Thiessen is referring to a Jan. 22, 2009 executive order which, as the New York Times reported at the time, prohibited "the C.I.A. from using coercive interrogation methods, requiring the agency to follow the same rules used by the military in interrogating terrorism suspects."
After Thiessen ticked off a list of planned terrorist attacks he claimed had been thwarted by the CIA, O'Donnell angrily went after him over the Bush record on terrorism and the title of Thiessen's book, Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama is Inviting the Next Attack.
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Greg Sargent notes the other dynamic here -- Thiessen's acknowledgment that on Sept. 11 the Bush Administration "didn't even know who hit us."