The Truth About Rendition

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It would be a full-time job to catalogue all the lies that come out of the Bush administration. But here are two important ones. Hilzoy of Obsidian Wings calls the president on his statement today that “we do not render [detainees] to countries that torture.” Not even the most Clintonian parsing of that statement could make that true.

Meanwhile, in the Christian Science Monitor, Tom Regan swats down Condoleeza Rice’s claims about rendition, and compiles evidence that innocent detainees have been captured, rendered abroad, and tortured. Numbers are hard to come by, but here’s one attempt:

One [US] official said about three dozen names fall in that category [those mistakenly detained]; others believe it is fewer. The list includes several people whose identities were offered by Al Qaeda figures during CIA interrogations, officials said. One turned out to be an innocent college professor who had given the Al Qaeda member a bad grade, one official said.

“They picked up the wrong people, who had no information. In many, many cases there was only some vague association” with terrorism, one CIA officer said.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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