Friday, February 19, 2010

Thwap! Andy McCarthy defends Courting Disaster author Theissen

John Hinderaker follows Andy McCarthy v. Mike Potemra at the Corner:
Marc Thiessen, author of Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack, has been denounced by any number of ill-informed liberals. But when Mike Potemra went after Thiessen at The Corner--plainly without having read Marc's book--Andy McCarthy swung into action. There is a certain aesthetic pleasure in reading a refutation this powerful, thorough and relentless. If you're ever under attack, you should hope that Andy McCarthy has your back.
Here's a sample of Potemra's insipid, lazy excuse for analysis:
The question has been raised, Was it appropriate for a Catholic TV network to provide a platform for a torture advocate? In my view, the answer is yes. Marc Thiessen, who appeared on Raymond Arroyo’s TV show The World Over, defends the practices of the past decade because he believes that these practices are necessary to defend innocent lives. Not having followed his work in detail, I have no reason to believe that he is acting in bad faith. He was a government official with some knowledge of the issue. His conscience tells him that there is a moral necessity to disregard the Catholic Catechism in this particular case — and, as Newman reminded us, conscience has sacred claims. Furthermore, if the polls are to be trusted, he speaks not only for the majority of Americans but for the majority of American Catholics. His is, therefore, a view that it would be unwise to omit from the discussion. The fault was not in giving Marc a platform; the fault, if any, was in not having a guest who defended the official teaching, and thus perhaps leaving a misimpression of what the official teaching is.
And here is a sample of McCarthy's response:
And as too often happens in discussions of "torture," your concerns about morality are entirely one-sided. Officers of the executive branch have a solemn obligation to protect the American people. It is their highest responsibility. They are not good Samaritans. If there is a serious threat of a mass-murder attack, they are obligated to take all reasonable steps to stop it — and what is reasonable depends on the circumstances and the exigency. It is immoral to assume that obligation and then fail to carry it out. Unlike your angry fellow parishioners, these officials don't get to be detached Monday morning quarterbacks. You condemn them for acting, but they will be just as vigorously condemned for failing to act if a preventable catastrophe happens.

What exactly did the CIA do that you think was "torture"?
Hinderaker at Powerline concludes succinctly:
Andy is, by the way, the subject of a reasonably fair profile in the New York Times. The article includes this quote:

In June 1998, the office secretly indicted Osama bin Laden. Three months later, Al Qaeda blew up the two embassies.

"I mean, we could go into the grand jury and indict him three times a week," Mr. McCarthy said. "But to do anything about it, you needed the Marines. You didn't need us." 

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