA program without providing something in the way of evidence.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Hilz- I am not sure you are on the blog staff at two blogs or just one, but I have posted in response to you on THREE different blogs, including my own. I have stated many times at this point that, unless otherwise stated, I was referring to the specific CIA policy when I used the terminology "rendition"; you said you were speaking about the abstract term and generalized concept of rendition in the particular passage when you said it "includes" things like extradition. I accept that statement. I accept that you do not wish to imply bad faith on my part (although your decision to write an essay called "ch ch ch change," that analyzes my edit and questions why/when it happened, etc., might imply otherwise to objective readers). So, it does not seem that we have much disagreement or much left to parse on that issue.

Since you are knowledgeable of the CIA's rendition (including extraordinary rendition) program AND the common law practice of extradition, can you imagine that a rational person could read an argument that seeks to make those two policies closely related, as an effort to defend the CIA's rendition? Rendition (generalized) is close to extradition (generalized); rendition (CIA) is absolutely diffferent from and dramatically distinct (in terms of rights and procedural protections) when compared to extradition (as practiced in most jurisdictions - especially the USA). Since your post, now clarified, was not referring to the CIA's rendition program in that particular passage, then I believe our work on that subject is done.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Jukebox -- if you need "some" to modify liberal everytime you see the terminology to avoid becoming unnerved, then imagine the term as a part of the text. Few things are universal. Your passion is appreciated; your anger is not.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

KC said: To be clear, I think you have some legitimate criticisms in there somewhere, but they're so encrusted with hyperbole and Obama- and liberal-bashing that it's hard to extract them.

Darren Hutchinson says: I have not bashed Obama or liberals. Criticized - yes. Not bashed. And hyperbole goes well with sarcasm and cynicism - like red wine and a juicy steak. I am sure there are many other blogs that cater to the faint of heart. Enjoy.

jukeboxgrad said...

anonymous: "I'm the original anonymous commentor - the one that made the 'perseverating' comment - not the second anonymous one who said pretty much the same thing."

What difference does it make if you're "anonymous commentor" #1, or #2? Et cetera? Especially because you both said "pretty much the same thing." And either way, you made an unsubstantiated accusation. And if you don't like getting mixed up with someone else who posts as "anonymous," then why do you post as "anonymous?"

"Thanks for proving the point, JBG."

Thanks for being completely incoherent. What "point?"

"Please resolve all the issues you left unanswered here to the satisfaction of the original questioner before demanding that others address your concerns."

Nice job attempting to relocate the goalposts. Your earlier accusation was this:

"JBG has gone *years* without answering questions addressed to him."

You didn't claim I was guilty of not answering questions "to the satisfaction of the original questioner." You claimed I was guilty of not "answering questions," period. Why are you backpedaling?

And claiming that someone has an obligation to answer questions "to the satisfaction of the original questioner" is an absurd standard. Any "original questioner" can claim to be not satisfied. An objective observer can decide for themselves whether or not a particular question has been addressed in a serious manner, and whether or not "the satisfaction of the original questioner" is worth taking into account.

And aside from all that, you haven't even shown a specific example where I've failed to answer questions "to the satisfaction of the original questioner." Instead, you gave us a search that pulls up over 100 results. I looked at the first 10, and couldn't find an example where I failed to answer questions "to the satisfaction of the original questioner." Or where I simply failed to answer questions.

So if you have proof of me doing any of the things you have accused me of doing, why are you refusing to be specific? If proof for your claims can be found somewhere in that pile of 100 search results, why are you refusing to show us where it is?

"You can start with the October, 2004 issues in JustOneMinute and then move on to Althouse, OutsidetheBeltway, ProteinWisdom, and so forth."

I guess this is your way of admitting you can't present a single specific example of me doing what you have accused me of doing. If somewhere in that pile of threads there is an example that proves your point, why don't you simply show it to us?

"Unless you think you 'won' those debates."

