Refuted Economic Doctrines #1-5
Friday's Unemployment Number Is Likely to Be Another Grim Signal

Oh Noes!! Somebody Has Written Something Wrong on the Internets!!!!

Path Finder


The Washington Monthly: This morning I read a piece by Darren Hutchinson at Dissenting Justice about rendition, which has been linked by Instapundit and others. It contained the following passage:

Hilzoy also argues that absent torture and indefinite detention, rendition includes practices like extradition. This patently false assertion has floated around the web. Unlike rendition, extradition contains the procedural protections that liberals demanded Bush utilize, but which they now say are unnecessary...

I bookmarked this... since... rendition, as used in the law, does include practices like extradition. FindLaw cites, as one meaning of 'rendition', "extradition of a fugitive who has fled to another state". Article IV, Sec. 2, clause 2 of the Constitution is sometimes referred to as the Interstate Rendition Clause.... A quick Google search revealed a whole bunch of statutes governing rendition, all of which govern the legal extradition of people from one state to another: Delaware, New York, Missouri, New Hampshire, Indiana (pdf), Alaska, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Iowa. I could have looked further, but this seemed like enough....

But lo! even though the copy of the post I had bookmarked this morning contained the passage I quoted above, by this evening that paragraph had changed to the following:

Hilzoy also argues that absent torture and indefinite detention, the CIA's removal of individuals becomes synonymous with extradition. This patently false assertion has floated around the web. Unlike the CIA's version of rendition, extradition contains the procedural protections, like judicial oversight, that liberals demanded Bush utilize, but which they now say are unnecessary....

If I hadn't already copied the bit from the original version, I would have put this down to my bad memory.... The new version of the "patently false assertion" is, in fact, false, as far as I know: to my knowledge, the CIA does not do extraditions. In this it's an advance over the original "patently false assertion", which was true. On the other hand, the claim he attributes to me in the revised version is not one that I actually made... nor have I seen it floating around the web.

When I noted the different kinds of rendition... I was arguing... [that] [n]ot all rendition is extraordinary rendition, and not all extraordinary rendition is "rendition to torture". This matters when you're interpreting the remarks of a person who might be using 'rendition' in its technical sense.... If you assume that 'rendition' just means 'sending someone overseas to be tortured', then you'd wonder how on earth anyone who claimed to be a human rights advocate could possibly say what this HRW person is quoted as saying. But if you recognize that extraordinary rendition covers not just 'rendition to torture', but also, e.g., capturing Eichmann and taking him to Jerusalem to stand trial, then whether you agree with the HRW spokesman or not, what he says is a lot less puzzling. That was what I meant to argue in the passage Prof. Hutchinson seems to be referring to....

Different people seem to have different views about changing posts. (My own view is that I have about five minutes after a post to make changes; after that, no changing anything except spelling mistakes without indicating that I have, absent some incredibly compelling reason.) I thought this one was worth noting, however, since this post got a fair amount of play on the right, and since the change was substantial and not (as far as I can tell) noted in the text. What Prof. Hutchinson originally said was mistaken on the law. What he now says is right on the law, but wrong about the arguments that I and others have made.

I know it's a bit on the "Someone Is Wrong On The Internets!" side; sorry for that.