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News Link • Torture

Impunity at Home, Rendition Abroad: How Both Parties Made Illegality the American Way of Life

•, by Prof. Alfred W. McCoy
 After a decade of fiery public debate and bare-knuckle partisan brawling, the United States has stumbled toward an ad hoc bipartisan compromise over the issue of torture that
rests on two unsustainable policies: impunity at home and rendition abroad.

President Obama has closed the CIA’s “black sites,” its secret prisons where American agents once dirtied their hands with waterboarding and wall slamming. But via rendition -- the sending of terrorist suspects to the prisons of countries that torture -- and related policies, his administration has outsourced human rights abuse to Afghanistan, Somalia, and elsewhere. In this way, he has avoided the political stigma of torture, while tacitly tolerating such abuses and harvesting whatever intelligence can be gained from them.

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