The practice of extraordinary rendition : increasing accountability and oversight
KeywordsExtraordinary rendition -- Government policy -- United States
Detention of persons -- Government policy -- United States
Human rights -- Government policy -- United States
September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001
Terrorism -- Philosophy
War on Terrorism, 2001-2009 -- Moral and ethical aspects
Civil rights -- United States
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AbstractIndiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the United States has transferred close to a hundred individuals suspected of terrorism to foreign jurisdictions through a process known as extraordinary rendition. This is an infamous program that allows for the transfer of individuals to a foreign jurisdiction for interrogation, detention, or trial. While the use of extraordinary rendition attracts widespread controversy regarding its use and legality, it remains a vital tool for combating international terrorism. Evidence in this thesis lends support to extraordinary rendition program, but recognizes that while the program strengthens the country’s ability to gather vital intelligence to combat terrorism, there are methods to improve the program. The extraordinary rendition program requires an assessment of the totality of circumstances before a extraordinary rendition is permitted; reliance on diplomatic assurances from countries that hold a good human rights record; and subsequent monitoring of individuals rendered to foreign states to ensure that transfers comply with U.S. and international law.
Evidence suggests that extraordinary rendition aids in the ability to gather sensitive intelligence and serves as a gathering tool used by American presidents to preserve freedom and peace; however, in the eyes of critics, this program represents a perversely autonomous and un-American legal maneuver that avoids due process. This thesis seeks to discuss common misconceptions associated with the extraordinary rendition program and identify the major points of controversy. The first part explores the history of the extraordinary rendition program and provides an understanding of its roots and procedures. The second part, discusses the executive branch’s attempts to conduct extraordinary renditions morally and responsibly, and examines the legal oversight and accountability gaps surrounding the program. Part three identifies the line of authority empowering the President to conduct extraordinary renditions. It also outlines the struggle of the legislative, judicial and executive branches to strengthen the extraordinary rendition program’s compliance with the rule of law by increasing oversight and accountability. Finally, Part four discusses the future of the extraordinary rendition program. The discussion presents possible solutions to correct oversight and accountability problems and suggests a multi-faceted approach that raises the bar for extraordinary renditions, thereby closing the oversight and accountability gaps.