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5 Most Terrifying Things About the Likely New CIA Head John Brennan

President Obama tapped a man for the top CIA post who has supported drone strikes, torture and extraordinary rendition.

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Closely connected to the Bush administration’s torture regime was its program of extraordinary rendition--the term given to the practice of abducting suspected terrorists from one country and secretly shipping them to another country, where they would be interrogated and tortured. Brennan was in full support of this program.

In 2005, Brennan described extraordinary rendition as “an absolutely vital tool” that “without a doubt has been very successful as far as producing intelligence that has saved lives." What Brennan left out is that rendition often delivered people to brutal regimes where they were tortured at the behest of the U.S. And, while it certainly nabbed extremists trying to attack the U.S., innocent people were also caught up in the operation. Maher Arar is the most visible face of how the rendition program went wrong: a dual Syrian and Canadian citizen, Arar was detained by the U.S. in 2002 and then deported to Syria where he was tortured on suspicion of being a member of Al Qaeda. Turns out he was nothing of the sort, and the Canadian government has since apologized to Arar.


Alex Kane is AlterNet's New York-based World editor, and an assistant editor for Mondoweiss. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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