Marc Thiessen’s Column on Obama “Courting Disaster” by Canceling Interrogations-Authorship Confirmed!
Summary of eRumor:
A column authored by Marc Thiessen, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, argues that President Obama’s decision to cancel advanced interrogation techniques is “courting disaster.”
Marc Thiessen wrote the column on Obama courting disaster to promote his book, “Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama is Inviting the Next Attack.”
The courting disaster column was first published on January 18, 2010, by a blogsite called Power Line that’s operated by a group of conservative lawyers. The column reemerged in mid-2015 in forwarded emails.
Marc Thiessen worked as the chief speechwriter for President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld during the Bush presidency. Today, he’s a political commentator who writes weekly columns for the Washington Post
The Courting Disaster column opens with a reference to Richard Reid, the failed shoe bomber who tried to bring down a flight over Detroit on Christmas Day 2001:
If the plane had exploded and crashed into downtown Detroit, thousands could have perished. Only luck saved us from catastrophe.
We did not see this attack coming. By the Obama administration’s own admission, we know very little about this new terror network or its plans to attack America.
In Courting Disaster, I explain that the reason why we were caught by surprise on Christmas Day — and the reason why we are in growing danger of suffering another terrorist attack — is that Barack Obama has eliminated the most important tool our nation has in the fight against terror: the ability to detain and effectively interrogate senior terrorist leaders.
Marc Thiessen takes issue with Executive Order 13491 – Ensuring Lawful Interrogations, which Obama issued days after he took office in January 2009. The order calls for “effectiveness of human intelligence gathering, to promote the safe, lawful, and humane treatment of individuals in United States custody.”
At the time, Thiessen and other critics warned that Obama was courting disaster by not using what has become known as “advanced interrogation techniques” to get information from captured terrorists.
There have been new developments in the debate about CIA interrogation techniques since Marc Thiessen’s courting disaster book and column were published in 2010.
For one, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a report on CIA detention and interrogation programs in December 2014.
The report made a number of conclusions: enhanced interrogation techniques were not effective in acquiring intelligence, the CIA used inaccurate claims to justify enhanced interrogation and there was little oversight, among other findings.
Still, the report hasn’t changed the debate. Marc Thiessen has called it “partisan and shameful.” He also wrote in the Washington Post that Democrats had lost the torture debate after the report’s release.