31 May 2007

Extraordinary Rendition

I have wanted to write about this for a long while, but stayed out of the debate until now. This is the process by which the American government has been taking accused terrorists to a third country, not the accused's homeland and not the United States, to interrogate them. This practice is so incredibly counter to every ideal this country was founded on. Let's just toss the Geneva Conventions completely aside, shall we? The Idiot Administration is not only complacent in this program, but an advocate of it. NPR had two stories on Morning Edition that talked about this unbelievable situation, the first about the ACLU suing a Boeing subsidiary.

As more and more of the process is exposed to the light of day, it becomes more and more horrifying. Not only did the government do this, but they had help from civilian companies, even support. Jeppesen Dataplan is accused by the American Civil Liberties Union of actively assisting the CIA by doing what Jeppesen does every day, which is provide logistical support to help maximize fuel economy and fastest flight plan routes for civilian and government contracts. In short, the lawsuit is about a company profiting from torture, which thankfully IS still illegal, even though the Idiot Administration seems to think that torture itself is all right.

There is a village in Texas missing its idiot! Personally, I can not wait until he goes back to Crawford, settles on his ranch, and disappears from public life. That statement alone is probably enough to get me an FBI file, sigh. Being anti-Bush is not the same as being anti-American. I get so tired of explaining that.

The second thing Morning Edition broadcast about this reprehensible program was about the European viewpoint. Sylvia Poggioli had a report about a conference that took place in Italy, on counter-terrorism. Did you know that Italy has indicted 26 Americans accused of kidnapping in connection to the extraordinary rendition program? Which is awesome, even if they never do get to prosecute the case. The Europeans are particularly critical of extraordinary rendition, (as well they should be. So should we all.) and of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Their view is that ER is no different than government sanctioned kidnapping and torture.

They used a phrase in the report that particularly amused me, "ghost prisons." And while I know what they mean is the off-the-books secret detention facilities that the CIA apparently has all over the world, it made me giggle because I wonder if they have EMF readers.

The end of that report had a quote that I'd like to highlight, where one of the interviewees said that whoever the next president of the United States is, damage control and restoring US credibility with Europe and the Muslim world will be one of the first priorities. We can only hope.

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