Jane Mayer Takes Down Marc Thiessen
In case you haven’t seen it, make sure to check out Jane Mayer’s demolition of Marc Thiessen’s book-length apologia for torture, “Courting Disaster.” As her review demonstrates, it’s much easier to defend torture when you distort nearly everything.
UPDATE: This, I think, is the money quote:
The publication of “Courting Disaster” suggests that Obama’s avowed determination “to look forward, not back” has laid the recent past open to partisan reinterpretation. By holding no one accountable for past abuse, and by convening no commission on what did and didn’t protect the country, President Obama has left the telling of this dark chapter in American history to those who most want to whitewash it.
I have always been skeptical of claims that trials are well-suited to creating enduring historical narratives. But it is clearly the case that convictions can help prevent certain narratives from becoming accepted. The conviction of even one CIA torturer or a member of the Torture Team for waterboarding would effectively end the ability of people like Thiessen and Stuart Taylor to sell their claim — both historically revisionist and legally wrong — that waterboarding is something other than torture.