Here’s Condoleeza Rice’s statement this morning on extraordinary rendition:
In conducting such renditions, it is the policy of the United States, and I presume of any other democracies who use this procedure, to comply with its laws and comply with its treaty obligations, including those under the Convention Against Torture. Torture is a term that is defined by law. We rely on our law to govern our operations. The United States does not permit, tolerate, or condone torture under any circumstances. Moreover, in accordance with the policy of this administration:
— The United States has respected — and will continue to respect — the sovereignty of other countries.
— The United States does not transport, and has not transported, detainees from one country to another for the purpose of interrogation using torture.
— The United States does not use the airspace or the airports of any country for the purpose of transporting a detainee to a country where he or she will be tortured.
— The United States has not transported anyone, and will not transport anyone, to a country when we believe he will be tortured. Where appropriate, the United States seeks assurances that transferred persons will not be tortured.
There’s not a whole lot of wiggle room in those statements, is there? So that only leaves one question. If all of those statements are true, why do prisoners who we subject to rendition keep getting tortured?
Update: Eric Umansky explains what “respects the sovereignty” means in context.