Thursday, May 12, 2011

Marc Thiessen is at it again

This century's foremost torture apologist has once again taken to the stage in order to rehabilitate his former employer:
The evidence that CIA interrogations played a key role in the operation that got Osama bin Laden is overwhelming. Countless intelligence officials, including CIA Director Leon Panetta, have confirmed that detainees interrogated by the CIA provided information that helped lead us to bin Laden. But the CIA deniers continue to insist it is all a “big lie.” Despite this testimony, and the mountains of documents declassified by the Obama administration in 2009, they contend that CIA interrogations did not work.

No, Marc....people aren't denying that information that was eventually corroborated and developed wasn't in part due to CIA interrogations.......they are stating that it didn't come from enhanced interrogations torture. The overwhelming evidence points to exactly that.

I would love to see Marc go point by point with Steven Leinman:
I would submit that in normal times, Mr. Thiessen's column would have offered an interesting albeit primarily subjective perspective on the issue of interrogation doctrine. In the current context surrounding the finding, fixing and finishing of Osama bin Laden, it instead co-opts a critical discussion with partisan rhetoric, and does so insidiously by conflating disparate facts to fit an unsubstantiated position.

While Mr. Thiessen is correct regarding President Obama's action to end the CIA's interrogation program, he failed to disclose that the president concomitantly established the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG), which brought together and re-focused the personnel and resources of several agencies within the U.S. Intelligence Community, including the FBI, CIA and Department of Defense. Not only was this a prudent move to instill much-needed discipline into an interrogation effort that had fallen into entropy, it also took the bold - if long overdue - step of creating a robust research capability that has already begun to provide policy makers and operators alike with an unprecedented, evidence-based understanding of the complex dynamic that is interrogation. Through this synergy of science and objective field research, the type of anecdotal arguments Mr. Thiessen offers will be quickly dismissed in light of a more meaningful understanding of the craft's complexities.

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