THE TRIED AND NOT-SO-TRUE…. It’s steep competition, but one of the more infuriating conservative rhetorical devices employed throughout Bush’s presidency was the “terrorists are listening” approach. It was wrong, the White House and its allies said, to criticize the president in the midst of two wars, because the “terrorists are listening” and they’ll question American resolve if they see U.S. division.

In time, it became something of a catch all. We couldn’t question the Bush policy in Iraq because the “terrorists are listening.” We couldn’t talk about torture because the “terrorists are listening.”

Now that Bush-era interrogation policies are making headlines again, Fox News personality Dana Perino, the former White House press secretary, returned to the old standby on the air this morning.

“Every day the House of Representatives is having to deal with this issue. But it’s not just the House. They’ve drug [sic] everybody into this. But my concern is we’re not giving due interests as to what the terrorists are taking from this. We need to think about the international audience here. I’m sure the terrorists are having a field day.”

The embarrassing cast that hosts “Fox and Friends” found this observation utterly fascinating.

Just once, I’d like to hear Republicans consider the idea that it’s the torture policies, not talking about the torture policies, that help terrorists.

Indeed, the terrorists “had a field day” when it came to recruiting and fundraising when Perino’s old bosses pursued a ridiculous national security policy, and al Qaeda seems awfully disappointed to see Bush/Cheney leave office.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.