U.S. Rendition Program: First Steps Toward Accountability

U.S. Rendition Program: First Steps Toward Accountability

A recent report (.pdf) by the Open Society Justice Initiative provides new insights into the “extraordinary rendition” program the United States operated after 9/11, revealing just how widely the program spanned: More than 130 people were subjected to extraordinary rendition, and more than 50 countries cooperated. The report thus raises important questions about both accountability for past human rights abuses and the future of U.S. counterterrorism policy.

Renditions, or the international transfers of individuals without legal process, occurred before 9/11. But they were previously used to transfer suspects for criminal trial. After 9/11, rendition expanded in size and focus; instead of being brought to the United States or a foreign country for prosecution, individuals were transferred to facilitate their disappearance and torture. Under the extraordinary rendition program, terrorism suspects were secretly detained in CIA-operated “black sites” or transferred for interrogation to foreign countries known to practice torture. Often, individuals were subjected to both measures.

In 2009, President Barack Obama issued an executive order (.pdf) that ordered the closure of CIA black sites and banned torture by requiring that all interrogations by the U.S. comply with the Army Field Manual on Interrogation as well as Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.