Daily Show host Jon Stewart observed on Monday that, as the Senate moves closer to declassifying a report trashing the Central Intelligence Agency’s “enhanced interrogation” techniques, the political figures behind it — including former Vice-President Dick Cheney — were resurfacing in the public eye.
“He’s like the Wilford Brimley of torture,” Stewart said of Cheney, before launching into an impression of Cheney doing a Brimley-like ad for waterboarding, gruffly calling it, “The right thing to do.”
Stewart also showed footage of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from Errol Morris’ documentary The Unknown Known in which Rumsfeld parries a question about memos related to torture, blames the memos entirely on the Justice Department, then congratulates himself for, in his mind, stumping the questioner.
“Look how f*cking 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,” Stewart said, pointing to a picture of a smiling Rumsfeld. “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.”
But while Cheney and Rumsfeld were engaged in defending their “twisted legacy,” their boss, then-President George W. Bush, was unveiling his private artwork collection, which seemed to be centered around the theme of, “Other people I knew who ran countries.”
“He is a somewhat confounding dude,” Stewart said of Bush.
Watch Stewart’s commentary, as posted online on Monday, below: