The letter from George Alger published in your Oct. 22 issue under the heading “Obama sanctioned torture” is very misleading, because it makes it appear that the U.S. did not practice rendition before President Obama took office. The wording of the final paragraph in particular seems to be selected to make it appear that rendition was not practiced by any Republican administration.
In fact rendition was carried out by the CIA during the Bush 43 administration from 2001 onward, and information on that topic is easy to find. For example, an article published in the New York Times on March 6, 2005, with the headline “Rules Change Lets CIA Freely Send Suspects Abroad to Jails,” includes the following: “The Bush administration’s secret program to transfer suspected terrorists to foreign countries for interrogation has been carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency under broad authority that has allowed it to act without case-by-case approval from the White House or the State or Justice departments, according to current and former government officials. The unusually expansive authority for the CIA to operate independently was provided by the White House under a still-classified directive signed by President Bush within days of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the officials said. The process, known as rendition, has been central in the government’s efforts to disrupt terrorism, but has been bitterly criticized by human rights groups on grounds that the practice has violated the Bush administration’s public pledge to provide safeguards against torture.”
Is it possible that Mr. Alger didn’t know what went on while Bush was in office? Or maybe he just left it out of the letter because it didn’t support the point he wanted to make?