Jon Stewart Accuses Cheney of Having A ‘Bronsonlike Torture Boner’

On Monday night, Daily Show host Jon Stewart mercilessly attacked former Vice President Dick Cheney’s defense of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program after 9/11. 

During his opening segment, the Comedy Central host accused Cheney of loving “torture” and asked “what if, hypothetically, this treatment was perpetrated on someone who had been detained wrongly, surely that would soften Cheney’s Bronsonlike torture boner.”

The segment began with Stewart accusing Cheney of “setting this nation's moral bar at anything incrementally better than the most despicable thing that has ever been done to us. And by the way, that was out of the gate. That was the first question he was asked. He had just met the press and he opened with 9/11.” 

The liberal Comedy Central host then played a clip of Cheney’s interview from Sunday’s Meet the Press before launching into a vicious attack on the former Vice President: 

Every time I think this man can't get more fascinating. So I guess we can test, is Dick Cheney a righteous warrior or a psychopath? It's one thing to feel remorseless vengeance against those who have wronged us. Which is why we've always been a nation that has followed the vigilante's code -- I'm sorry, rule of law. Rule of law. But what if, hypothetically, this treatment was perpetrated on someone who had been detained wrongly, surely that would soften Cheney’s Bronsonlike torture boner. 

Stewart then brought up Chuck Todd comparing CIA interrogation tactics to Japanese war criminals and Cheney's response as an opportunity to mock the Republican's hunting accident from years ago: 

Yeah that’s too far Charles David Chuck Todd. That was a loaded question. You can’t just pop up out of nowhere and shoot an old man in the face with a question like that. How dare you Chuck Todd at long last why would you ask about decency. 

The anti-Cheney piece concluded with Stewart playing a lengthy clip of the former vice president’s repeated defense of the Iraq War before he told his audience “you know what, just because he's so bitter and angry doesn't mean I have to be. I’m going to end on a note of gratitude, with something I never thought that I would say: George W. Bush, thank you for not dying while you were in office.” 

See relevant transcript below. 

Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

December 15, 2014 

JON STEWART: Perhaps, it’s time for an American to defend the program, one of our nation’s Founding Fathers. You all ready for this? And now, stepping into the ring, a 5 foot 8 inch, a two-time vice president, multiple time draft deferree, hailing from an undisclosed location, the man so mean his own heart ran away. The dark curtain from Halliburton, the Iraq blaster from Casper, the presidential puppet master, more machine than man! Dick "The Dick" Cheney! Press the meat, WMDefend this program.    

CHUCK TODD: You said earlier this week torture was something that was very carefully avoided. It implies that you have a definition of what torture is. What is it?

DICK CHENEY: Well, torture to me, Chuck, is an American citizen on a cell phone making the last call to his four young daughters shortly before he burns to death in the upper levels of the Trade Center in New York City on 9/11. 

STEWART: And that is why he is the best worst. Dick Cheney setting this nation's moral bar at anything incrementally better than the most despicable thing that has ever been done to us. And by the way, that was out of the gate. That was the first question he was asked. He had just met the press and he opened with 9/11. That's like Lynyrd Skynyrd walking out and going, “hey why don't we kick it off with a little "Free bird" how about that? See if that can save you a little lighter fluid and your shouting voices there.” Of course, the problem with doing that is you don't really give yourself anywhere else to go. 

TODD: You wont call it torture?

CHENEY: I come back to the proposition Torture was what the Al Qaeda terrorists did to 3,000 Americans on 9/11. In my mind, I’ve told you what meets the definition of torture, it’s what 19 guys armed with airline tickets and box cutters did to 3,000 Americans on 9/11.

STEWART: I see, that's just what meets the definition of torture in his mind. His mind, I assume being the scariest (bleep) place in the universe. You know what? I'm sorry. I know this is going to haunt my nightmares. I don’t’ care. I got to know. Chuck, can we zoom inside Dick Cheney's mind? 

TODD: Does that meet the definition of torture in your mind? 

CHENEY: In my mind -- 

STEWART: I never took him for a brony. Every time I think this man can't get more fascinating. So I guess we can test, is Dick Cheney a righteous warrior or a psychopath? It's one thing to feel remorseless vengeance against those who have wronged us. Which is why we've always been a nation that has followed the vigilante's code -- I'm sorry, rule of law. Rule of law. But what if, hypothetically, this treatment was perpetrated on someone who had been detained wrongly, surely that would soften Cheney’s Bronsonlike torture boner. 

TODD: Let me go to Gul Rahman. He was chained to the wall of his cell, doused with water, froze to death in CIA custody. And it turned out it was a case of mistaken identity. 

STEWART: Dick? 

CHENEY: Right. But the problem I have is with all the folks that we did release that end up back on the battlefield. I'm more concerned with bad guys who got out and released than I am with a few that, in fact, were innocent. 

STEWART: It's like this guy's the vice president in a Cormac McCarthy novel. Call it, call it friendo! Waa -- waa—call it friendo–heads -- waaa. But look , perhaps we’re being unfair. I’m not suggesting that Dick Cheney is using the terrible specter of what happened on 9/11 robotically as a cudgel to beat down argument, draining all emotion and meaning out of that terrible day as he uses it in service of avoiding culpability. Yeah, I'm not doing that. Cheney does feel upset. Cheney does feel hurt, angry even at having to answer things.

TODD: When you say waterboarding is not torture then why did we prosecute Japanese soldiers in World War II. 

CHENEY: For a lot of stuff, not for waterboarding. They did an awful lot of other stuff. It’s a really cheap shot Chuck to even try to draw a parallel. 

STEWART: Yeah that’s too far Charles David Chuck Todd. That was a loaded question. You can’t just pop up out of nowhere and shoot an old man in the face with a question like that. How dare you Chuck Todd at long last why would you ask about decency. So with the moral controversy put to bed, let's focus on efficacy. The much researched Senate CIA report suggested that the information could have and in many cases was obtained by different more Geneva convention-y less butt-feed-y methods. 

CHENEY: It worked. It absolutely now worked for 13 years. It absolutely did work. I'd do it again in a minute. 

STEWART: Wouldn't give it a thought... And that, ladies and gentlemen, that's the best thing about Dick Cheney. He's impervious to doubt. Never enters his mind. Probably because of all the little ponies running around up there, but it never enters his mind that the confident, plain-spoken pronouncements of truth are oftentimes complete (bleep.). Just from his appearances on "Meet the Press." 

CHENEY: That report that has been pretty well confirmed that he did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi Intelligence Service. And Saddam Hussein has a longstanding relationship with various terrorist groups including the Al Qaeda organization. We believe he has in fact reconstituted nuclear weapons. He has been seeking to acquire the kinds of tubes that are necessary to build a centrifuge. This is a country that I think could  be one of the leading -- perhaps the leading state in that part of the world. My belief is we will in fact be greeted as liberators. 

STEWART: Guess what, they loved us so much they wouldn't let us leave for over a decade. You know what, just because he's so bitter and angry doesn't mean I have to be. I’m going to end on a note of gratitude, with something I never thought that I would say: George W. Bush, thank you for not dying while you were in office. 

Foreign Policy Guantanamo Bay Military Interrogation Techniques War on Terrorism Comedy Central Daily Show Jon Stewart Dick Cheney

Sponsored Links