Posts Tagged ‘Marc Thiessen’
April 14th, 2010 at 5:21 pm
Marc Thiessen Wordboards Jane Mayer
Posted by Print

Usually, reading an author complain about a review of his book is a largely unappealing exercise.  But Marc Thiessen, former speechwriter for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and President George W. Bush and current columnist for The Washington Post, has penned a classic against lefty Jane Mayer’s review in The New Yorker of his book “Courting Disaster:  How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack.”

You don’t have to read the book, you don’t have to read the review to joy at a master technician take apart an ideologue, word by biased word.

Read it here.

January 21st, 2010 at 12:06 pm
Water Boarding vs. Water Torture

It’s not often that a member of the MSM like CNN’s Christiane Amanpour gets told on her own show that she lied to her viewers.  During an appearance by former George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen, Amanpour was confronted with remarks she made comparing water torture techniques used by the Khmer Rouge to the CIA’s use of water boarding.  Thiessen – like the Bush Administration, CIA, and legal scholars like John Yoo – distinguished the two on the following criteria.

First, of all the people submitted to water torture (submerged into a bucket of water while handcuffed to the sides) in S-21 by the Khmer Rouge, only seven people survived, while 14,000 died.  No one died as a result of CIA water boarding (simulated drowning).  Second, the point of water torture is to eventually kill the victim.  By contrast, the point of water boarding is to create a psychological state so panic-ridden that people will think they are about to die.  But at no time are subjects actually at risk of death.  That doesn’t mean it’s a comfortable experience.  It does, however, mean that equating tactics designed to kill with those intended to break a person’s will is a dangerously misleading formula.

Along with John Yoo’s gentle smackdown of Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, the Thiessen interview is another indication that the MSM can’t be bothered to get informed about the distinctions that save lives and reputations.

H/T: Human Events

December 29th, 2009 at 2:51 pm
Spare the Waterboard, Use the Bomb

Many anti-war Leftists like to taunt military planners with the Vietnam-era missive that it is sometimes “necessary to destroy the town to save it.” Coupling his distaste for enhanced interrogation techniques with the necessity to neutralize terrorists when possible, President Barack Obama seems to be applying that logic to the lives of individual terrorist leaders. In Pakistan, Afghanistan, and now Yemen, Obama is giving the lie to the notion that his approach to terrorists is more humane than his predecessor’s. As Marc Thiessen explains in today’s Washington Post:

President Obama has shut down the CIA interrogation program that helped stop a series of planned attacks — and in the year since he took office, not one high-value terrorist has been interrogated by the CIA.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has escalated the targeted killing of high-value terrorists. There may be times when killing a terrorist leader is the best option (for example, his location might be too remote to reach with anything but an unmanned drone). But President Obama has decided capturing senior terrorist leaders alive and interrogating them — with enhanced techniques if necessary — is not worth the trouble.”

In fact, Obama has been ordering drone assassinations of terrorist leaders since his first week in office. Unlike the Bush Administration’s model of capture, detain, and interrogate, Obama and his team are opting for the ultimate end-run around Attorney General Eric Holder’s epiphany to treat Guantanamo Bay detainees like American citizens: kill them before they’re contacted. If enemy combatants are really more like common criminals worthy of civilian trials, are common criminals now able to be killed by law enforcement prior to being contacted? Why hassle about the vagaries of Miranda rights when a cop can just shoot the bad guy on the street?

As Thiessen rightly notes, there may be situations where such attacks are warranted.  But killing people so you don’t have to feel queasy about dealing with their continued existence is not an elegant solution to a vexing moral problem. Then again, this isn’t the first time President Obama has applied such reasoning.

Besides these troubling inconsistencies, there is usually collateral damage in the form of neighbors and passers-by that get killed in the fallout. These are the fruits of an enlightened presidency? How provocative it is to think that terrorist leaders had it better under George W. Bush than Barack Obama. At least under the former they weren’t guaranteed a death sentence.