An Extraordinary Rendition on Power

“March 10 WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union today applauded Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) for introducing legislation to ban extraordinary rendition. The "Torture Outsourcing Prevention Act" would forever stop the federal government from secretly kidnapping people and sending them to torture cells run by foreign governments.”

Where once the executive branch of our government recognized the limitations of its power and the responsibilities of our signed treaties and conventions, our current President has taken a decidedly different approach. The Bush Administrations continued reliance on “The Extraordinary Rendition Program” is a direct challenge to jurisprudence, precedent, and international consensus. Administered by the [in]famous CIA, the government has endorsed a policy of detaining and transporting individuals into foreign countries for the sole purpose of finding a more hospitable locale for torture. This subversive program is not only detrimental to the construct of the American society—namely one rooted in the reverence of liberty, freedom, checks and balances, and enumerated rights—but also weakens the American position in the hearts and minds of the people of the world.

The program, as a matter of fact, was begun by the Clinton administration, an indeed thats where the blame is rooted. However it was Bush and his string quartet that gave tutelage to the monster, and allowed the program to grow and become menacingly pervasive. The program essentially allows the CIA to extra-judicially detain individuals they presume are involved in "terrorism" and then transport them to jurisdictions where torture laws are lax. In addition to being in blatant violation of terms in both the "United Nations Convention Against Torture" and the Geneva Conventions, the program has an inherent tendency for mistake. In whats been termed as "Erroneous Rendition", the clandestine CIA has admitted that some individuals were incorrectly detained and presumably endured torture. Now, this may be an Orwellian abuse of power, but Administration Officials have tried incessantly to emphasize the utility of "Extraordinary Rendition", sighting the 'extraordinary' threat to America's security. Critics both foreign and domestic, have berated the program, lambasting its secretive and subversive conviction to commit wrongdoing in the name of security. However, what is more alarming, some say, is the Administrations "Extraordinary Rendition" on power. This broadening of 'executive privilege', has constitutional scholars guarded. The administration has taken a definitively liberal and constructionist view of its power enumerated in the Constitution. This program is only one of many that leading constitutional scholars have highlighted as possible encroachments on precedent or law.

The "Extraordinary Rendition" program and the 'extraordinary rendition of executive power', are alarming developments, and should be scrutinized with the greatest of energy. Now, protecting America, is a task that is admittedly difficult, but that is the nature of the beast. To begin to use extra-judicial, secretive, and unconstitutional measures to address security is where the problem starts. This administration has shown a blatant disregard for the rule of law and has begun making overtures that attack at the very fabric of our life. While, I, by no means argue that we should take one opposite in the debate over Security and Privacy, I must however emphasize that this "Extraordinary Rendition" program and other constitutionally and jurisprudentially dangerous programs are presenting far different dynamics...............

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