Executive Power

America Still Renditions Suspected Terrorists Whenever the Hell


Hollywood had different priorities then

In 2007, as he was firming up the anti-war, anti-Dick Cheney bloc within the Democratic Party, Barack Obama wrote a long essay for Foreign Affairs that included this paragraph:

People around the world have heard a great deal of late about freedom on the march. Tragically, many have come to associate this with war, torture, and forcibly imposed regime change. To build a better, freer world, we must first behave in ways that reflect the decency and aspirations of the American people. This means ending the practices of shipping away prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far-off countries, of detaining thousands without charge or trial, of maintaining a network of secret prisons to jail people beyond the reach of the law.

Though it was clear long before the 2008 election that Barack Obama would be nobody's anti-war president, some still held out hope that the guy who wrote the above paragraph would at least be better on spooky stuff like abandoning due process and pushing third-party countries to cooperate in the shadowy practice of rendition. But as the Washington Post reminded us this week, no such luck:

[T]he Obama administration has embraced rendition — the practice of holding and interrogating terrorism suspects in other countries without due process — despite widespread condemnation of the tactic in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. […]

"In a way, rendition has become even more important than before," said Clara Gutteridge, director of the London-based Equal Justice Forum, a human rights group that investigates national security cases and that opposes the practice.

Hauntingly, the Post chalks up some of the more extreme parts of Obama's Cheneyism to constant squabbles with an even more hawkish Congress on stuff like closing down Guantanamo Bay and trying terrorism subjects:

The impasse and lack of detention options, critics say, have led to a de facto policy under which the administration finds it easier to kill terrorism suspects, a key reason for the surge of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Renditions, though controversial and complex, represent one of the few alternatives.

Related: Wired's Spencer Ackerman (and/or his headline writer) declares "Obama's New Year's Resolution: More Drone Strikes."

Reason.tv's "Three Reasons U.S. Drone Policy Is Really Freakin' Scary":

NEXT: Judge Rules in Favor of Government in Targeted Killing FOIA Case

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  1. It’s almost as if Obama is an utter scumbag opportunistic politician who will do whatever increases his power. Almost.

    1. It’s almost like he’s the greatest conman in a generation.

      1. There’s no way he reaches Bill Clinton level of conman aptitude. He’s more of a sockpuppet pushed on the masses that makes it easy for everyone else in power to get what they want. He’s just along for the easy ride.

        1. Then why do I miss Clinton the more I see of Obama?

      2. He’s not a con man, he’s a cult leader. Huge difference.

        1. A cult leader is most certainly a conman. Therefore, I’m technically correct.

          1. While technically correct is the best kind of correct, you’re still an idiot.

            If Obama told TEAM BLUE to drink this “special” Kool-ade that was now available at all Democratic offices, do you think they would?

            1. It was Flavor-Aid at Jonestown, you monkey. TECHNICALLY CORRECT.

              1. Sorry; I didn’t realize you were such a big student of Jim Jones.

                1. Here, for you edumucation: the Jonestown Death Tape.

            2. If Obama told TEAM BLUE to drink this “special” Kool-ade that was now available at all Democratic offices, do you think they would?

              They did. Let’s see if they’ll do it a third time. Biden 2016!

            3. They already have.

          2. I disagree. In many cases cult leaders are very much sincere in their beliefs and will lie not for material gain, but to gratify their need for attention, love, and validation.

            The Big O isn’t a cult leader because he’s clearly an opportunistic scumbag, it’s his acolytes in the media that are the bona fide cultists.

            1. Obama most certainly sincerely believes. He believes in Barack Obama, which is the most holy of all beliefs.

  2. Again, what was wrong with Bush if you’re an Obamaniac? Seriously. What’s the fucking difference?

    1. A) Voting for Obama makes you feel good for uplifting the downtrodden minorities.

      B) Bushitler W McChimpiburton is on the wrong TEAM.

      1. That, and never underestimate the power of doublethink.

        1. Never underestimate the power of power.

    2. If Bush had spoken with a Yankee accent or Hollywood accent and had switched parties in 1998 to the Democratic party, the proggies would have adored him.

      Their hatred has to do with the elephant branding and prejudice against Texans (even if they are from Connecticut and are affecting a Texas accent).

      1. Branding is everything, I guess. Fucking ad agencies have taken over at last.

        It is so frustrating to hear people who talk about rights and some other aspects of a freeish society act like a total state is a good idea. One of those things doesn’t belong.

        1. No, no, no, the total state will never happen. Obama will only bring down manna from heaven and will righteously smite our enemies. And if he ever does go bad, the Supreme Court and Congress wwill keep him in check.

          OK, I made the last part up.

