Has an empty chair been getting 56.2 percent of the president's intelligence briefings?
In light of the news that fatal attacks on U.S. diplomats in Benghazi, Libya, may well have been pre-planned by al Qaeda operatives, it would behoove the media to scrutinize just how infrequently President Obama sits in on his daily intelligence briefings. As Marc Thiessen noted in an op-ed in Sunday, September 10 edition of the Washington Post, President Obama sat in on his Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) a mere 536 times out of his first 1,225 days in office. That's a mere 43.8 percent of the time. "By contrast, Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush almost never missed his daily intelligence meeting," the American Enterprise Institute fellow noted.
Prior to tonight's debut of Lawrence O'Donnell's new show, The Last Word, MSNBC has been running promos where O'Donnell proclaims how much "political pressure there is on everyone involved" in governing decisions and that it leaves him "respecting every one who steps into that room to do that," adding he's "gonna disagree with some of those people" but will always "respect the strength it takes to go on in there." Well "respect" was the last thing O'Donnell displayed to a couple of guests that appeared with him on various MSNBC programs.
Back on the February 12 edition of Morning Joe, he was such was in such a rage against former George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen, going as far as to blame that administration for the 9/11 attacks, host Joe Scarborough actually had to call the proverbial whistle on him and stop the program, to let him cool down. However, when they got back from a commercial break O'Donnell launched into yet another tirade as he called Thiessen a "torture-monger." (video below the fold)
Perhaps O'Donnell's worst performance came on the October 22, 2004 edition of Scarborough Country when he want lashed out against Vietnam veteran John O'Neill of the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth for daring to challenge then presidential candidate John Kerry's veracity, as he repeatedly called him a "liar" and charged he did nothing to stop the war.
The following are transcripts of those unhinged attacks by O'Donnell:
Marc Thiessen is perhaps the nation's most prominent advocate of enhanced interrogation. He routinely debunks the left's myths regarding detention and interrogation policy, and has done battle with some of the loudest Bush-bashers of the legacy media along the way.
Thiessen, a former Bush speechwriter and author of Courting Disaster, argues that the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques stopped terrorist attacks; saved American lives; and provided our military, intelligence services, and law enforcement officials with vital and actionable intelligence on the enemy.
That is heresy in liberal circles, Old Media chief among them. New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer penned a scathing review of Courting Disaster, in which she accused Thiessen of trying to "rewrite the history of the CIA’s interrogation program." Thiessen responded in National Review, and demonstrated just how desperate the liberal media is to paint Bush-era policies in a negative light.
With the recently announced end of Fox's hit series "24," many liberal pundits are parading the show as a false depiction of the notion that "torture works." Contrary to their accusations, the Jack Bauer interrogation methods bear exactly zero resemblance to any actual interrogation techniques used by American military, law enforcement, or intelligence agents.
"On '24,' torture saves lives," the New York Times's Brian Stelter writes, disapprovingly. James Poniewozik, writing on a Time Magazine blog, attributes the show's supposed approval of harsh interrogations to the "conservative politics of co-creator Joel Surnow."
Any American who has serious doubts that our military and intelligence officials would allow interrogators to, say, directly threaten the lives of a terrorist's family (let alone inflict tremendous physical pain) to elicit information has a better grasp of interrogation techniques -- and the integrity of our men and women in uniform -- than most of the liberal media.
The New York Times published a scathing editorial Sunday condemning Americans who have the audacity to request that attorneys who represented terrorists not set national legal policy. The Times smeared them and their elected representatives as McCarthyites, and criticized them for noting that colossal conflict of interest.
"It is not the first time that the right has tried to distract Americans from the real issues surrounding detention policy by attacking lawyers," the Times states of controversy over Attorney General Eric Holder's reluctance to inform Congress who in the Justice Department has represented alleged terrorists, and in what capacity are they now serving.
