Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Fri Apr 29 20:04:20 UTC 2005

The most egregious "Bushism" from last night's press conference was this
gem: "It's in our country's interests to find those who would do harm to
us and get them out of harm's way."  That was in response to a question
about "the practice of renditioning"...

Q Mr. President, under the law, how would you justify the practice of
renditioning, where U.S. agents who brought terror suspects abroad, taking
them to a third country for interrogation? And would you stand for it if
foreign agents did that to an American here?
THE PRESIDENT: That's a hypothetical, Mark. We operate within the law and
we send people to countries where they say they're not going to torture
the people.
But let me say something: the United States government has an obligation
to protect the American people. It's in our country's interests to find
those who would do harm to us and get them out of harm's way.

We've already discussed the "rendition" and "rendering" of terror suspects
(see my post of Mar. 18), but "renditioning" is a new one.  Perhaps this
will edge out "rendering" as the verb of choice, since it avoids the image
of boiling lard.

2003 _St. Petersburg Times_ (Russia) 11 Nov., Of history's many sick
national security euphemisms, "renditioning" may be the all-time champion.
2005 _Independent (London) 10 Feb. 8 (Nexis) Michael Ratner, the director
of the Centre for Constitutional Rights ... is representing several former
prisoners who were "renditioned." ... Mr Scheuer claims there was legal
oversight in every renditioning case and yet he admitted suspects were
tortured. ... Just how many suspects have been subjected to renditioning
is unclear.
2005 _Democracy Now!_ (radio transcript) 17 Feb., It expanded
exponentially, so that there are now thought to have been anywhere between
100 and many more such individuals who’ve been 'renditioned,' as they call
2005 _ABC News Online_ (Australia) 18 Mar., Mr Goss' defence of the policy
of renditioning follows criticisms the US has faced for allegedly
"outsourcing" torture to nations with questionable human rights records.

--Ben Zimmer

More information about the Ads-l mailing list