Diane Rehm as Propagandist ~ Torture Keeps Us Safe!
Today the DRS hosted BushCo operative Marc Thiessen who has taken it upon himself (who knows who is pulling the actual strings on the campaign) to justify the effectiveness of torture as a means of obtaining "intelligence" in the "war on terror." Here is an Op-Ed that Thiessen wrote for The Washington Post last week. (What are the editorial folks at The Post thinking?) His views have been taken up more or less thoughtlessly by other media outlets like The New York Times and MSNBC. Thiessen's claim is simple - torture policies extracted intelligence that helped us preempt a whole set of terrorist attacks in the U.S. and elsewhere.
The problem, of course, is that Thiessen is a bullshitter and a liar - a lethal combination that allows him to both subvert the truth to support his "argument"and ignore it totally when it suits him. His claims are based on a set of alleged "facts" wrapped in tendentious interpretations of those dubious "facts." What he is peddling is pure fantasy. For the grounds of my charges look here for an analysis that links to various U.S. government studies that controvert Thiessen's claims. (The producers at the DRS ought to have had a look before inviting this guy on the show!) That Thiessen simply is trying to vindicate the Bush administration - in other words that he is conducting a political campaign pure and simple - is transparent from this Op-Ed at The Wall Street Journal.
Once again, the DRS had a three person panel - one journalist whose professional norms disable him in a confrontation with a hack like Thiessen, the second a representative of a non-partisan human rights outfit. That allowed Thiessen to be aggressive, insulting, and duplicitously partisan in ways that the other guests simply would not. This pattern is typical of the DRS. I've called it to their attention repeatedly. That the producers persist in arranging such skewed shows makes them complicit.