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Last night, Jon Stewart tore into Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld for their recent media appearances where they still show no remorse for torture.

ERROL MORRIS: What about all these so-called torture memos?

DONALD RUMSFELD: Well there were, what, one or two or three? I don't know the number, but there were not all of these so-called memos.

Do you see what he did? Through sheer semantic will, the man deflected the question of whether or not we tortured, to accuse his questioner of the higher crime — exaggeration of a memo count! (audience laughter) At long last, Errol Morris, have you no shame? But I'm sorry, Mr. Rumsfeld, you were in mid-turd polish?

Video and full transcript below the fold.



Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to declassify a comprehensive report on our country's use of... um... uh... I guess, what the CIA would call super-aggressive terrorist suspect spa treatments during the Bush administration.  (audience laughter)  Anyway, I assume the declassified report is exculpatory and reaffirms this nation's commitment to American values.
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, D-CA (4/3/2014): The report exposes brutalities that stand in stark contrast to our values as a nation.  It chronicles a stain on our history that must never be allowed to happen again.  This is not what Americans do.
Yes!  This is not what Americans... except, we did.  We don't... it's, we don't do, but we did.  (nervous audience laughter)  But like with your internment camps, or your — what do you call it there — slavery (audience laughter), America has a history of doing a tremendous amount of stuff that we don't do.  (audience laughter)  We are a moral people... in hindsight.  (audience laughter)

But since the Senate's bringing enhanced interrogation — or, freedom quizzes (audience laughter) — up, let's take a stroll down Things We'd Like to Erase From Our Memory Lane, and check in on how the gentlemen behind the enhanced interrogation program are dealing with their twisted legacy.

DICK CHENEY (3/28/2014): I was a strong advocate and helped put together the enhanced interrogation program.  Some people call it torture; it wasn't torture.
(nervous audience laughter)

(in Dick Cheney voice)  "If it were torture, I'd be a terrible person.  And I'm not a terrible person; I'm lovely.  I'm warm, I'm engaging, I'm the total package."  (audience laughter)  "Waaah."

By the way, that's Dick Cheney, denying that he tortured, from a room that looks like a place where you would torture people.

Perhaps dank is his color.

But I know that Mr. Cheney says it wasn't torture, but this report made it seem awful torturish.

STEVE KORNACKI (4/6/2014): The report also reveals a new case of abuse never before disclosed.  In 2003 ... a detainee was taken to a CIA secret prison near Kabul where he was dunked in a tub of ice water, held forcibly underwater, and repeatedly beaten.
(in Dick Cheney voice) "See, ah, we're helping him.  The ice water acts as an anti-inflammatory to help the beatings heal."

Does the Vice President have any regrets?

STEVE KORNACKI (4/6/2014): Cheney went on to tell the same university's school newspaper, "If I would have to do it all over again, I would.  The results speak for themselves."
He's like the Wilford Brimley of torture.  (in Dick Cheney voice) "Hi, this is Dick Cheney for waterboarding.  It's the right thing to do."

Well, we know the use of the word "torture" is disputed.  But Cheney speaks about results.  What about these results?

STEVE KORNACKI (4/6/2014): "The CIA described [its program] repeatedly both to the Department of Justice and eventually to Congress as getting unique, otherwise unobtainable intelligence that helped disrupt terrorist plots and save thousands of lives.  Was that actually true?"
Well, that... Vice President Cheney says that that was true, so I have no reason to doubt that it wasn't true.  I mean, if you can't trust a man who shot his own friend in the face because he thought he was a bird (audience laughter), I don't know who you....
STEVE KORNACKI (4/6/2014): "The answer is no."
Gaah!!  I'm so naive!!  You got me again!  You old face-shootin' fella.

All right, so Vice President Cheney's response to his role....

(audience laughter)

You like that?

Vice President Cheney's response to his role in this shameful episode of American history is abject black-and-white reality denial.  How does his cohort Donald Rumsfeld live with himself — I'm sorry — deal with it?  Let's find out in a clip from this new Errol Morris documentary, The Unkwown Known.

ERROL MORRIS: What about all these so-called torture memos?

DONALD RUMSFELD: Well there were, what, one or two or three?  I don't know the number, but there were not all of these so-called memos.

Do you see what he did?  Through sheer semantic will, the man deflected the question of whether or not we tortured, to accuse his questioner of the higher crime — exaggeration of a memo count!  (audience laughter)  At long last, Errol Morris, have you no shame?  But I'm sorry, Mr. Rumsfeld, you were in mid-turd polish?
DONALD RUMSFELD: They were mischaracterized as torture memos.  And they came, not out of the Bush administration per se, they came out of the U.S. Department of Justice.  Blessed by the Attorney General, the senior legal official of the United States of America, having been nominated by a President, and confirmed by the United States Senate overwhelmingly.  Little different cast I just put on it than the one you did.  I'll chalk that one up.

(audience laughter and applause at Jon's reaction)

"Mommy!  Mommy, I don't want to go to grandpa's!  He's going to do that finger thing again!"

Look at how fucking proud he is, of having put a lot of different words in between Bush administration and torture, while not in any explicit way changing the meaning of those words or refuting the charge!

But as long as you're happy, I'm happy.  And I assume that is happiness, and not his teeth trying desperately to escape his face.

Jon then had news about the election in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Stephen looked at what just destroyed Jeb Bush's 2016 hopes, before having another Tip/Wag segment.


Stephen then looked at Matt Bevin's (R) controversial appearance at a cockfighting rally in the Kentucky Senate race.

Stephen talked with UC Berkeley math professor Edward Frenkel, and Jon talked with Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi, which went long.  Here's the unedited interview in two parts.
Part 1
Part 2

Originally posted to Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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