Each of us pays for services “rendered”

Renditions. That’s another word that’s slipped into the American vernacular in the Age of Bush, along with dimpled chads, IEDs and “internets.” Previously a rendition referred to works of art, or to the act of surrender. Now it’s a euphemism for one of America’s most unpardonable sins, something that would be literally inconceivable under any other administration at any time in our history. Try to imagine the furor in normal times if a president were to sign orders for the kidnapping of suspected terrorists, with no charges filed against them and no one to whom they can plead their case. They are then packed off to countries where torture is acceptable, where they are treated with brutality beyond description. Imagine the scandal. Yet now, nary a soul does anything more than shrug his shoulders; what was unthinkable is now the everyday.

Joseph Bosco, like so many of us, is suitably outraged a the practice.

Only a little more than half a century ago–within the lifetime of almost half of all American citizens–we denied the “Good German” the excuse of saying: “But we did not know,” or, “We were only following orders.” We put many of them on trial for war crimes and hung and imprisoned a bunch because they did know and did nothing or helped only a little bit out of a sense of duty. We did the same to Japanese who also denied complicity in crimes against humanity.

We are reading the TRUTH every day in our newspapers. We know. And we do NOTHING. Or even help a little bit out of a sense of ‘duty’ to the ‘war on terror.’ How about the men and women who fly the “rendition” planes? The men and women who type the paper work? The men and women who render food and supplies to these “know nothing” functionaries? What about you? What about that man over there waiting for a bus? What about me? You know. He knows. I know. Goddamn us one and all.

Who is going to put us and our leaders on trial and punish us for this barbarity? We have sunk to the level of those who hate and attack us. Where, when and how did we stop being that so special breed of people–Americans?

That’s for starters. Take a look at the article Joseph links to, and see if you, too, don’t share Joseph’s sense of shame. I know I certainly do.

[EDITED, 15.06 Taiwan time.]

The Discussion: 4 Comments

Dear Richard,

Thank you for the link and your eloquence. If only your eloquence and my shame could make a difference.

Be well, my dear friend,


July 25, 2006 @ 10:22 pm | Comment

IIRC, the practice of rendition started under the Clinton administration but was extremely limited and not for the same purposes (i.e., torturing terrorism suspects for information) as has been the Bush Administration’s practice.

What can I say? I’m outraged, I’m sick at heart, and it’s all a part and parcel of the Bush Administration’s sick philosophy of the projection of American might. Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, rendition – “shame” hardly begins to cover it.

July 25, 2006 @ 10:38 pm | Comment

You’re right, I forgot about that Lisa. Clinton’s renditions were against terrorists who were actually Egyptian citizens who were sent back to Egypt. I probably should have left Clinton’s name out of it, as my Republican friends will argue Bush was following in Clinton’s footsteps, no matter how different their approaches were, and no matter how many innocents were renditioned under Bush.

July 25, 2006 @ 11:12 pm | Comment

Heya mate, if I may pat myself on the back, I’ll say I don’t feel the shame since my wife and I got the hell out of America because we were disgusted by many of the things Prof. Bosco cites.

The real reason I’m posting, aside from self-congratulation, is to say “Jordan too?!?” Americans might be in the dark about this, but the Muslim world will be aware. As events in the Middle East radicalise more formerly moderate people, that’s going to fuel insurgency in Jordan. The first King Hussein was able to put down an insurrection of anti-Israeli forces in 1970, but will the current king be able to handle the next one that’s surely brewing? That could leave another full-on terror state on another border of Israel.

Holy crap! I feel like I can see which way the next dominos are going to fall. It’s like watching the slow collapse of civilisation. Thanks for cluing me in to another puzzle piece of the nightmare…

July 26, 2006 @ 8:33 am | Comment

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