Deciding who 'won' or 'lost' an argument on a blog gets pretty subjective. But if you can show a specific example where, in your opinion, I 'lost' a debate, that would be helpful. Instead, you're hiding behind generalities and expecting the reader to go searching for proof that you claim exists, but are refusing to cite specifically.

"Hold yourself to the same standards you're trying to hold others."

If you can show a single example where I have failed to "hold [myself] to the same standards [I'm] trying to hold others," that would be helpful.

"Or just realize that other people don't think you're as worthy of a response as you think you are."

It's not a question of whether or not I'm "worthy of a response." It's simply a question of whether or not Hutchinson expects to be taken seriously. When he answers a serious question with an evasive, flippant remark, that tends to create the impression that he doesn't expect to be taken seriously. Which is helpful to know.

"But the delusional aspect of your nature sort of gets in the way of that, doesn't it?"

When you refuse to show proof for your claims, and instead rely on goalpost shifting and ad hominem attacks, you only discredit yourself. So thanks for being so helpful. I hardly need to discredit you because I couldn't possibly do a better job than the one you've done to yourself.

"I've bookmarked your site, but won't be feeding the JBG troll anymore."

Promises, promises. Judging from your interest in my work going back to 2004, I have a hunch that you've been trying to kick the habit for a long time.

jukeboxgrad said...

hutchinson: "if you need 'some' to modify liberal everytime you see the terminology to avoid becoming unnerved, then imagine the term as a part of the text. Few things are universal."

I'm not "becoming unnerved." I'm simply reading you the same way you are reading the people you criticize.

Let's review. You made this claim:

"they [Greenwald et al] distorted the scope of prior liberal criticism of the rendition program"

(I'm just focusing on Greenwald as an example, but the same analysis applies with regard to your accusations against others.) And to support that accusation against Greenwald, you cited this text of his:

"[T]he objections to the Bush 'extraordinary rendition' program were that 'rendered' individuals were abducted…"

You have just suggested to me that when I read your words, I should be imaginative enough to realize that when you say "liberals," you actually mean "some liberals." But for some reason, when you read Greenwald say "the objections," you assume he must mean "the objections of all liberals." But it's more likely that he means "the objections of many liberals." Or "some liberals." Or "most liberals."

In other words, it is you who became "unnerved" because Greenwald omitted that sort of modifier ("some," or "many," or "most"). At the same time, you grant yourself the right to omit that sort of modifier, and mock a reader who points out your omission.

Your double standard is grossly transparent. The kind of rhetorical slack you take for granted for yourself is exactly what you deny others. And if you were to grant that rhetorical slack to Greenwald et al, your arguments against them would completely collapse. You obviously know that "few things are universal," but you act as if Greenwald et al made universal declarations, even though they didn't.

"Your passion is appreciated; your anger is not."

If you can show where my language reveals anger, that would be helpful. I see that you are in the habit of making unsubstantiated accusations.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Good morning Jukebox. I having some coffee and reading over the news. Thanks for continuing to visit and comment. It's always good to attract new readers on Dissenting Justice! A very wise academic once told me that when your writing provokes people -- to anger or praise -- then it's working! Flat responses (or none at all) are the most upsetting to me.

jukeboxgrad said...

hutchinson: "A very wise academic once told me that when your writing provokes people -- to anger or praise -- then it's working!"

I guess this is your way of letting us know that you're not going to make even a pretense of explaining why your double standard is something other than a double standard.

Likewise, I notice that when I challenge you to substantiate a claim ("anger"), you don't lift a finger to do so. Instead, you essentially repeat the claim.

And as far as your writing "working," there is no question that it is doing so. Except not necessarily in the way that you intend.

jukeboxgrad said...

And could you try to pick one story and stick with it? Here you said a reader's (alleged) "anger" is not "appreciated." Then a bit later you said that it's "flat responses" that you find "upsetting," and that "anger" is a sign that your writing is "working," so you're offering "thanks" to a reader whose alleged "anger" is supposedly such a sign.

