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Monday, February 06, 2006

Render Unto Caesar


Since this was Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's day at the Senate to defend George II's warrantless eavesdropping on Americans, I thought it might be instructive to revisit his previous attempt at defending the indefensible. Remember the rendition controversy? That's the administration's policy of sending suspected terrorists (or so they say; there have been "errors") to countries (e.g., Egypt and Syria) with governments not reluctant to inflict a little pain during interrogation. When the press got wind of this, the administration was, shall we say, embarrassed. In an interview almost a year ago Gonzales said, "Our policy is not to render people to countries where we believe or we know that they're going to be tortured." But he added, "We can't fully control what that country might do. We obviously expect a country to whom we have rendered a detainee to comply with their representation to us. If you're asking me, 'Does a country always comply?' I don't have an answer to that."

Remember the doubletalk when you read his defense of eavesdropping on Americans.

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