Leads to convictions (in absentia) for some CIA agents:
Italy's highest criminal court on Wednesday upheld the convictions of 23 Americans found guilty of kidnapping a Muslim cleric from a Milanese street and transferring him to a country where torture was permitted. The court of cassation's ruling is the final appeal in the world's first judicial review of the CIA practice of abducting terror suspects and transferring them to third countries, a practice also known as extraordinary rendition.
… Some agents decried being made into international fugitives for following orders from more senior CIA and state department officials in Washington, who called for the extradition while an anti-terror investigation in Italy was underway.
Extraordinary renditions… not a good way to travel. If a person is guilty of a crime, then arrest him and bring forth the evidence to jurors so they can weigh it. Whisking people away without due process is detrimental to thee AND me.
Note the agents' lament. Should following orders absolve a person from his actions? This can lead to what Edward S. Herman dubbed "normalizing the unthinkable", a process whereby "ugly, degrading, murderous, and unspeakable acts become routine and are accepted as 'the way things are done.'" Let's hope that kidnapping never becomes the new normal. It’s a terrifying thought.
Note: Please revisit Georg Thomas’ excellent post, Abstumpfung, written in January. Civilization must resist “the gradual blunting of people's ability to perceive and respect the human dignity of the victims of choice.”