Friday, March 11, 2005

Rendition and torture

More political expediency from the Democrats: if it could hurt Bush, we're against it, even though we started it.

The "it"? The government's policy of "rendition," which is "the policy of turning over prisoners to foreign countries so they can do the interrogating." Why have such a policy? The WSJ quotes Clinton NSA Sandy Berger, the initiator of the CURRENT policy that the Bush Administration has continued (with modifications), and the government's rationale for wanting the Saudis to take custody of bin Laden in 1996:
The Clinton Administration was aware of the threat bin Laden posed, but it worried it didn't yet have sufficient information to indict him on terrorism charges in court. Instead, the U.S. sought to have the Saudis take bin Laden and behead him.

"In the United States, we have this thing called the Constitution, so to bring him here is to bring him into the justice system," Mr. Berger told the Washington Post in October 2001. "I don't think that was our first choice. Our first choice was to send him someplace where justice is more 'streamlined.'"

And Michael Scheuer, the anti-Semitic crank who headed the anti-Osama unit at the CIA and who has become the Left's new hero (a la Scott Ritter) for bashing the Bush response to the al-Qaeda threat, is also a supporter of rendition:

[T]he rendition program has been a tremendous success. Dozens of senior Qaeda fighters are today behind bars, no longer able to plot or participate in attacks.

In addition, the Bush Administration has gone FURTHER THAN the Clinton Administration in protecting the suspected terrorists from torture. According to the WSJ, the "Bush Administration says it uses it only on condition of humane treatment and assigns personnel to 'monitor compliance.'"

So the current opposition to rendition, on the grounds that other countries will torture suspected terrorists is purely partisan opportunistic garbage. Considering how the outsized sensitivity to claims of torture have paralyzed the CIA and military's ability to interrogate suspects (as Heather MacDonald noted), the Democrats' (and some soft Republicans') opposition to aggressive interrogation methods that do not constitute torture under the Geneva Convention is merely an effort to denigrate the President at the expense of the nation.

HT: CQ blog.

No comments: