Monday 26th December 2005

The pathetic euphemism "exceptional rendition" looks set to enter our vocabulary in a similar way to "collateral damage", that phrase best visualised by the picture of the napalmed vietnamese child running screaming towards the camera1.

Both concepts are perfectly simple, of course. "Collateral damage" means innocent death, or state murder if you prefer. Civilians cut down "by accident" in the purusuit of some higher, more beautiful truth (or state execution to be more precise). "Exceptional rendition" means abduction for purposes of (quiet, inconspicuous) torture.

It is almost impossible to imagine the degradation and misery that can lead a person to indiscriminately slaughter others in acts of terrorism — but we don't have to imagine very far these days, because Bush and Bliar are doing their best to make the process more widely available than ever before. I suppose that this is indeed one valid reason for keeping the randomly incarcerated inmates of Guantanamo or Belmarsh or Abu Graib under lock and key for ever more: having raped and tortured their souls we must expect that at least a proportion of our victims may seek redress in violent ways.

Exceptional rendition?
Nauseating tradition.
Negroponte's central american
death squad trainers find
a new home.




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