Imagine this: You’re a homeowner, and you see some guy walking down your driveway at six in the morning. Who is he? You have no idea, but he might just be out to steal everything you own. What should you do? Well, if you are the United States Government, you would shoot first and ask questions later – then you would find out that you just murdered the paperboy. Such paranoia grips our country today that the government now has extraordinary powers to curtail the civil liberties of citizens, residents, and even foreigners in their own countries. Now America can just snatch anybody we want, and make them disappear for a couple of years. According to America’s new foreign policy, anybody even suspected of terrorism and living overseas (including foreign citizens) can be extradited, not to American soil to face a fair trial, but instead flown overseas to countries that actively practice torture. Such human rights abuses are even more flagrant than those which occur in secret at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for they are sanctioned and encouraged by the governments. How can we endorse and promote such a practice? The office of Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, says we do this in order to save the American people the trouble and financial expense caused by incarcerating and convicting them under our laws on our own soil. Extraordinary rendition, the euphemism the government uses to disguise this practice of outright torture, is supposed to be more efficient with our legal system. However, it is merely a thin veil placed on murder by proxy. Just as ordinary Americans are forbidden to hire a hit man to off somebody for them, so should the government be banned from using other nations’ disregard for human rights and the Third Geneva Convention to deal with our terrorist problem. This torture by proxy parallels illegal contract murder, and to permit it is sheer hypocrisy. If the CIA can just make people living in foreign countries disappear, what it to stop them from taking people away domestically and shipping them off to camps for indefinite periods of time? If we do not challenge such a blatantly unjust and rather terrifying policy now, will we really be able to draw the line in the future? Condoning these clandestine raids, which often occur based solely on unverified intelligence, will lead to the dissolution of some degree of personal safety in the United States. The single thing that makes me most proud to be an American is that I can walk down the street and say anything I want without reprisal. Living under the fear of arrest and torture is not pleasant, and such a lifestyle directly contradicts our most sacred tenets. These CIA prisons undermine all that America should be proud to be known for: freedom and liberty. President Bush and many other prominent Republican leaders go on TV and talk about fighting a “barbaric” opponent in the War on Terror. This is a war which we cannot win by lowering ourselves to torture, and worse, having other nations secretly torture foreign nationals while we present a clean, happy, democratic face to the world. Instead, we must practice the same values we preach. When we torture by proxy, snatching people from their homes and families, we dishonor the very values this country was founded upon. Torture and the suspension of habeas corpus are prohibited for a reason, and the use of underhanded means to circumvent this prohibition is just plain low.