Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Rendition is Always Extraordinary

Last week Frontline/World broadcast a story on "extraordinary rendition." It's about a 30 minute video and well worth the time. Keith Olbermann cited the story the next night.

I'm not sure what makes a rendition extraordinary or not. Any rendition is extraordinary. What does rendition mean? It's the practice of scooping up terrorist suspects and putting them into CIA black sites. CIA officers are on trial in Italy for kidnapping a suspect off the streets of Milan.

It's so myopic and short sighted. These terrorists, suspects, criminals - whatever they are - are put into legal limbo and this practice makes holding them accountable impossible. Our government has done this to British citizens, a man who was undercover for MI-6 who basically abandoned him. I'm not saying all these guys are good guys but we hurt ourselves by engaging in this practice - both short term and long term. And we've even scooped up women and children in Kenya via Ethiopia. (Yes, we've got our mits in the conflicts of Somalia and Ethiopia).

Last month at Politics and Prose, Jack Goldsmith noted, correctly, that the first rendition was done under the Clinton administration on September 22, 1995. This fact makes it onto the web site, but not the television program. And the fact that a Bush official can point to the Clinton Justice Department as approving this practice upsets me.

And if you wish to cleans your palette after familiarizing yourself with what atrocities the Bush Administration has committed, check out this book of a literature professor who teaches at West Point about honor. I remember reading that in World War I that German soldiers would search for Americans to surrender to because word got around that the Americans would treat the enemy honorably, more so than the British. That hurts.

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