During the Bush Administration, mainstream media outlets hammered President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for their “rendition” policy that allowed suspected terrorists to be detained overseas in foreign countries and interrogated at the direction of the US government. Hollywood even made a movie about it, so you know it was important.
Along with Guantanamo Bay, rendition was cited as an example of the un-constitutional Bush/Cheney dictatorship running rough-shod on the Geneva Conventions and basic human rights.
As a candidate, Barack Obama indicated that he would reverse the policy in an article in Foreign Affairs.
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.
Two days into his presidency, Obama quietly continued the evil rendition policy, and it has continued ever since. Last week it was revealed that three new detainees were taken prisoner in the small African country of Djibouti and interrogated by American agents:
U.S. agents accused the men — two of them Swedes, the other a longtime resident of Britain — of supporting al-Shabab, an Islamist militia in Somalia that Washington considers a terrorist group. Two months after their arrest, the prisoners were secretly indicted by a federal grand jury in New York, then clandestinely taken into custody by the FBI and flown to the United States to face trial.
The secret arrests and detentions came to light Dec. 21 when the suspects made a brief appearance in a Brooklyn courtroom.
Other than a small handful of news reports, the continuing rendition has received little or no attention and absolutely no condemnation from opinion writers who were hysterical over the Bush-era policies.
They could be criticizing Obama over his rendition policy, or they could be hammering him over his hypocrisy. They could be… if they were interested in truly speaking truth to power. But, President Obama is their guy, so rendition is just fine under his watch.