Here's your daily reminder that Marc Thiessen is basically wrong about everything and has a near-erotic attachment to the thought of people getting tortured. This morning, Thiessen went on "Morning Joe" where, freed from having to talk to Lawrence O'Donnell, he just straight-up demonstrated a lack of understanding of current events.
Spencer Ackerman has a succinct summary of the blow-by-blow in the Washington Independent:
His first point is that President Obama is endangering the country because the Pakistanis aren't getting intelligence from captured Taliban deputy commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. What he doesn't mention is that intelligence from Baradar, reportedly, directly led to the capture of Mulvi Kabir, one of the ten most wanted Taliban leaders. This was reported yesterday and Thiessen just ignores it.
Then he avers that Obama's rejection of torture has cost U.S. interrogators "any tools at our disposal" to "compel" information out of terrorist captures. Except that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be bomber of Northwest Flight 253, is cooperating with his interrogators after they used pressure from his family to compel that cooperation. Also, the elite interrogators of the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group will surely be surprised to hear they have no available tools for interrogating a resistant detainee. Then he says that torture stopped an attempted attack on the Los Angeles library tower, a misstatement that has been so thoroughly debunked it raises questions about Thiessen's honesty.
I've little else to add to this, other than to say that the whole set-up to this segment is just so insulting to viewers that it's difficult to stomach. Scarborough references Thiessen's battle with O'Donnell as a ratings-garnering "trainwreck" that he "loves," and sets up this segment as some stupid, entirely trivial battle, complete with boxing bells. I share Ackerman's irritation with the way Scarborough belittlingly refers to Ali Soufan as "a guy who writes an awful lot." Thiessen is a guy who writes an awful lot. By contrast, Ali Soufan has had hands-on experience keeping America safe. The fact that "Morning Joe" gets all of this backwards, privileging the trivial over the serious, is just a miserable thing to watch.
What an effing joke. Even putting aside any critical concerns over Thiessen's scholarship or accuracy, it's a conversation about terrorism and national security. It's sort of hard to accept that it's a matter of serious import when the news treats it as if it were "The Marriage Ref."
Marc Thiessen Truly Has No Idea What He's Talking About on Interrogation [The Washington Independent]