MARC A. THIESSEN
- Former Member of the White House Senior Staff, chief speechwriter to the President and Secretary of Defense
- Author, "Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe & How Barack Obama Is Inviting The Next Attack"
- Visiting Fellow, The Hoover Institution
- National Security/Public Policy Expert
Marc Thiessen's 15-year national security career has taken him from Capitol Hill to the Pentagon and the West Wing, where he served on the White House Senior Staff as chief speechwriter to President George W. Bush.
Since leaving the White House Thiessen has become one of the nation's most prolific authors and commentators, writing regularly for the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, National Review, Weekly Standard, Daily Beast, and other publications, and appearing frequently on Fox News, CNN, ABC News, the BBC, and talk radio stations nationwide.
The Daily Telegraph recently named Thiessen one of the "100 most influential conservatives in America." And in 2009, legendary New York Times columnist William Safire declared Thiessen "the most forceful, serious and articulate new spokesman for hardliners around - one who can back up his opinions with facts that can influence the debate."
Thiessen does exactly that in his new book, Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack.
In Courting Disaster, Thiessen reveals previously undisclosed details about how CIA interrogations of captured terrorists were directly responsible for foiling multiple follow on attacks after 9/11. For the first time ever, Thiessen introduces readers to the actual interrogators who broke Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other senior terrorists - who tell us in their own words how they stopped attacks and saved lives. He provides an unprecedented, behind-the-scenes look at the CIA's "black sites," and offers evidence to prove CIA interrogations were not only effective, but also lawful and morally just.
Thiessen draws on his experience serving at the highest levels of the White House and the Department of Defense during all eight years of the Bush administration. He was in the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, and collaborated with Secretary Rumsfeld on all of his major speeches during the first three years of the war on terror. He helped make the case for military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, and traveled more than 250,000 miles with the Secretary across the world - including his first visits to Kabul and Baghdad immediately after liberation.
Thiessen saw the war on terror up close - from the planning rooms of the Pentagon to the major battlefronts of the Middle East - and helped explain the challenges of a new and unprecedented war to the American people.
After moving to the White House, Thiessen worked closely with President George W. Bush on hundreds of speeches - including televised addresses from the Oval Office, and most of the President's major speeches on the war on terror during his second term. He was the lead writer on the President's 2007 and 2008 State of the Union addresses, his first before a Democratic Congress. And he wrote the President's September 2006 East Room address revealing the existence of the CIA program to detain and question captured terrorists - a speech whose contents were so highly classified that it had to be written in a secure room at the National Security Council.
Before joining the Bush Administration, Thiessen spent more than six years on Capitol Hill as spokesman and senior policy advisor to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms. He represented the Committee before U.S. and international news organizations, and built a reputation as an effective and highly-quotable spokesman and commentator. Thiessen wrote Senator Helms' memorable address to the UN Security Council, which was the topic of an episode of ABC News Nightline.
Thiessen is a graduate of Vassar College, and completed additional post-graduate studies at the Naval War College. He lives near Washington, DC, with his wife, Pamela, who works on Capitol Hill. They have four children.
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