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‘For Transporting Us Beyond Seas’: The Extraordinary Doctrine Of ‘Extraordinary Rendition’
By Milton Hirsch
Fourth Amendment Forum columns.
“To prove this,” wrote Thomas Jefferson, “let facts be submitted to a candid world.” The “this” that he set out to prove was the tyranny of George III, and the dire necessity of independence — even if by means of revolution — for the American colonies.
The American colonials had been forbearing, claimed Jefferson. They had been patient. They had been “more disposed to suffer, while evils [we]re sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they [we]re accustomed.” But the king’s latest usurpations were not to be borne: He had imposed upon his American colonists laws “for transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses.”
“Transportation beyond seas” was known to the common law, but only as a punishment for those duly tried and convicted. What Jefferson complained of was something very different. A man not yet convicted, not yet tried, perhaps not yet formally charged, might, if he were one of George III’s American subjects, be transported. Whether,
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