This morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” I watched a war of words between former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen and Lawrence O’Donnell. O’Donnell won.
In the course of arguing that Obama, by ending torture, has dismantled the most successful interrogation system in the history of the world, Thiessen made an interesting assertion:
“You gotta think back to the period after 9/11. We didn’t even know who hit us. We didn’t know that Khalid Sheik Mohammad was the mastermind of 9/11 or the operational commander of Al Qaeda. And then we started rounding up these terrorists…”
Lawrence O’Donnell heatedly disputed this assertion, pointing out that the Bush administration had been warned before 9/11 that a Bin Laden attack might be coming:
“Isn’t it true that the President you worked for invited the first attack by having no idea what was going on with Al Qaeda?…You just said, `We didn’t know who hit us.’ You were told who was going to hit you before 9/11. And your administration invited the first attack, for which you should live in shame.”
Oh, and torture never produced any actionable intelligence about al-Qaeda. Thiessen lied about that. The Bush Administration never publicly documented a single case in which torture produced intelligence that saved a single life.
UPDATE: Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) wants the U.S. government to punish the perpetrators of torture and detainee abuse… in Iran.