TRIALS BY FIRE - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

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TRIALS BY FIRE - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The Future of RenditionsThe Obama Administration is now forced to contend with several festeringissues stemming from the rendition policy – including what the US should dowith truly dangerous individuals already in custody, as well as the numerouslawsuits brought against both the US government and private contractors thegovernment hired by people caught up in renditions. 127 Moreover, the currentWhite House has been placed in the unenviable position of defending, on statesecrets grounds, actions taken by the previous administration that have beencriticized by many in the President’s party.Still, renditions have proved an effective—if contentious—tool in thwartingterror acts. In order to provide some degree of legitimacy for the practice ofrendition in US law, as well as spread responsibility for the potentially negativeoutcomes of rendered suspects to elected officials, lawmakers should beregularly informed of these activities. Of course, it would not be wise to allowa cumbersome, congressional deliberative process to impede critical, fastmovingevents on the ground, but since rendition nearly always falls undercovert action authorities, the Intelligence Community should fulfill all reportingresponsibilities to Congress. By doing so, the IC can avoid the regrettableclaim that lawmakers were kept out of the loop on discussions about usingsuch an important but controversial counterterrorism tool.64 Trials by Fire: Counterterrorism and the Law

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