Sunday, February 01, 2009

Someone Tell Reese Witherspoon


Who could forget the brave stand that Hollywood took against the evil Bush administration? It seemed like every few weeks yet another movie came out, speaking truth to power about the evil Bushies. It must have mattered a lot to Hollywood, because pretty much all of these movies were box office bombs. But they kept coming.


One of the more famous examples of this genre was Rendition, a 2007 film that shows an Egyptian national, who has the good fortune to be married to Reese Witherspoon, that ends up being suspected of involvment in an overseas terrorist attack. He ends up getting whisked away to the country where the attack took place and is turned over the locals for some tender mercies, including torture. This causes Reese Witherspoon to raise hell. I guess Jake Gyllenhall is involved somehow, too, but I can't independently confirm that because no one actually saw the movie.


As everyone in Hollywood wanted you to know, the Bush administration used rendition as part of their nefarious bag of tricks. This is one of many reasons that the brave souls of Hollywood banded together to support the candidacy of Barack Obama, who would put a stop to such things. Or not.


So why is Obama going to continue using rendition as part of his administration's approach to fighting terrorists? Because it works.


"Obviously you need to preserve some tools -- you still have to go after the bad guys," said an Obama administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity when discussing the legal reasoning. "The legal advisors working on this looked at rendition. It is controversial in some circles and kicked up a big storm in Europe. But if done within certain parameters, it is an acceptable practice."

So, what do you think the chances are that Hollywood will be producing Rendition II -- Obama Style? I thought so.

10 comments:

my name is Amanda said...

I see your point about nobody making a "Rendition II" - probably not. But Hollywood is notorious for being majority Liberal/Democrat, no matter who's in office. True about all those movies tanking - for my part I didn't feel the need to "be entertained" by depressing issues that were already demanding my attention in the daily news.

Mark Heuring said...

Yep, Amanda. But here's the unresolved question – why would rendition be bad two weeks ago and not now? It's the same thing with FEMA not getting to Kentucky to help the people who have been without power for a week now, vis-à-vis Katrina. It's hard to understand why the lack of response is understandable now, when it wasn't four years ago. Must be that nuance thing we hear so much about. ;)

Gino said...

but Bush was renditioning mostly innocent people married to women like reese witherspoon.

obama is only going to rendition the bad guys.

Mark Heuring said...

obama is only going to rendition the bad guys.

He's renditioning Daschle? I hadn't heard that.

Leo Pusateri said...

It's only bad if the conservatives do it. The liberals do it more gently, and they have good intentions.

Night Writer said...

What if they're renditioning them to other countries and making them live in FEMA trailers? Now that would be cruel.

Anonymous said...

Mark,
you aren't seriously comparing the extraordinary rendition practiced by the Bush WH with what the Obama administration has proposed. Are you? If so, your ODS has gotten the better of you. The first type of rendition involves detaining people who are believed to be a serious threat to teh public without charge for a reasonable period of time, while still allowing them a measure of legal recourse, and promising to maintain standard human rights throughout the process. Extraordinary renditions are quite another matter, and I think you know that. They have involved seizing people believed to be dangerous, and sending them to countries that are noted for their disdain for human rights and capacity for torture. The standard rendition of an innocent man is, I am sure, not a pleasant thing. But it pales in comparison to being, oh...a COMPLETELY innocent Canadian citizen and Dentist with a wife and three kids and a medical practice, who when flying home from a dental conference in the US, suddenly finds himself in a cell somewhere in Syria getting his testicles jump started for a few months. It's a little hard to walk something like that back.

While I realize this is so last week, go back and read the LA Times article closely. I have reasonable confidence that under Obama, we will make a good faith effort to ascertain that we aren't rendering people to jurisdictions that practice torture. This is a tougher standard than not rendering people to countries with known mass abuse. I hope we have the integrity to make more than a cursory effort to determine the probability of abuse. And if we do find that Obama is practicing the extraordinary form, I will scream as loaud as I can about it.

Regards,
Rich

Mark Heuring said...

Rich,

Watch and see. I'm certain we'll be revisiting this issue.

And I don't think it's ODS to point out the hypocrisy involved in Hollywood, which is the point of this post.

Best,
Mark

Anonymous said...

Mark,
pointing out the hypocrisy of many in Hollywood is akin to shooting fish in a barrel. Although as a liberal, I have to admit that I do get a huge kick out of watching conservatives constantly slamming liberal Hollywood, and practically wetting their collective pants over every conservative they can find out there. And yes, your article was about the hypocrisy of many in Hollywood, but it was predicated on a very misleading point; that the renditions practiced by Bush I, Clinton, and now being left on the table by Obama are the same as the extraordinary renditions practiced by the Bush II administration. They are not, and I felt that it needed to be addressed. And for the record, I haven't watched any of those insipid movies either.

Regards,
Rich

Mark Heuring said...

Rich,

My barrel. My fish. :)

And again, I am telling you this -- the Obama administration, if it is worth anything (a questionable proposition at the moment) will do what is necessary to protect the citizenry. And that might very well mean an extraordinary rendition will take place on his watch. Especially if we see another terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

Watch and see. I promise I won't give Obama any crap about it if he does. But I'll definitely give Reese Witherspoon crap about it.

Best,
Mark