Marc A. Thiessen served in the Bush administration as chief speechwriter to the president and to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
His book, Courting Disaster (How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack), published Jan 2010, revealed how enhanced interrogation techniques (including waterboarding) saved us from numerous would-be terrorist attacks, and provided evidence to prove the tactics used by the CIA were effective, lawful and morally just.
In his latest Washington Post oped, Thiessen challenges Obama to apologize to the honorable interrogators who kept us safe:
U.S officials have acknowledged that the key piece of intelligence that led the CIA to bin Laden — information on the al-Qaeda leader’s principal courier — came from detainees in CIA custody. .
On his second day in office, Obama shut down the CIA’s high-value interrogation program. His Justice Department then reopened criminal investigations into the conduct of CIA interrogators — inquiries that had been closed years before by career prosecutors who concluded that there were no crimes to prosecute. In a speech at the National Archives, Obama eviscerated the men and women of the CIA, accusing them of “torture” and declaring that their work “did not advance our war and counterterrorism efforts — they undermined them.”
Now, it turns out that the very CIA interrogators whose lives Obama turned upside down played a critical role in what the president rightly calls “the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.”
It is time for a public apology.
U.S officials have acknowledged that the key piece of intelligence that led the CIA to bin Laden — information on the al-Qaeda leader’s principal courier — came from detainees in CIA custody.
Thanks to President Obama, this program, which helped lead us to bin Laden, is no longer part of America’s counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, outside of the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, there have been no reported U.S. detentions of high-value terrorists since Obama took office. Earlier this year, Umar Patek, the highest-ranking terrorist captured alive at this point in the Obama administration, was taken into custody by Pakistani authorities. Patek had traveled from Southeast Asia to Abbottabad — the same place where bin Laden was hiding. Coincidence? What was Patek doing in Abbottabad? With whom did he meet and what did they discuss? He should be in CIA custody answering such questions.
The time has come for Obama to restore the CIA interrogation program that made bin Laden’s demise possible — and to instruct Eric Holder to end his witch hunt against the heroes who helped lead us to bin Laden’s lair. That is the least Obama can do for the men and women responsible for the crowning achievement of his presidency. They don’t deserve a special prosecutor, Mr. President. They deserve the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Maybe, tomorrow after Obama spikes the ball at Ground Zero, he’ll have a few gracious words to say about George Bush’s role in all this, and he’ll have a few words of appreciation for the CIA interrogator’s hard work.
But then again, if Jay Carney’s answers at Wednesday’s press conference are any indication, the administration is gonna stand by its standard Dem-Socialist operating procedure, making sure no damn Republican gets any credit what-so-ever.
It’s all about “the messaging”, people:
Jay Carney in his press conference is claiming that no single piece of information was critical, and futhermore “we can never know” where information came from — to avoid admitting the information came from waterboarding.
This last point is particularly a lie. It’s not that “we can never know” — it’s that “they will never tell.”
That’s an entirely different matter. Obama simply refuses to acknowledge what his CIA head confirms, because his political position is wrong.
I doubt the CIA will be hearing any apology from Obama….