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Target Of Obama-Era Rendition Alleges Torture
By Scott Horton, Special to the Huffington Post
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama sharply criticized the Bush Administration's extraordinary renditions program. "To build a better, freer world, we must first behave in ways that reflect the decency and aspirations of the American people," he wrote in Foreign Affairs. "This means ending the practice of shipping away prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far-off countries, of detaining thousands without charge or trial, of maintaining a network of secret prisons to jail people beyond the reach of law." But Obama was consistently careful never to commit to ending the practice of rendition entirely. When the issue flared shortly after his inauguration, senior administration officials were quick to say that abuses including torture would end, but that "ordinary" renditions - the spiriting away of suspects from other countries without going through the formal process of extradition -- would be continued in a cleaned-up form. Now in a federal court in suburban Washington, a case is unfolding that gives us a practical sense of what an Obama-era rendition looks like.