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.”
The response was elicited by a question about a review of “Zero Dark Thirty” written by New York Magazine critic David Edelstein, who presents the movie as brilliant, but also nakedly pro-torture.
“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 conservative opinion host has a history of defending the Bush administration’s torture program, but “awesomeboarding” is a new one, even for him.
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.
While the Guantanamo Bay prison remains open largely due to obstruction by Congress, a recent Government Accountability Office report said the Department of Defense and Department of Justice have more than enough space to securely house the remaining 166 terror war prisoners held in the offshore military installation. There’s still no real indication if the administration plans to act on closing the prison any time soon.
This video is from Fox News’s “The Five,” aired Tuesday, December 11, 2012, as snipped by Media Matters.