Monday, February 02, 2009

not extraordinary after all

i don't approve of rendition, extraordinary or otherwise. but it appears that the LA times was punked when it wrote yesterday this week that obama is continuing (or even expanding) bush's extraordinary rendition program. in fact, through his executive orders, obama has ruled out extraordinary rendition. he just hasn't ruled out the non-extraordinary kind.

as i said above, i don't like rendition with or without the adjective. it's essentially state-sponsored kidnapping. there's a legal process, i.e. extradition, that a country can use to legitimately get custody of a criminal. "extraordinary rendition", that is kidnapping plus secret detention and torture, is much worse than regular old rendition, but the fact that the bush administration made rendition worse doesn't make old-fashioned rendition right. while getting rid of the extraordinary is a good step, i really wish our country would fully commit to the rule of law and rule out non-extraordinary rendition as well.

UPDATE: hilzoy says in the comments that rendition just means the transfer of a person from one jurisdiction to the other. thus, extradition is a form of rendition. fair enough. but i'm trying to make something more than a semantic point here. put another way, i'd still rather that obama swear off any extra-legal form of rendition. it's extradition or nothing.

hilzoy's critique of the original LA times story is here.