"ACLU Sues Jeppesen Dataplan for Participation in CIA Torture Flights", retrieved 2009.02.03)
Glenn Greenwald asks us:
Second, I have a question for those who believe that rendition, in all cases (even when it's not used to disappear individuals or send individuals to countries where they will be tortured), is inappropriate and wrong:
Suppose (for the sake of discussion) that: (a) the U.S. learns exactly where Osama bin Laden is located in Pakistan; (b) there is ample evidence that bin Laden (i) perpetrated the 9/11 attacks and (ii) is in the advanced stages of planning new imminent attacks on the U.S.; and (c) the Pakistani Government is either unwilling or unable to apprehend bin Laden in order to extradite him to the U.S. for trial. Further suppose that efforts to compel the Pakistanis to do so through the U.N. are blocked (because, say, China or Russia vetoes any actions).
What, if anything, is the U.S. (under current facts) permitted to do about Osama bin Laden, who -- we're assuming for purposes of these discussions -- clearly perpetrated the 9/11 attacks and is in the process of plotting new attacks? As far as I can tell, the options would be: (a) drop a bomb on him and kill him with no due process; (b) enter Pakistan, apprehend him, and bring him to the U.S. for a trial (i.e., rendition); or (c) do nothing, and just leave him be.
Those who are arguing that rendition is illegitimate in all cases (rather than in the torture-enabling and disappearance-causing forms used by Bush) have the obligation to answer that question specifically (and the same question would pertain to a common criminal -- say, a mass murderer -- who flees the U.S. to a country which refuses to comply with its extradition obligations to send the accused murderer to the U.S. for trial).
I don't quite fit into the category of "those who believe that rendition, in all cases (even when it's not used to disappear individuals or send individuals to countries where they will be tortured), is inappropriate and wrong", but I'll take a swing at this anyway.
Rendition is OK so long as the Rendee is:
- moved in a way which gains the Rendee rights rather than removing them;
- moved to comply with the laws of each country involved;
I think that's it. It would be OK to render someone from Iraq to England, for example, if England did more (legally and actually) to protect the rights of the Rendee than Iraq did (I think that's a safe bet, but it's a hypothetical anyway) OR if the laws of both Iraq and England recognized the validity of the rendition.
Needless to say, neither of these conditions apply to, say, the Arar case.