Or maybe you're trying to tell us that you do appreciate (alleged) anger, but only after you've had your coffee.

This is obviously a trivial example, but it's characteristic of the way you tend to shift your position from moment to moment (what some might call a "Flip-Flop"), with apparently no awareness that you are doing so.

jukeboxgrad said...

I think it's a good idea to offer proof when making claims. I claimed that you tend to shift your position from moment to moment, so I think I should offer further proof.

Your writing is full of such examples, where you make yourself incomprehensible by shifting position, sometimes in the blink of an eye. But one of my favorite examples is here:

"To say that 'rendition' includes extradition is just preposterous. … Rendition … can include extradition …."

So "rendition … can include extradition," but it's "just preposterous … to say that 'rendition' includes extradition."

Do you realize that the rest of the human race is not smart enough to figure out how those words are something other than gibberish?

Anonymous said...

jukeboxgrad:

"I think it's a good idea to ... shift ... position from moment to moment

I ... offer ... writing ... full of such examples ... shifting position, sometimes in the blink of an eye.

The human race is not smart enough to figure out ... gibberish"


Pretty fun to make people say what you want them to say by butchering their text with ellipses, isn't it?

jukeboxgrad said...

"butchering their text with ellipses"

Except that you have shown no instances of me "butchering" his text. In each case where I used an ellipsis, the text I omitted did not change the meaning. If you can demonstrate otherwise, then you should go ahead and do so. Otherwise you're just adding to a long list of unsubstantiated accusations.

Here's hutchinson's full comment. Nothing is omitted. I'll just use bold to highlight the parts where he directly contradicts himself:

"DR - let's trade intellectual honesty for facing reality. To say that "rendition" includes extradition is just preposterous. People who make these arguments are focusing exclusively on labels rather than substance. Rendition can refer to the involuntary removal of a person from one jurisdiction and transfer of that person to another. As such, it can include extradition and deportation. But the CIA RENDITION program differs immensely from extradition and deportation - because the people being transfered do not get to challenge their removal in court and do not have right to counsel. HRW criticized the government's rendition program because it lacked judicial oversight and because "rendered" individuals could not consult with attorneys. Ergo, HRW is flip-flopping. This is patently obvious."

Feel free to go ahead and explain how to make sense of that.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Jukebox - at some point you just might get it right! I am NOT contradicting myself, your multiple posts and boldface text notwithstanding.

Let me offer a little help to you, since you remain utterly confused. For purposes of this post, I will describe the CIA's practice of rendition as "RENDITION." I will describe the abstract, generalized concept of rendition -- detached from any specific or concrete governmental policy -- as simply "rendition."

In the abstract, "rendition" simply refers to the transfer of a person by a government to another jurisdiction (state to state or nation to nation). As such, it could include things like extradition or deportation, etc.

But RENDITION is abolutely and utterly different from extradition because it does not provide due process to rendered individuals. They do not get judicial review prior to or soon after their transfer; they do not have the right to counsel; they are kidnapped and plucked away from contacts, etc. Extradition does not operate in this fashion whatsoever -- certainly not when the USA is transferring an individual.

I have explained and clarified my position on rendition versus RENDITION multiple times. People who are willing to let go of their anger and stubborness and approach the issue with an open mind now understand my argument. I hope you will soon join them!

jukeboxgrad said...

You're simply repeating your incomprehensible statement without explaining how it is anything other than incomprehensible. You have just said, again, that rendition "could include things like extradition." But you have also said this: "To say that 'rendition' includes extradition is just preposterous."

If it's "just preposterous" to say that rendition "includes extradition," then why have you said that rendition "could include things like extradition?"

