This is an amazing nine minutes of video, with most of the fireworks coming in the second half. Marc Thiessen rips Christiane Amanpour for falsely reporting that the CIA use of waterboarding was the same as the Khmer Rouge technique for submerging people in boxes of water — and when he does, her other guest, Phillipe Sands, accuses Thiessen of cowardice. Sands also engages in a bit of intellectual cowardice himself by saying “some” would accuse Thiessen of complicity in torture by writing about it, while hastening to assure everyone that Sands himself would never dream of such as suggestion. It’s a tour de force of stupid on the part of CNN, and Amanpour makes it worse when she continues to talk over Thiessen rather than let him make his point:
It calms down a little in the second half, but Thiessen takes control of the debate rather well. And the last question Thiessen gets to ask is simply a game-over moment. “Which of these attacks would you prefer we hadn’t stopped?” Sands says it’s a fallacy, but the fact remains that those interrogations stopped those attacks — and without them, we would have been blind to the plots.
Don’t miss the part where Amanpour wonders why we don’t just arrest terrorists and stick them in prison “until the end of the war,” either. The Bush administration did do that — in Guantanamo Bay. Obama wants to let most of them go, and Amanpour has certainly been one of the cheerleaders of that effort, too.
As for the Geneva Convention, Marc has it exactly correct, but the effort by Amanpour and the most of the media in desperately demanding that the US apply those standards to terrorists and unlawful combatants has made it much more likely that we’ll simply kill terrorists rather than capture them and get that kind of critical information. That may feel more satisfying, but it leaves us unable to connect the dots.
Be sure to read Marc’s book, Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack. RedState and Human Events has more.