10 February 2009
Obama And Rendition
The ominous part, so far, of Obama's foreign policy is that he's not speaking out about rendition. His administration is backing efforts by a subsidiary of an aviation firm, Jeppesen, to bar a lawsuit claiming the subsidiary played a role in the CIA's rendition programme of terror suspects. The suit claims that Jeppesen arranged over 70 flights for the CIA since 2001, and it involves Binyam Mohamed, the British resident held at Guantanamo (the kerfuffle last week over Washington threatening to stop cooperating with London on intelligence). Marc Ambinder was pulling out his hair when reporters didn't ask Obama about Jeppesen at his first televised evening press conference. Allowing the suit to go forward would be a way to open up the process around rendition, i.e. to stop it, and Obama's not taking it.