Sunday, February 1, 2009


There are reports today that Barack Obama has decided to allow the CIA to continue with its rendition program, meaning that the CIA can kidnap someone off the street, without any involvement of a court, and transport and deliver that person to torturers in some foreign country.

Greg Miller reports in today's The Los Angeles Times:

"Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States.

"Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said that the rendition program might be poised to play an expanded role going forward because it was the main remaining mechanism -- aside from Predator missile strikes -- for taking suspected terrorists off the street."

How can this be? We elected Obama because he promised to close Guantanamo and stop the war in Iraq. Part of the whole appeal of Obama was that he would bring a shameful legacy of George Bush to an end. It is hard to believe that Obama could back slide and keep the hated rendition practice.

Reports Miller:

"The rendition program became a source of embarrassment for the CIA, and a target of international scorn, as details emerged in recent years of botched captures, mistaken identities and allegations that prisoners were turned over to countries where they were tortured.

"The European Parliament condemned renditions as "an illegal instrument used by the United States." Prisoners swept up in the program have sued the CIA as well as a Boeing Co. subsidiary accused of working with the agency on dozens of rendition flights.

"But the Obama administration appears to have determined that the rendition program was one component of the Bush administration's war on terrorism that it could not afford to discard."

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