He forgot to mention Syria

Scott McClellan is surprised to learn about the Bush administration's rendition program.

Published January 18, 2006 9:41PM (EST)

Did somebody say something about hazy memories?

White House press secretary Scott McClellan was asked today about the Bush administration's rendition of detainees to Syria. McClellan said he'd never heard of such a thing. "You've never heard of any allegations like that?" a reporter asked. "No," McClellan said, "I've never heard that one. That's a new one." Told that U.S. renditions to Syria had been "well publicized," McClellan sneered, "What, by bloggers?"

Well, not exactly. As Think Progress points out, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Associated Press and the New Yorker have all written about U.S. renditions to Syria. Moreover, the Justice Department is currently fighting a lawsuit filed on behalf of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen who says U.S. authorities sent him to Syria after taking him into custody at a New York airport.

We're sure McClellan will look into it all and get back to us with a "very thorough report" soon.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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