March 16,2005- The President Tortures the Facts on Rendition at White House Briefing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) made the following statement in response to President Bush’s remarks at a White House press briefing today.

"I am disturbed that even today President Bush continued to defend the practice of ‘outsourcing torture’ by rendering prisoners to countries known to commit human rights abuses. The President’s endorsement of torture by proxy is out of the mainstream. Just today, 420 members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, voted for my amendment to prohibit the use of funds in the supplemental appropriations bill to violate America's legal obligations under the Convention Against Torture. Rendition is not just about returning prisoners to their home country of origin; in practice, renditions have all too often involved sending prisoners to countries that have a history of abusing torture."

"President Bush maintains that we are in full compliance with the Convention Against Torture. This compliance is said to be guaranteed by the dubious practice of asking countries known to torture prisoners for “promises” that they will not torture our prisoners. These so-called “diplomatic assurances” from countries like Syria or Uzbekistan then provide the cover for sending a suspect to that country to undergo interrogation. U.S. foreign policy on such a critical issue cannot be anchored on the “promises” of promise breakers like Syria and Uzbekistan.”

Check out the attached FACT CHECK on President Bush’s response to press questions on the
rendition of prisoners.

FACT CHECK- White House Fact vs. Fiction iss_human_rights_rep050316.pdf iss_human_rights_rep050316.pdf (24.05 KB)

March 16, 2005
 CONTACT: Tara McGuinness