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Britain to deport suspected terrorist Abu Qatada

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The concerns bring to mind the hubbub over former President George W. Bush's "extraordinary rendition" policy of transferring suspected terrorists to countries that don't have the robust legal protections of the US and Europe.

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During the course of Mr. Bush's presidency, Canadian citizen Maher Arar became the poster child for all that was wrong with rendition after he was detained at New York's JFK Airport in 2002 and later sent to Syria where he was allegedly tortured.

In 2006, the Monitor wrote a story about why rendition irked Europeans.

Of course, when President Obama made moves to shut down the controversial US detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the Europeans suddenly got cold feet when it came to hosting ex-Gitmo prisioners on their soil.

There was even a movie made in 2007 called Rendition, which dealt with the ethical issues surrounding the policy.

But now, the New York Time reports that President Obama's administration – which has been sharply critical of the Bush administration's war on terror – may continue the practice.

In little-noticed confirmation testimony recently, Obama nominees endorsed continuing the C.I.A.’s program of transferring prisoners to other countries without legal rights, and indefinitely detaining terrorism suspects without trials even if they were arrested far from a war zone.

It will be interesting to see whether Abu Qatada's deportation and Obama's continuation of some of Bush's most controversial anti-terror policies will illicit anything near the level of outrage leveled at Bush during his eight years in office.

With the upcoming release of long-held suspected terrorists from Gitmo, this idea of sending detainees to countries without reliable protections against torture will be tested.

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