I'm A Little Disappointed
One of the reasons I've generally supported President Bush is a feeling I've had that he says what he means, and wouldn't get wrapped up in legalisms when telling the public what's happening. That's why I was disappointed to see his statement yesterday:
"We do not render to countries that torture and that has been our policy and that policy will remain the same."
[A decent source for background information on "rendition" is in Secretary Rice's remarks prior to her departure on her European trip.]
Now, it's fairly common knowledge that we've sent some enemy combatants back to their home countries, including Egypt and Jordan. It's also fairly common knowledge that people in those countries who do things their government doesn't like are subjected to more than just solitary confinement and a stern talking-to. It's fairly clear to me that President Bush is implicitly appending to his remarks the equivalent of 'it all depends on what you mean by torture' (or maybe 'render'). I would have much rather seen him speak plainly: "Yes, we send some suspects to their home countries. Yes, they sometimes have bad things happen to them there. It's part of their culture, though, so they expect that. It's not as if someone can expect to be protected forever from their home country's justice system just because they've fallen into American hands. Maybe next time they won't go to war against the U.S."
And yes, I know it's not diplomatically acceptable to say such things. That still doesn't keep me from being disappointed.