Stephen Colbert Slams MRC's Brent Bozell in Montage Mocking Use of Waterboarding in UBL Killing
Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, on Tuesday's Colbert Report, featured
MRC President L. Brent Bozell in his "The Word" segment that
ridiculed those who credit enhanced interrogation or waterboarding in
the killing of Osama bin Laden. After playing a clip of Bozell, from the May 6, Fox and Friends, saying waterboarding led to the death of bin Laden and hailing: "Hip, hip hooray to George Bush" Colbert joked: "Yes, three cheers for George Bush! Unless you're in a gagged stress position, in which case try three grunts."
Colbert then went on to make fun of Donald Rumsfeld, mocking that the former Secretary of Defense must have just taken a hit from a blunt to have, in his view, contrasting views on the interrogation issue, as seen in the following excerpt from the May 17 Colbert Report:
STEPHEN COLBERT: Best of all folks, this act of closure opens an old wound.
(Begin media montage)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The death of Osama bin Laden rekindled an old debate over enhanced interrogation, what some have called torture.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: This week's events have reignited this heated debate.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER#2: That news also reigniting the media debate over waterboarding.
COLBERT: Yes, the debate over waterboarding has been rekindled and reignited, which begs the question, did we try fire boarding? But folks, there is one way to end this torture debate, and it's the subject of tonight's "Word." Enhanced Rejustification. Nation, the torture debate seemed over. In the last presidential election, Obama was against waterboarding and McCain was against all forms of enhanced interrogation, but then, of course, we got bin Laden. Now some credited Obama. Some credited Bush, but the real hero was an elite team made up of a dish rag and a water bucket. Jim.
GLENN BECK: It was the waterboarding of the hairy back guy that provided the intel that led to UBL's doorstep.
REP. PETER KING: We obtained that information through waterboarding.
DICK CHENEY: The enhanced interrogation played a role. That is to say that some of the early leads came out of that program.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Without the enhanced interrogation, we never would have found where bin Laden was hiding.
BRENT BOZELL, PRES & FOUNDER, MEDIA RESEARCH CENTER: You know what, it is because of waterboarding that Osama bin Laden is dead and everybody knows it. Hip, hip hooray to George Bush.
COLBERT: Yes, three cheers for George Bush! Unless you're in a gagged stress position, in which case try three grunts.
[On screen graphic: "Hip, Hip Dislocation"]
COLBERT: Folks it went down, it went down like this. Here's, here's how the whole thing played out. We waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, obviously after this picture was taken because he clearly hadn't touched water for some time. Now, at some point, at some point KSM gave up the nickname of one of bin Laden's couriers. We followed that courier and that's how we nailed bin Laden, therefore validating torture. But the "I want to be able to look my children in the eye" crowd refused to admit torture is the real hero here.
ADMIRAL DENNIS BLAIR: Torture is not moral. It's not legal. It's not effective.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: It was not torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees that got us the major leads that ultimately enabled our intelligence community to find Osama bin Laden.
SEN. MARK UDALL: All of our experience shows that you generate better information, more accurate information when you treat prisoners humanely, when you befriend them, when you connect with them.
CHRIS HEDGES, FORMER NEW YORK TIMES MIDDLE EAST BUREAU CHIEF: Probably the most tortured detainee, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was watered boarded 180 times, did not divulge the name of this courier.
COLBERT: So he didn't give the name during waterboarding, but he did eventually. We were just loosening the jar, you know, by holding it under running water. The point is, the point is we need a definitive statement that waterboarding led us to bin Laden. How about the guy who ordered it? Rumsfeld, help us out.
DONALD RUMSFELD ON CNN: Some Information that came from normal interrogation approaches in Guantanamo did lead to information that was beneficial in this instance, but it was not harsh treatment and it was not waterboarding.
RUMSFELD ON FOX NEWS: Anyone who suggests that the enhanced techniques, let's be blunt, waterboarding, did not produce an enormous amount of valuable intelligence, just isn't facing the truth.
COLBERT: Now, when he says, "let's be blunt," is he referring to what he was smoking to be able to say both of those things in the same week?
- Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.