During a discussion about the film “Zero Dark Thirty” on Tuesday night, Fox News host Greg Gutfeld decided he would rename the internationally banned torture technique known as “waterboarding.” His term? “Awesomeboarding.”
“Like I always say: Waterboarding? More like awesomeboarding!” Gutfeld exclaimed.
He went on: “The unspeakable truth here is, everybody wants torture on the table,” he insisted. “If you ask one person one question, say your child or your spouse was abducted and they had a person in custody and they had the information and time was running out — would you mind if we use every means available to extract information?”
The former comedian exclaimed in 2007 that waterboarding “might be torture,” but professed to love it “more than life itself” because “people I hate” detest it.
“That’s my recipe for life,” he explained. “If The New York Times, NPR, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn and Hugo Chavez hate something, then it must be awesome. So I cherish waterboarding. I want to make it our national sport, our national bird. I want to make the waterboard the state flower of Vermont, instead of the Birkenstock.’
The torture debate has in recent days been reignited thanks to a graphic depiction of waterboarding in director Kathryn Bigelow’s new film about the killing of Osama bin Laden. Though some have called her a torture apologist for this, others — like national security reporter Spencer Ackerman — have praised the film for its realism.
“The closest the movie comes to presenting a case for the utility of torture is by presenting the name of a key bin Laden courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, as resulting from an interrogation not shown on screen,” Ackerman writes. “But — spoiler alert — the CIA ultimately comes to learn that it misunderstood the context of who that courier was and what he actually looked like.”
President Barack Obama issued an executive order in the first days after taking power that ended the Bush administration’s torture program and stated the administration’s intent to close Guantanamo Bay. Despite the intent, the prison remains open and no former officials have been prosecuted for authorizing the use of torture.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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