Thiessen, figuratively, picks up Amanpour, turns her over, and uses her to mop up the water left over from her failed attempt at an interview waterboarding of him.
He uses her own words while at it:
A stunned Amanpour … was left momentarily speechless as Thiessen pulled out a transcript from a 2008 CNN broadcast from the Khmer Rouge prison S-21, where Amanpour had stood before a picture of Khmer Rouge torturers drowning an innocent Cambodian in a vat of water, and declared that the CIA had done the same thing to terrorists in its custody.
Thiessen told Amanpour, “There have been so many so misstatements told about the enhanced interrogation techniques, comparing them to the Spanish Inquisition and the Khmer Rouge, and I have to tell you Christiane, you are one of the people who have spread these mistruths.”
An incredulous Amanpour replied, “Excuse me?”
Thiessen pulled out a transcript of her story from her visit to S-21, and said “Let me read to you what you said.” He then quoted Amanpour’s report:
“I stared blankly at another of Van Nath’s paintings. This time a prisoner is submerged in a life-size box full of water, handcuffed to the side so he cannot escape or raise his head to breathe. His interrogators, arrayed around him, are demanding information. I asked Van Nath whether he had heard this was once used on America’s terrorist suspected. He nodded his head. ‘It’s not right.”
Thiessen told Amanpour, “That is completely false.” Amanpour asked, “That’s false?” Thiessen told her, “We did not submerge people in a box of water.” Amanpour replied, “Excuse me a second, that is called waterboarding.” “No it’s not,” Thiessen replied. Amanpour tried to turn to the other guest, left-wing author Philippe Sands, but Thiessen pressed his point: “Christiane you are absolutely wrong. 14,000 people killed in S-21. Seven survivors …” But Amanpour cut him off, “Excuse me, you are trying to obfuscate the debate. That prison was full of images of water torture.” Thiessen responded, “Which is nothing like what the CIA did. Do you have any evidence …” Amanpour cut him again off to go Sands, after which Amanpour tried to change the subject.
But Thiessen pressed her: “I want to answer this, because it is very important. What you said was not waterboarding but a barrel filled with water. You have no evidence whatsoever that the CIA did what you said they did.”
Amanpour insisted that there was no difference between what she had described and what the CIA did. “Dipping people’s heads in water to simulate drowning. Period. End of story.” But as Thiessen explains in his new book, Courting Disaster, the Khmer Rouge not “simulate drowning” at S-21 – they actually drowned their victims. Only 7 of the 14,000 people who entered S-21 emerged alive.
In the shocking new book released this week, Thiessen takes Amanpour and other public figures to task for making false and shameful comparisons between the CIA and the torturers of murderous regimes like the Khmer Rouge. Among those Thiessen exposes for their lies and misstatements are Attorney General Eric Holder, Senators Sheldon Whitehouse, Christopher Dodd, Dick Durbin, former White House Special Counsel Lanny Davis, Atlantic Monthly blogger Andrew Sullivan and others.
Thiessen systematically dismantles their arguments, and shows how the “techniques used by the CIA bear no resemblance to the techniques used by the Inquisitors of the Middle Ages or the murderous regimes cited by the critics.”
Here is the YouTube
Part 2 here
Or, as Scott Johnson put it,
Indeed, the assertion that the interrogation techniques included torture has become an article of faith among the true believing left, among whom we must count the execrable Phillippe Sands. Paul Mirengoff recognized Sands as dishonest journalist of the year in 2008, when the competition was particularly stiff. Among the true believing left we must also count the ludicrous Christiane Amanpour of CNN. Amanpour is also dishonest, but she’s not very smart either. If I had to choose between being waterboarded or having to listen to Sands and Amanpour for a protracted period of time, I’d need to think it over.
Marc Thiessen’s book is Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack.