Speed Reads

The Daily Showdown

Jon Stewart slams Bush, the CIA, and their 'deluge of depravity' and torture

On Tuesday night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart tackled the big "Christmas release" of the report documenting CIA torture of (often wrongly) suspected terrorists — or as he called it, "the Frozen of Senate Intelligence, CIA clandestine–redacted torture reports." ("Nobody's electrocuting Olaf for information," he added, probably unnecessarily.) The jokes didn't stop there, but Stewart got pretty serious for the rest of the segment.

The report was especially unsettling for Stewart, he said, because his just-released film Rosewater was about a journalist, Maziar Bahari, who was detained and tortured in Iran — and "I don't think they did half that shit to him," he added, after learning about the CIA's "rectal feeding."

The CIA lied to everyone, including George W. Bush, about the extent of its torture, the report found. But even after Bush was informed in 2006, Stewart said, he still lied to the public a year and a half later when he "angrily and defensively" proclaimed that "this government does not torture people." Stewart threw a little criticism President Obama's way for not authorizing the release of more documents, thanked Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein for adding a humanizing "flavor" of bureaucratic malfeasance to the report's "deluge of depravity," and then ended on a kind of dark note, suggesting that Americans will care more about the mechanics of cheese-in-crust pizza than government-sanctioned torture. Maybe he's right. --Peter Weber