|White House Director of Speechwriting|
February 2008 – January 20, 2009
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||William McGurn|
|Succeeded by||Jon Favreau|
Marc Alexander Thiessen
January 13, 1967
|Education||Vassar College (BA)|
Naval War College
Thiessen served as a speechwriter for United States President George W. Bush (2004–09) and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (2001–06). His articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, National Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, USA Today, and other publications. He has also appeared on Fox News, CNN, NPR, and other media outlets. In 2010, his first book, Courting Disaster was published, which defended the use of torture during the George W. Bush administration.
Early life and education
Thiessen was born on January 13, 1967. He grew up on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, where both his parents were doctors and "left-of-center liberal Democrat types".[attribution needed] His mother grew up in Poland and fought as a teenager in the Warsaw Uprising, a military struggle in which his grandfather died.
Thiessen has worked in Washington, D.C., for many years, starting with five years at Lobbying firm Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly. He spent six years (1995–2001) on Capitol Hill as spokesman and senior policy advisor to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms (R-NC).
He joined the George W. Bush administration as Chief Speechwriter for Donald Rumsfeld in 2001, then moved to Bush's speechwriting team in 2004. In February 2008, he became chief speechwriter when William McGurn resigned.
Thiessen's first book, Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack (ISBN 1596986034), was published by Regnery Publishing in January 2010. In the book he argued that the CIA's systematic use of torture, euphemistically referred to as "enhanced interrogation techniques", was effective, lawful, and moral. The book was endorsed by the former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey. It reached the No. 9 spot on the New York Times Best Sellers list for hardcover nonfiction in February 2010.
Jane Mayer, author of The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals, heavily criticized Courting Disaster in a book review, claiming it is "based on a series of slipshod premises".
The 6,700-page Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture found that the CIA's torture program was not an effective method of gathering intelligence.
A pseudonymous former military interrogator and author of How to Break a Terrorist, writing for Slate, characterized Thiessen's book as "a literary defense of war criminals" and criticized Thiessen for relying solely on the opinions of CIA interrogators.
- "Marc A. Thiessen - Resident Fellow". American Enterprise Institute. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
- U.S. Public Records Index, Vols. 1 & 2 (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.), 2010.
- Frank, Tom (Summer 2005). "Heard But Not Seen" (PDF). Taft School Bulletin. Taft School. p. 22–25. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 23, 2011.
- "Marc A. Thiessen". Oval Office Writers, LLC.
- Saletan, William (August 8, 1997). "Weld vs. Helms". Slate. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
- "President Bush Thanks Bill McGurn, Announces Marc Thiessen as New Assistant to the President for Speechwriting". Press Release. George W. Bush White House. December 14, 2007.
- Alexovich, Ariel; Klingebiel, Jacqueline (March 25, 2009). "Suite Talk March 25, 2009: Speechwriters Open New Outlet". Politico. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
- Thiessen, Marc A. (April 21, 2009). "Marc A. Thiessen - Enhanced Interrogations Worked". ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
- "Obama names intel picks, vows no torture". Associated Press. January 9, 2009.
- Stout, David (January 15, 2009). "Holder Tells Senators Waterboarding is Torture". The New York Times.
- "Book details: Courting Disaster". Regnery. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
- Thiessen, Marc (January 20, 2010). "Mukasey Calls Courting Disaster 'Absolutely Superb'". National Review. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
- "Hardcover Nonfiction Books - Best Sellers - February 14, 2010". The New York Times. February 14, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
- Mayer, Jane (March 29, 2010). "Counterfactual: A curious history of the C.I.A." The New Yorker. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
- Alexander, Matthew (March 3, 2010). "Courting Fear". Slate. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
- "Marc Thiessen Biography". MarcThiessen.com. Retrieved May 13, 2018.