extraordinary rendition

Extraordinary rendition sounds like a very good production of a play (“We saw an extraordinary rendition of Hamlet at the Globe Theatre!”), but it means capturing someone and hiding him in a secret prison in another country.

The U.S. government did this to a lot of people after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

I don’t know about you, but I find it sort of alarming that shipping people off to shadowy foreign prisons without so much as a phone call home is something my government does so often that they decided to give the practice its own special name. On top of that, the name they chose could not sound less like what it means — a clear sign that they know it’s a crazy/terrifying thing to do, but would prefer not to think about it.

Or would would prefer not to have you think about it.