Easy Question

Ken AshfordBush & Co., Right Wing Punditry/Idiocy, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment


The American Civil Liberties Union will file a lawsuit today against former CIA director George Tenet and three American contractors challenging the CIA’s abduction of a foreign national for detention and interrogation in a secret overseas prison, RAW STORY has learned.

The suit alleges that Tenet and other CIA officials violated U.S. and human rights laws when they authorized agents to kidnap El-Masri, and that his unlawful abduction and treatment were the direct result of an illegal CIA policy known as “extraordinary rendition.”

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John Hindrocket at Powerline is puzzled:

The Telegraph reports on the increasingly weird foreign policy crisis in which the White House finds itself. The CIA set up a system of rendition, whereby terrorist suspects are turned over to certain foreign governments. The CIA also established a network of secret detention centers in several countries, including some in Europe.


So the CIA established policies that it knew would be controversial and would damage American interests if revealed, and then leaked the existence of those policies to the Washington Post for the purpose of damaging the Bush administration. And now the administration is trying to defend the CIA. Why, I wonder?

The answer is quite simple, John.  You are working from the false premise that the CIA established the system of rendition. 

But isn’t it possible — indeed probable — that the Bush Administration approved of, or possibly instigated, the rendition policy?   After all, like all things governmental, the pinnacle of the intelligence community sits in the White House, and the CIA falls under the executive branch.   

Even I don’t believe Hindrocket is stupid enough to think that the CIA acts entirely on its own, certainly when it comes to interrogation of "terrorists".  He surely is aware of the fact that the White House has taken an active interest in extracting information from detainees, which is what the rendition system is all about.  Hindrocket is advancing the excuse/lie that the policy of rendition solely was a CIA creation, done without the knowledge and consent of the White House.

But it ain’t true.

There is a very simply reason why the White House is defending the CIA’s policy of rendition: because the White House has condoned the policy of rendition.  They can’t reverse themselves now.  Next question.