          He’ll at least free the slaves.

          1. No, he realizes now that freeing the slaves was a mistake. The correct action would have been to enslave everyone.

    3. Obama is black, sort-of.

    4. What’s the fucking difference?

      Only the capital letter after the name.

    5. Bush spoke in a Southern accent about Jesus a lot.

      Oh, and Bush didn’t feel bad about using the world’s best military. You can use it all you want, but you are supposed to feel regretful and ashamed. In many ways, it is much like having sex with Warty.

    6. But seriously, at the end of the day, it comes down to perception. Most of Obama’s supporters simply think that he is a good guy. They view him as a nice, down-to-earth guy who understands what most Americans have to go through. He has cute kids and seems to really love his wife.

      There. That’s it. And the facts don’t matter. Was the Kennedy Administration Camelot? Hell no. But people wanted to believe that, so that became the reality. They want to believe Obama’s self-told origin story.

      It’s a lot like The Great Gatsby, actually. Scarily similar.

      1. Based on your description here, I just read the plot of The Great Gatsby on wikipedia, and I couldn’t follow a damn thing.

        I hate when books have so many “main” characters. Also, I guess I didn’t really see the connection. Maybe I need to read the actual book and not a summary.

        1. Well, I won’t say it’s “incidental” to the plot, but it’s not really a huge part of the plot so I can see why you wouldn’t get the connection. Gatsby is from the Midwest and lives in New York under an assumed identity, basically. He has an “origin story” that is not his real origin.

          1. I’d say it’s pretty crucial to the identity of Gatsby. And he is the main character.

            Yes, technically Nick is the “main character” in the sense that he is the narrator, but no one reads that book for Nick.

    7. Abortion, ldo.

  3. Remember when we tried to get Joe from Lowell, that mendacious fuck, to bet money that Obama hadn’t really stopped torturing people?

    And he refused to take the bet?

    I guess Joe, in his heart of hearts, knew he was peddling a lie. Then again, that’s why he ran away after Obama got in office and ramped many of the important Bush policies to 11.

    1. He didn’t run away, it was a strategic retreat so that he could come back as THE DERIDER and subvert all of our expectations through anonymity.

      1. Has that idiot been around lately, or did he crawl into a bottle for the holidays and not come out yet?

        1. Come on Warty. He’s short, but not short enough to fit in a bottle.

          He probably just got his penis stuck in a bottle.

          1. He might be able to fit into a magnum bottle, Hugh. Hey, wait a second: do you think joe might be a leprechaun?!?

            1. At the end of joe’s rainbow is just a full chamberpot.

              1. Fucking artisanal too, I bet.

                1. An artisanal leprechaun? That just doesn’t make any sense, nicole. You’ve been hanging out with NutraSweet too long.

                  1. I would put it past joe to use big box store poop rather than something made with a loving behind.

                  2. No you idiot, she’s talking about artisanal diarrhea in the chamberpot. Which indicates that she’s been hanging out with Jimbo too long.

                    1. Jimbo’s a nice enough guy, but he really shits a lot. Something like twice his body weight every day.

                    2. JJ eats astonishing amounts of lutefisk smothered in sriracha. I mean, it’s incredible how much. That probably explains it.

                    3. Something like twice his body weight every day.

                      So what, like 30 pounds?

                    4. I was talking about the chamberpot, duh. It brings him closer to all the rest of the folks doing God’s work. Very intimate and stuff.

          2. “He’s short, but not short enough to fit in a bottle.”

            I respectfully disagree.


      2. I wonder what gutter he’s slumped in right now, stinking drunk and bruised from the last fight he started and lost?

        1. He’s out doing God’s work.

    2. “I guess Joe, in his heart of hearts, knew he was peddling a lie.”

      In their heart of hearts all leftists know they are peddling lies.

      They also know if they come right out and say what they really want they will be rejected. I cant imagine what that does to a person’s soul knowing that they have to lie to persuade anyone.

      Soul….what the hell am I talking about?

      1. In their heart of hearts all leftists know they are peddling lies.

        I doubt it.

        Either they know they are wrong and are truly evil, or they are too fucking stupid to realize they are wrong.

        I really think most people are good at heart, so I gotta go with the latter. If I’m wrong, fuck it, the world ain’t worth saving!

        1. Either they know they are wrong and are truly evil, or they are too fucking stupid to realize they are wrong.

          Their leaders are the former, the masses of braindead are the latter.

          1. That still makes for a shitload of evil people, although a portion of their leaders certainly are.

            I go back and forth about folks like Pelosi. You wonder how she could make it that far being dumb, yet… Then there are those like Hank “sinking Guam” Johnson who, beyond a shadow of a doubt, prove you don’t need to be a genius to make it to congress.

