Posted at 10:59 AM on August 27, 2009
by Sanden Totten
The political world is abuzz this week with the question of how we should deal with suspected terrorists. First we had the CIA report detailing troubling treatment of detainees. Then President Obama came out with a new statement on the practice of rendition. Basically he said we'll still do it, but we're going to make sure there is no foul play involved. (Check this New York Times article for a primer on rendition.)
But the common conception around rendition is that it's a way to let other countries do the dirty style of interrogation that U.S. codes of conduct won't allow. If we are making sure other countries treat our prisoners exactly as we would, what's the advantage of sending them abroad?
We asked David Rivkin. He served in the Justice Department and the White House Counsel's Office under President Reagan and Bush Sr. These days he's an attorney specializing in International law, and he says rendition is useful for a lot of reasons besides the obvious.