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Former senior Bush administration official Marc Thiessen has been a machine over the last couple of years when it comes to setting the record straight on CIA interrogation tactics and how the “EIT”s (Enhanced Interrogation Tactics) like waterboarding, for example, actually did stop terrorist attacks and saved lives. Fortunately for us, he’s still at it this year, both with a new book on the issue and hitting the media circuit to talk about both it and the misinformation being spread by revenge-minded Democrats and their cohorts in MSM about what did and did not happen.
Such was the case with CNN’s chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour, who Thiessen squared off with yesterday on the issue of waterboarding and her bizarre “reports” comparing it to Khmer Rouge. During the segment, he directly confronted her about some of her reporting, and the exchange was priceless. Human Events provides a summary (via Memeo):
Sparks flew on CNN’s Amanpour, when conservative author Marc Thiessen directly challenged the CNN’s chief international correspondent with evidence that she had misled her viewers about the CIA’s waterboarding techniques. A stunned Amanpour was left momentarily speechless as Thiessen pulled out a transcript from a 2008 CNN broadcast from the Khmer Rouge prison S-21, where Amanpour had stood before a picture of Khmer Rouge torturers drowning an innocent Cambodian in a vat of water, and declared that the CIA had done the same thing to terrorists in its custody.
Thiessen told Amanpour, “There have been so many so misstatements told about the enhanced interrogation techniques, comparing them to the Spanish Inquisition and the Khmer Rouge, and I have to tell you Christiane, you are one of the people who have spread these mistruths.”
An incredulous Amanpour replied, “Excuse me?”
Thiessen pulled out a transcript of her story from her visit to S-21, and said “Let me read to you what you said.” He then quoted Amanpour’s report:
“I stared blankly at another of Van Nath’s paintings. This time a prisoner is submerged in a life-size box full of water, handcuffed to the side so he cannot escape or raise his head to breathe. His interrogators, arrayed around him, are demanding information. I asked Van Nath whether he had heard this was once used on America’s terrorist suspected. He nodded his head. ‘It’s not right.”
Thiessen told Amanpour, “That is completely false.” Amanpour asked, “That’s false?” Thiessen told her, “We did not submerge people in a box of water.” Amanpour replied, “Excuse me a second, that is called waterboarding.” “No it’s not,” Thiessen replied. Amanpour tried to turn to the other guest, left-wing author Philippe Sands, but Thiessen pressed his point: “Christiane you are absolutely wrong. 14,000 people killed in S-21. Seven survivors …” But Amanpour cut him off, “Excuse me, you are trying to obfuscate the debate. That prison was full of images of water torture.” Thiessen responded, “Which is nothing like what the CIA did. Do you have any evidence …” Amanpour cut him again off to go Sands, after which Amanpour tried to change the subject.
Read the whole thing, and watch part one of the segment below:
Part 2 is here.
If more Bush administration officials had been out on the beat, tangling with the MSM in order to set the record straight while Bush was still President, it’s quite possible President Obama would not have been able to get away with his slow but steady systematic dismantling of our intelligence agencies as we know them, specifically, their ability to aggressively interrogate suspected terrorists and their associates in order to snag information that might prevent another terror attack either here at home and/or abroad.
Ed Driscoll noticed something else while watching the exchange between Thiessen and Amanpour: CNN’s circular logic on the issue of “torture”:
Also note the mobius loop of CNN “logic” at work here. The network has always been eager to prop up regimes that specialized in real torture and lots of it, such as both Saddam Hussein (as Eason Jordan, former CNN chief news executive later acknowledged) and Fidel Castro, whom Jordan once credited for inspiring spin-off channel CNN International. But in an effort to bring down President Bush, inhanced interregation against terrorists was made to resemble the methods used by terror regimes…that CNN supports.
Whatever it takes to get a story, right? Propping up brutal governments while grossly distorting the facts – in an effort to make us out to be the bad guys – about what our government did and did not authorize intelligence agents to do in order to prevent another terrorist attack is obviously the CNN way.
Interestingly enough, this all ties into the Scott Brown victory from this past Tuesday. While healthcare “reform” has been the reason many have given for his miracle win, his campaign’s internal polling suggests another key issue was at play, too:
It was health care that nationalized the special election for what we now know is the people’s Senate seat. But it was national security that put real distance between Scott Brown and Martha Coakley. “People talk about the potency of the health-care issue,” Brown’s top strategist, Eric Fehrnstrom, told National Review’s Robert Costa, “but from our own internal polling, the more potent issue here in Massachusetts was terrorism and the treatment of enemy combatants.”
As they say, “it’s the economy, stupid” but it’s also about national security, too. I’m happy to see that even the blue state of “Massachusettes” get it, and I’m glad to know that there are people out there like Thiessen who are unafraid and unashamed to speak their minds, and who won’t think twice about countering and correcting the misinformation and outright (deliberate?) distortion that is being spread by liberals and the MSM about the Bush counterterrorism record.