        2. You are less cynical than I am….and probably much younger.

          1. 47

            1. Hmmm. Same here +1.

              Ok, then you are just a better man than I am.

              1. Wow. I thought you were in your early thirties, Suthenboy.

                1. That’s what I’d have guessed as well. I guess he types youthfully.

            2. “47”

              There’s that damned number again.

  4. This means ending the practices of shipping away prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far-off countries

    He just meant he wanted more daytime flights. It can be dangerous for pilots always having to fly at night.

    1. To finish the quote:

      of detaining thousands without charge or trial,

      Instituted murderdrone policy

      of maintaining a network of secret prisons to jail people beyond the reach of the law.

      they’re no longer jails, they’re embassies that just happen to house prisoners where us officials can talk to them.

      See all promises kept and problems solved.

  5. We are no longer in the terrorist detention business. We preferably kill them. But when we can’t we send them to another country to be tortured.

    This is just so much better than keeping them at GUITMO and water boarding a few high value ones. This is really hope and change.

    1. The thing that is appalling is that these asholes show 0 faith in the institutions that accompany the rule of law and are throwing all their faith in strong-man rule.

      As someone who is firmly in the Terrorism is a Law Enforcement Problem camp, I am quite opposed to GITMO, waterboarding et al as being ineffective and counterproductive.

      But, I would much prefer to live in a society where the shit I disagree with was occurring openly as a result of legislative deliberation, etc than one where they pretend to agree with me while secretly acting like a fucking Star Chamber and are making shit up on their own with no one checking on them.

      If only they didn’t force me to give money to their protection racket and fraudulently misrepresent themselves as acting in my name…

      1. Yes. Because that can be undone. What is happening here is much worse. How do you undo this? The principle seems to be the President, provided he is a democrat, can do whatever the hell he wants.

        1. It’s sad that the idea of limited government–which most Americans once believed in, because of an inherent distrust of government–has sunken so low. How many of us really believe in that as an ideal anymore?

    2. And when we do release them, they are pretty pissed at the United States and have just spent the last few years hanging out with people who have spent most of their adult lives figuring out the most effective way to fuck over the U.S.

      What could possibly go wrong?

  6. I’m at the point where I can’t muster a more sophisticated response than, “Fuck this guy.” I mean, just… fuck this guy.

    1. No, no, no, he’s a politician, he’s just doing his job which is to bullshit people for his own self-aggrandizement. He’d be much less horrible if the media and the voters would actually keep him honest by calling him out on his bullshit.

      It’s his legions of supporters that are disgusting and, if we are to take their utilitarian philosophy of acting towards the common good at heart, ought to be disenfranchised for the good of the country.

      1. It’s how tyrants arise, when they become above criticism or accountability. It’s like walking off a cliff despite seeing signs about the bridge being out.

          1. The problem for the Obamaniacs is that ultimate power will never be his. It’ll go to some right-wing tyrant who realizes that the facade of limited government no longer need be maintained. Why? Because the military leadership won’t follow someone like Obama.

            1. And at that point, the left and right would swap their opinions of the 2nd Amendment.

              1. They hold both beliefs simultaneously in a state of superposition.

                1. Schrodinger’s Hypocrisy.

      2. Serious is correct; it’s his followers who enable him and who are the true disgusting creatures. No one can become powerful without people assisting them.

        1. True. The instinct to follow is our species’ most disgusting evolutionary vestige. Even more than your mom’s tail.

          1. I’m still mystified why she doesn’t get that removed.

            1. Enough about your promiscuous mother, Epi.

              1. Warty started it!

            2. because she uses it as a pegging tool?

  7. The Obama administration has embraced rendition ? the practice of holding and interrogating terrorism suspects in other countries without due process ? despite widespread condemnation of the tactic in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.


  8. I was going to say something about the vigorous discussion of this topic during the campaign but I think I am with MJGreen…fuck this guy and everyone who voted for him.

  9. Obama has been SUCH a disappointment.

    1. Really? I think he has been exactly what I thought he would be.

      1. Far be it from me to agree with John 😉 but was there EVER a question about this guy?

    2. He’s only a disappointment if for some unfathomable reason you didn’t expect him to suck shit.

      1. Yeah you actually believed that Obama opposes war and supports civil liberties, reduced spending and reduced regulation? What on earth was there to suggest he wasn’t a statist Democrat?

  10. In 2009, a White House task force on interrogation and detainee transfers recommended that the government be allowed to continue using renditions, but with greater oversight, so that suspects were not subject to harsh interrogation techniques, as some were during the George W. Bush administration.


    what a load of horseshit.

    1. More oversight? That really is fuck you that is why.

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