If Barack Obama wanted to change direction on American rendition policy, the case of Mohamed et al v Jeppesen Dataplan Inc would give him his best opportunity.  The plaintiffs sued the Boeing subsidiary for transporting them back to their home countries, and the Ninth Circuit just began hearing the appeal of a dismissal in federal district court on national security grounds.  With a venue as sympathetic as the most-overturned appellate court in the nation, one would expect the Obama administration to use that forum for an about-face on Bush administration rendition policies.

Surprise:

The Obama Administration today announced that it would keep the same position as the Bush Administration in the lawsuit Mohamed et al v Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc. …

A source inside of the Ninth U.S. District Court tells ABC News that a representative of the Justice Department stood up to say that its position hasn’t changed, that new administration stands behind arguments that previous administration made, with no ambiguity at all. The DOJ lawyer said the entire subject matter remains a state secret.

This is not going to please civil libertarians and human rights activists who had hoped the Obama administration would allow the lawsuit to proceed.

In other words, their entire contribution to the effort comes down to, “What Bush said.”

Fine by me, and as I’ve explained before, the Obama administration has no choice but to pursue renditions.  They want to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, which means they have to find someplace to put terrorists captured by military and intelligence operatives.  No one will want them in the US, and without Gitmo or an equivalent replacement, and without permanent “black sites” for the CIA, Obama’s policy leaves him with three options: release, assassination, and rendition.

It’s interesting that Obama hasn’t had the testicular fortitude to own up to his choices publicly.  Will the media and the Left hold him accountable for this decision?  Or am I being redundant?

Tags: Barack Obama