New Publication: What’s So Extraordinary About Rendition?

I am delighted to announce that my latest academic article, ‘What’s So Extraordinary About Rendition? has just been published in the International Journal of Human Rights. I encourage you all to have a look at it and let me have your thoughts.

For those with access to it, you can find it at:

What’s so extraordinary about rendition?
The International Journal of Human Rights
Volume 15, Issue 4, 2011, Pages 589 – 604
Author: James D. Boysa
DOI: 10.1080/13642987.2011.561989
It can be accessed HERE


The election of Barack Obama was believed to herald a profound change in direction for US foreign policy, following eight years of pre-emption, neo-conservatism and extraordinary rendition under George W. Bush. However, this has not occurred to the degree that many expected. Instead the Obama White House continues to refer to the controversial policy of rendition as ‘appropriate’. This article will consider the rendition programme and its evolution to discern the degree to which the Bush administration was continuing policies inherited from President Clinton. This article will reveal the extent to which rendition was developed under the Clinton administration and the degree to which it evolved into extraordinary rendition in the years prior to the George W. Bush presidency. The article will reveal the extent to which the Clinton White House was waging a war on al Qaeda, using rendition to destroy the organisation, ‘brick by brick’. The article will finally consider the extent to which Obama has repudiated the Bush Doctrine and chartered a new course for US foreign policy.

Mubarak and the Ghost of Pinochet

Today’s news stories regarding the detention of former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak should remind readers of a similar event that transpired over a decade ago with regard to another former repressive leader. Then as now, the individual in question had ruled a nation for several decades, had a military background, and ruled with the full support of his nation’s military establishment, and importantly, with the full support and backing of the CIA. Then, as now the individual in question rose to power following an assassination and ruled with absolute power, imposing harsh penalties on his political opponents and being viewed with disdain by many in the international community, despite their having to do business with him due to the natural resources available in his country.

Both leaders would fall from power and be faced with the prospect of inquiries into their term in office. Then, as now, however, such inquiries are unlikely to materialise due to their past connections with the CIA, which will not permit such dealings to face the light of day.

The other leader I am referring, to is General Augusto Pinochet of Chile, whose term in office and fall from grace mirrors that of Hosni Mubarak. So to, it seems, do both leaders apparent collapse in health in the face of judicial investigation (dementia in the case of Pinochet, heart attacks in the case of Mubarak).

With the involvement of the CIA in Chile and Egypt, a pragmatic, realist interpretation suggests that as with Pinochet, Mubarak will never be allowed to see the inside of an Egyptian court for fear of what may be revealed. In the case of Pinochet fears focused on the assassination of Rene Schneider by the forces of the United Sates and CIA support for Pinochet as a bastion of anti-Communism in South American during the Cold War. In Egypt, the fear revolved around support for Mubarak’s regime, its handing of dissidents, allegations of torture and the Egyptian role in the Rendition policies of recent years.

Now, as in the case of Pinochet, it is almost certain that a former client of the CIA will escape ‘justice’ at the hands of his countrymen, predicated on ill-health, and be able to live out the short time he has left in relative isolation. The degree to which this is any sort of justice, I leave to you to decide.