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extraordinary rendition

American English

Meaning: illegal abduction, transport, imprisonment and torture of suspects in secret locations

For example:

  • The US military carried out "extraordinary rendition" in other countries to avoid charges of torture under US law.

  • Many ISIS members say they were tortured during "extraordinary rendition" when they were younger.

Note: This example of doublespeak was created by the U.S. government to describe an illegal program of abduction, transport, imprisonment and torture of terrorism suspects by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the U.S. Armed Forces. Suspects were held and tortured in secret locations outside the USA to avoid US laws that prohibit torture. The program began soon after the 9/11 attacks on the USA, and it is now known that most of the people abducted and tortured had no ties to the 9/11 attacks or any terrorist groups. Later, however, many claim to have joined ISIS and other terrorist groups as a direct result of the torture and inhumane treatment they'd suffered during "extraordinary rendition".

Variety: This is typically used in American English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz:

"Extraordinary rendition" allowed the US military to avoid

a. being tortured by terrorists

b. torturing innocent suspects

c. torture charges under US law

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Contributor: Matt Errey