Last night on The O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly showed a clip of a Fox News producer ambushing Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to accuse him of political hypocrisy for urging an investigation into Bush crimes after he had opposed the Clinton impeachment. “This Leahy thing — this is beyond the pale,” O’Reilly moaned.
Marc Thiessen, Bush’s former chief speechwriter, agreed. Not only would the investigations be hypocritcal, he said, but worse, they would be “terribly dangerous” because they would expose the “facts” of the U.S.’s interrogation techniques to Osama bin Laden:
THIESSEN: [T]he facts that they want to get out are the techniques we use to interrogate terrorists. The techniques that we used to intercept e-mails and communications and telephone calls. And when you get those facts out, it’s not just going out to the American people and to the viewers on television. It’s going out to Osama bin Laden. It’s going out to the terrorists who can use those information to get around our intelligence and plan the next attack.
So it’s very deadly — this is very deadly serious stuff. … And it’s terribly dangerous.
He also emphasized that the people Leahy might investigate “aren’t torturers, they’re heroes.” “They should be getting a parade on Pennsylvania Avenue,” he added. Watch it:
Pushing for greater secrecy in the name of terrorism is the reflexive reaction for right-wing torture-lovers. Last year, former Cheney chief of staff David Addington refused to speak about waterboarding to Congress, saying that terrorists might be paying attention: “I can’t talk to you, al Qaeda may watch C-SPAN.” In 2007, National Intelligence Director Michael McConnell said “Americans are going to die” if surveillance is discussed openly; Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman told Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) that “public discussion” of an Iraq withdrawal “reinforces enemy propaganda.”
Yet despite their fearmongering on the consequences of investigations, the American public firmly supports such inquiries: Nearly two-thirds of Americans support examining potential crimes committed by the Bush administration, with 40 percent supporting criminal investigations.