I wish I had kept handy a compilation of those sutta passages that support the bare attention approach. Then we can see if Ven T actually addresses the points raised in those suttas. I can only recall offhand his attempts at -
- re-writing the sutta recommending anapanasati to cut off thinking (which he then qualifies to "distractive" thinking)
- re-writing DN 9 which injuncts against thinking and intending in all the Jhanas, by mistranslating the text to limit the injunction to only the Base of Nothingness.
I think the picture that he paints of the establishments of mindfulness has its place, especially when dealing with gross defilements, but there are enough sutta references to point to a silent awareness of states. As MN 125 presents it (in 2 variant readings), what follows from satipatthana is just contemplation, without thoughts about the object of contemplation.