In extradition, sometimes also called "rendition", a foreign government has to submit a formal extradition request, which the captive has an opportunity to challenge, in the justice system. Extradition requests can be turned down, by the judicial branch, even if the executive branch is in favor of the foreign nation's request. The judicial branch can dismiss an extradition request if the charges the foreign government has leveled against the captive are not crimes in the USA. The judicial branch can dismiss an extradition request if the captive has a reasonable fear of facing cruel and unusual punishment if he or she was extradited, or if they had a reasonable fear they would not face a fair trial.
Captives who face extraordinary rendition don't have an opportunity to challenge the justification for their transfer.
Human rights critics have expressed the concern that the USA initiates extraordinary rendition, and requests nations where the use of torture is routine to subject selected important captives to torture or other interrogation techniques prohibited by US law. United States President George W. Bush has asserted that the US Government does not send captives to countries where they will be tortured:
"However, I can tell you two things: one, that we abide by the law of the United States; we do not torture. And two, we will try to do everything we can to protect us within the law. We're facing an enemy that would like to hit America again, and the American people expect us to, within our laws, do everything we can to protect them. And that's exactly what the United States is doing. We do not render to countries that torture. That has been our policy, and that policy will remain the same."
- Greg Sampson. Bush denies US rendition for torture but Rice acknowledges 'mistakes', The Jurist, Tuesday, December 6, 2005. Retrieved on 2008-04-15.
- George W. Bush. President Meets with World Health Organization Director-General, The White House, December 6 2005. Retrieved on 2008-04-15.