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An analysis:

As in the previous example, similar arguments are again presented by Obama and Cheney, and both arguments share in an important fallacy. Both are asserting that top-secret intelligence--which is not available to their audiences--confirms they are correct in their position, and that both of their positions are absolute (either the techniques worked, or didn't work at all - no middle ground). What we see here is a variation of the "appeal to ignorance" fallacy. Using the appeal to ethos, both also suggest that since we, as the general public, are not privy to the top-secret intelligence, we have to, and should, trust that our leaders are making the best decisions for us.

As you can see, rhetoric can be a very powerful tool for persuasion. This is why the ability to read rhetorically is such an important strategy to teach students. They need to learn how to closely analyze a reading, but we also hope that through rhetorical analysis, they will also be able to construct their own arguments effectively and ethically.