The op-ed pages of The Washington Post should be a place for serious debate about the direction of our country.
But by hiring former Bush administration speechwriter Marc Thiessen — the second former Bush speechwriter to whom it has given a regular column — The Washington Post has crossed the line. Thiessen is a serial misinformer. And he shouldn’t be rewarded with the audience or credibility that a regular column provides.
In his latest column, Thiessen attacks lawyers who have represented detainees, warning that these lawyers may hold “radical and dangerous views” and that by giving detainees representation, lawyers are “using the federal courts as a tool to undermine our military’s ability to keep dangerous enemy combatants off the battlefield in a time of war.” These outrageous claims have been refuted by lawyers from across the political spectrum, including former Bush administration attorneys — yet the Post gives Thiessen free rein to engage in baseless smears. He’s even used misleading statements in support of torture.
You stepped up to demand the accountability the Post needs. Nearly 7,000 people have signed our petition to tell The Washington Post to say no to promoting torture. Will you help us spread the message?
Thiessen is a proponent of torture, and in his quest to advocate for torture and attack torture opponents, he has resorted to misinformation and smears that have no place in the debate over national security policy.
Thiessen’s willingness to distort the truth and engage in hysterical attacks doesn’t just undermine his own credibility — it undermines the ability of readers to trust The Washington Post as a source of honest analysis.
The Post has offered Thiessen a platform to promote his views, despite the fact that he:
- …said in his book that lawyers who represented Guantanamo detainees were “aiding and abetting America’s enemies.”
- … falsely claimed in his most recent book that, since CIA interrogation of terror suspects began after 9-11, there were no attacks on U.S. interests at home or abroad.
- … falsely claimed in a Post op-ed that Bush oversaw “2,688 days without a terrorist attack on [American] soil,” ignoring the anthrax mail attacks, the El Al shooting in Los Angeles and other domestic terrorist attacks.
- … misleadingly compared waterboarding of detainees with the training of U.S. troops.
- … called President Obama’s decision to release Bush administration torture memos “irresponsible” and claimed that “Americans may die as a result.”
The editors of The Washington Post need to hear from you that falsehoods and outrageous smears in support of torture are not acceptable. We need more voices to join the nearly 7,000 who have already confronted the Post. Let’s tell them: You’ve gone too far. Stop promoting torture.
Thank you for your continued help in holding the Post accountable.
Media Matters for America