THE White House confirmed at the weekend that the CIA will continue to kidnap terror suspects and transfer them to allied countries for interrogation.
US President Barack Obama signed executive orders on January 22 which ban torture and call for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and CIA "black sites" within a year.
But a detailed reading of the orders reveals that "renditions" have not been scrapped.
A provision in one of Mr Obama's orders states that the instructions to close the CIA secret prison sites "do not refer to facilities used only to hold people on a short-term, transitory basis."
The new administration has apparently decided that it needs to retain some weapons in former president George W Bush's "anti-terror" arsenal.
On Sunday, an unnamed Obama administration official said: "Obviously, you need to preserve some tools. You still have to go after the bad guys.
"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," he added.
The practice caused outrage in Europe after it emerged that the CIA had used secret prisons in Romania and Poland and airports such as Prestwick in Scotland to conduct up to 1,200 "rendition" flights.
The European Parliament has branded renditions "an illegal instrument used by the US."
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