Five "Myths" About Rendition:
Former Clinton Adminsitration National Security Council staff member Daniel Benjamin takes to the Washington Post's Outlook section to address "5 Myths about Rendition (and that New Movie)." Writes Benjamin:
With hearings in Congress, legal cases bouncing up to the Supreme Court and complaints from Canada and our European allies, the issue of rendition is everywhere. There's even a new, eponymously titled movie in a theater near you, starring Reese Witherspoon as a bereft wife whose innocent husband gets kidnapped and Meryl Streep as the frosty CIA chief who ordered the snatch. Like most covert actions and much of the war on al-Qaeda, the practice is shrouded in mystery — and, increasingly, the suspicion that it's synonymous with torture and lawlessness.Here are Benjamin's five "myths":
In fact, the term "rendition" in the counterterrorism context means nothing more than moving someone from one country to another, outside the formal process of extradition. For the CIA, rendition has become a key tool for getting terrorists from places where they're causing trouble to places where they can't. The problem is where these people are taken and what happens to them when they get there. As a former director for counterterrorism policy on the National Security Council staff, I've been involved with the issue of rendition for nearly a decade — and some of the myths surrounding it need to be cleared up.
1. Rendition is something the Bush administration cooked up.
2. People who are "rendered" inevitably end up in a foreign slammer — or worse.
3. Step one of a rendition involves kidnapping the suspect.
4. Rendition is just a euphemism for outsourcing torture.
5. Pretty much anyone — including U.S. citizens and green card holders — can be rendered these days.