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Jukebox - I think everyone sees what you are doing. You are ignoring what I am saying because it undermines your argument. I have clearly discussed "rendition" as an abstract concept and "RENDITION" as practiced by the CIA -- even using upper- and lower-case text to help make the distinction for you. The former could include things like "extradition"; the latter does not because it lacks any measure of due process, and it is a SPECIFIC policy (rather than a generalized concept). You are the only one who does not get this.

PS: what exactly is the point of this discussion anyway? Even Hilzoy says she is not trying to equate the CIA policy with extradition and that she was referring to general concepts. No lawyer would seriously equate the two concepts (RENDITION and extradition) or even view them as worthy of comparison. So what exactly is at stake for you in this "debate"?

jukeboxgrad said...

"I have clearly discussed 'rendition' as an abstract concept and 'RENDITION' as practiced by the CIA"

Please consider the following two statements:

A) To say that "rendition" includes extradition is just preposterous.

B) To say that 'RENDITION' as practiced by the CIA includes extradition is just preposterous.

A and B are not the same. In the comment of yours which I cited, you said A, not B. What you are now doing is acting as if you have only ever said B, and have never said A. Trouble is, that's an act.

"You are ignoring what I am saying"

On the contrary. I'm paying very close attention to what you're saying. Closer than you are, perhaps.

At the moment, I'm not trying to make a point about extradition and rendition. I'm trying to make a point about the way you communicate. You have made it clear that you expect your readers to grant you all sorts of rhetorical slack. For example, when you say "liberals," you expect us to understand that what you really meant was "some liberals." And when you say "rendition," you expect us to understand that what you really meant was " 'RENDITION' as practiced by the CIA."

Meanwhile, at the exact moment that you expect your readers to grant you lots of rhetorical slack (e.g., you expect your readers to imagine that you included various modifiers that you did not in fact provide), you create arguments against Greenwald et al which depend entirely on going to the other extreme: i.e., granting them no rhetorical slack whatsoever. You pretend they have made universal declarations, even though they haven't.

I already explained this thoroughly, here. And you still have not addressed what I said.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Jukebox - Our "discussion" of this matter is complete. I have explicated my position repeatedly, and you have posted yours incessantly.

The link you posted in your last comment actually proves my point as I clearly distingushed the general concept of "rendition" from the CIA's practice of "RENDITION."

For the very few readers who might be swayed by your comments (extremely remote possibility - but I'm covering all bases), I refer you to the following text from the blog post that precedes these comments:

"Finally, many bloggers . . .have attempted to legitimize the CIA's old-fashioned "rendition" program by using generic web-based definitions of rendition, which link the practice to established and widely accepted concepts like deportation and extradition. On a generalized level, these practices are indeed connected; they all involve the removal of a person from one nation to another against the person's will.

But general dictionary meanings (even from legal dictionaries!) do not provide a basis for criticizing or validating a specific set of governmental behaviors. In practice, the CIA's rendition program does not contain the procedural protections that make extradition and deportation accepted practices. Therefore, regardless of the abstract connection between rendition and extradition, in reality the CIA's rendition program is light years from extradition in terms of the level of due process provided to individuals subject to removal and transfer.

Under extradition, for example, individuals can typically seek judicial review of the determination to send them to another territory for prosecution or imprisonment. And persons can only be extradited for concrete purposes: to stand trial or to serve a sentence. Other common provisions allow countries that do not apply the death penalty to refuse extradition of an individual who would potentially face the death penalty in the receiving country."


Clearly I am neither hiding anything nor contradicting myself. Remarkably, out of the many posts you have offered on this issue, I cannot recall one in which you take issue with my substantive analysis of the differences between the CIA rendition policy and extradition.

Out of respect to other readers, I will delete any additional comments from you on this matter. They are not advancing discussion of any "ideas" and are therefore indistinct from spam.

FLRN said...

Though I read it here first and did not weigh in, I will offer my congratulations on today's national recognition of your observation Professor. You certainly have them talking now.



http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/13/weekend-opinionator-truth-commission-or-more-rendition/

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