Daniel Benjamin writes in Slate that among the many disputed actions taken by the United States government following September 11, those predicated on faulty intelligence and the irresponsible treatment of prisoners have incited particular condemnation by the international community. Specifically, US reliance on renditions as a method of counterrorism has become increasingly controversial and contested. Public perception of excessive, unwarranted “extraordinary” renditions, as defined by the movement of a suspect from one country to another without the complicity of the “host government” (the country in which the rendition takes place), has drawn extensive criticism.
Benjamin argues, however, that rendition is one of the US’s most valuable tools of counterterrorism and must be upheld. Renditions play an especially important role in countries that lack the intelligence and policing infrastructure to capture terrorists. The public outcry that resulted from compromising the moral and legal standards of treatment for those taken prisoner has threatened the clandestine information networks with cooperating countries that the US government so greatly relies upon. Benjamin advises that lawmakers develop effective strategies to ensure that the practice of renditions is safeguarded from abuse, and that the right to rendition remains protected.