Last night, Jon Stewart looked at the results of the new non-partisan report on the U.S. torturing people after 9/11.
We've been fighting the War on Terror for — I don't know — what seems like a million years, but if there's one thing that gives you hope, is that even in the darkest days, we never lost this country's moral compass.Video below the fold.
GEORGE W. BUSH (10/17/2006): The United States does not torture. It's against our laws, and it's against our values.(in Cheney voice) "I mean, sure, we might have engaged in a little roughhousing, a little slappety-bap... one time we freedom-tickled somebody. No big deal."
DANA PERINO (12/11/2007): The United States does not torture.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE (12/16/2005): The President has always told everyone that he will not allow torture.
DICK CHENEY (10/30/2006): But we don't torture.
And anyway, you know what? That stuff had to be done!GEORGE W. BUSH (10/15/2008): I happen to believe that the actions I've taken were necessary to protect ourselves, and lay the foundation for peace, that's what I believe. ... We'll see what history says.Adding, "Hehehehehe."
But you know what? Former President Bush is right. We'll have to wait to see what history says. ("Back in Time" ringtone) Hold on. (takes out cell phone) It's history calling. I gotta get this real quick. Just gimme a sec.
Yeah... hey. Uh-huh. Oh, yeah, he's right here, hold on a second. IT'S FOR YOU!!TAMRON HALL (4/17/2013): An independent task force on post-9/11 interrogation techniques issued a scathing report Tuesday. It concluded that the highest U.S. officials under the Bush administration bore responsibility for what it called "the indisputable use of torture".Indisputable use of torture?! No, no, what part of "we don't torture" does this independent bipartisan task force not understand? I mean....
All right, this report isn't too big a surprise. I mean, we've always known one or two really really bad guys had their interrogations "enhanced".RETIRED BRIGADIER GENERAL DAVID IRVINE (4/16/2013): I think if anyone takes time to read the report, they will be overwhelmed by the volume of episodes where representatives of our government, our military, brutally, brutally tortured many, many people.Cruel, inhumane, degrading treatment? C'mon! They were our guests. We gave them water, we just... didn't give it to them in the traditional way that people.... (audience groans)
FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY UNDERSECRETARY ASA HUTCHINSON (4/16/2013): American personnel conducted an even larger number of interrogations that involved cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment.
So it turns out we didn't just lose our moral compass, we smashed it to smithereens. I guess the only silver lining is like President Bush said, torture got us that great information, we're all so much safer because of it.BRIAN WILLIAMS (4/17/2013): On top of all of it, the commission found no evidence that torture ever yielded any key information, no information that we are any safer because of it.Son of a bitch!
So what are the lessons we can draw from this report?FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY UNDERSECRETARY ASA HUTCHINSON (4/16/2013): It's important because we as a nation have to get this right. I look back at history to the time during World War II, that we interned some Japanese-Americans. At the time, it seemed like the right and proper thing to do. But in the light of history, it was an error.I'm sorry, just excuse me for a second, I just need to check something real quick. I just need to.... (takes out cell phone and dials a number)
GEORGE TAKEI: Hello, Jon.
JON STEWART: Hey! Hey, is this George Takei?
GEORGE TAKEI: Hi, how are you?
JON STEWART: I'm very well, sir. How are you?
GEORGE TAKEI: Just great.
JON STEWART: It's Jon Stewart. I have a quick question for you. When you were four years old, and your family were taken from your home and placed in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans — at the time, did that seem like the right and proper thing to do?
GEORGE TAKEI: No! It did not.
JON STEWART: OK, thanks a lot, George.
GEORGE TAKEI: Anytime, Jon.
JON STEWART: All right, bye-bye.
(audience cheering and applause)
Yeah, that's what I thought! See, the thing about a moral compass is, if you take it out and check it from time to time, you don't have to wait for history to tell you you're facing the wrong direction. We'll be right back.