But the left has done just that -- use nominees' records as means to block their appointments -- and the Times hasn't complained. So why the sudden outrage? Well, the paper's liberal editorial board doesn't mind when the left attacks. But when conservatives demand answers, they are evil McCarthyites on a political witch hunt.
Keith Olbermann Friday blamed 9/11 on former President George W. Bush.
"3,000 people died on September 11th, 2001 because George Bush did not prioritize," the "Countdown" host disgracefully told his small number of viewers.
"Perhaps no one says it because it is such a painful, awful truth to confront, 3,000 people dead because Bush and Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld and others simply had other agendas than fighting terrorism."
Olbermann then brought on the equally disgraceful Lawrence O'Donnell - who earlier in the day was cut off by Joe Scarborough due to his atrocious behavior on "Morning Joe" - to assist him in making his disgusting point (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell went into an unhinged attack on a former Bush administration official Friday, and was eventually shut out of the discussion by Joe Scarborough.
Appearing on "Morning Joe" with former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen who was brought on to discuss terrorist interrogation procedures, O'Donnell began by first calling him a liar, and then accused the Bush White House of inviting 9/11 "by having no idea what was going on with al Qaeda."
As O'Donnell continued with his attack, others on the set were heard asking him to calm down and stop.
When Thiessen tried to respond, O'Donnell violently interrupted him forcing Scarborough to cut in, go to a commercial, and say that he would be interviewing Thiessen alone (video embedded below the fold with commentary, h/t Hot Air):
And one of the most bizarre and egregious examples of this desperation to defend the President at all costs came from MSNBC "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann. On his Jan 28 program, he singled out Erick Erickson of RedState.com, John Stossel, host of the Fox Business Channel's "Stossel", Jay Nordlinger of National Review, former Bush speechwriter and Washington Post contributor Marc Thiessen, John Hood, also of National Review and Fox News host Glenn Beck as racist for criticizing the president's demeanor during the Jan. 27 State of the Union address.
"But our winners, these guys, assessing not the speech, but the president himself," Olbermann said. "Erick Erickson, ‘cocky.' John Stossel said he hoped the president would admit he was, quote, ‘arrogant.' Jay Nordlinger, ‘looks arrogant whether he is arrogant or not.' Marc Thiessen, ‘defensive, arrogant.' John Hood, ‘flippant and arrogant.' Glenn Beck, ‘like a punk.'"
Marc Thiessen, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush and author of "Courting Disaster," blasted Christiane Amanpour for comparing American interrogation techniques to what the Khmer Rouge did in Cambodia after the Vietnam War.
Appearing on CNN International Wednesday, Thiessen took issue with Amanpour's April 2008 piece "Scream Bloody Murder" in which she made the case that waterboarding was similar to what the Khmer Rouge did in the '70s.
"[T]here have been so many misstatements told about the enhanced interrogation techniques, comparing them to the Spanish Inquisition, to the Khmer Rouge," said Thiessen. "And I have to tell you, Christiane, you're one of the people who have spread these mistruths."
This led to quite an exchange between the two (video of the entire 24-minute segment embedded below the fold with full transcript, fireworks start at 6:00):
My colleague Tim Graham brought to my attention earlier today that WashingtonPost.com's front page today teased two opinion pieces on the late Sen. Jesse Helms. The first was by a former Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffer who lauded the late North Carolina Republican as a champion of liberty and staunch opponent of Communist repression. The second was a rehashed column from seven years ago accusing Helms of being an "unabashed racist."
David Broder's "RePost" of his August 29, 2001 column -- "Jesse Helms, White Racist" -- was nowhere to be found in the dead tree edition of the July 7 Washington Post, but it was included online as a counterweight to Marc Thiessen's "The Jesse Helms You Should Remember."
What readers would find in Thiessen's piece was one heartwarming account of how the fiercely anti-Communist senator stood up against his good friend and the leader of his party, President Ronald Reagan, in an attempt to save one Soviet sailor from returning to the USSR against his will (emphasis mine):