Sunday, February 1, 2009

"Extraordinary Rendition" Remains Under Obama Administration

The L.A. Times has made a "great catch," and I have not seen other news articles which examine this subject. Although the Obama administration has ordered the CIA to shut down its "prisons" around the world, it has not banned the controversial "extraordinary renditions" program. Renditions are CIA-executed kidnappings of suspected terrorists and the delivery of those individuals to certain countries that cooperate with the United States.

Liberals and human rights groups have condemned the program (but are now flip-flopping). The European Parliament described it as an "illegal instrument." And the program became the subject of a critical film (Rendition), starring Reese Witherspoon and Meryl Streep.

Most critics blasted the program because the government used it to send individuals to countries where they would face torture (a move that seems redundant, given our own usage and defense of harsh interrogations). The Obama administration, however, has reiterated the pre-existing ban on torture, and the president has instructed the task force dealing with the detention of suspected terrorists to make sure that individuals are not transferred in an effort to circumvent international law.

The article is worth reading. As you read it, please notice the muted response from some persons in the human rights community. Although they blasted the program as inherently evil during the Bush administration, they now seemingly accept rendition, believing that the CIA under Obama will execute kidnappings in a "kinder, gentler" manner.

Related Reading on Dissenting Justice:

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

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