Even though President Barack Obama has decided to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay and has ended “harsh interrogation techniques,” he has decided to retain and even expand another War on Terror program. It is called rendition and it is controversial.
Rendition is a program that was actually created during the Clinton administration and thus pre-dates 9/11. Under Rendition, certain captured terrorists are transported to their countries of origin where they are imprisoned and interrogated.
What makes Rendition controversial is that the countries of origin for most Islamo Fascist terrorists include Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. These are countries in which civil rights are either very loosely interpreted or exist not at all. These countries use interrogation techniques that make the “harsh interrogations” such as water boarding seem gentle by comparison.
Ironically, President Obama used the controversy surrounding Rendition to effect during the campaign. But now that he has decided to close Guantanamo as well as secret CIA prisons in other countries, the options for dealing with terrorists are somewhat limited.
Bringing the terrorists to the United States would be risky, as it would bring them under the purview of American law. Any federal judge could take it into his or her head to grant the terrorists constitutional rights. The spectacle of hardened terrorists being released because a judge has determined that their rights were violated is a nightmare for the Obama administration.
That leaves summary execution or rendition as options for dealing with terrorists. No American government would contemplate killing terrorists, once in American custody, out of hand. So that leaves Rendition.
Again ironically, terrorist detainees would have been better treated had President Obama had allowed Guantanamo to remain open. By shipping them to third countries under the Rendition program, President Obama will have, in effect, “outsourced torture.” President Obama can pontificate about “American values” all he wants in his new approach to the War on Terror, but by leaving only Rendition as an option for dealing with terrorists, Obama will expose them to pain and suffering far greater than if he had just left things alone.
Most people will not be moved by anything Al Qaeda jihadis are made to suffer, but President Obama’s supporters on the left will be incandescent with anger. Hollywood even made a movie, entitled Rendition, staring Reese Witherspoon, which attacked the practice as immoral. The movie, like many anti war films created by Hollywood, opened to great fanfare and then quickly bombed at the box office as audiences stayed away in droves.
One wonders what the left will do. Will they feel betrayed because the man they supported is governing a little differently than he campaigned? Or will they grumble, but give him a pass? One suspects that, eventually, Obama will ask his supporters to put up with too much. But the alternative is exposing the United States to needless peril. The prospect of another terrorist attack on his watch is a waking nightmare for President Obama. Were that to happen, coming after seven years of peace in the American homeland under President Bush, the Obama administration would be finished.
Sources: Surprise! Obama expands renditions, Ed Morrissey, Hotair.Com, February 1st, 2009