As Brennan Tapped for CIA, Case of Somali Detainees Highlights Obama’s Embrace of Secret Renditions

New details have emerged about how the Obama administration has quietly embraced the controversial practice of extraordinary rendition in which terrorism suspects are secretly detained and interrogated abroad without due process. The Washington Post recently reported three European men with Somali backgrounds were arrested in the East African country of Djibouti on a “murky pretext” in August. They were then questioned by U.S. interrogators before being secretly indicted by a U.S. grand jury and flown to the United States for trial. News of their case accompanies this week’s nomination of John Brennan as director of the CIA. Brennan withdrew from consideration for the same position in 2008 amidst protests over his role at the agency under George W. Bush and his public support of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques and rendition. We’re joined by Ephraim Savitt, a lawyer representing Mohamed Yusuf, one of the three accused Somali detainees; and Clara Gutteridge, a human rights investigator and director of the Equal Justice Forum.


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