Young Turks host Cenk Uygur challenged former CIA Director Michael Hayden on Monday for continuing to downplay the rectal rehydration procedures uncovered in the Senate report concerning torture of U.S. detainees.
“Michael, have you ever been dehydrated? I mean, you’re running around the block or anything like that,” Uygur told Hayden. “If you like, we can do that medical procedure to you.”
Uygur went further and asked viewers and “even the most hardcore conservative in the world” whether they would be willing to allow themselves or a loved one to undergo the process, which Hayden has insisted was a “medical procedure.”
“You know that the answer is no, that none of you would have that done to you,” he argued. “You know that it’s rape. You know that it’s torture.”
Hayden told CNN host Jake Tapper last week, “I’m not a doctor and neither are you, but what I am told is this is one of the ways that the body is rehydrated,” arguing that CIA officials had no choice, given that providing nutrients intravenously to prisoners would have been dangerous because it involved needles.
“You’re really defending rectal rehydration?” Tapper asked.
“What I’m defending is history,” Hayden replied, before accusing Senate Democrats of using “one half-assed unwarranted comment in one email” as the basis for the findings in their report, which was sharply critical of the agency’s methods.
“I’m not sure I would use the term ‘half-assed’ in this regard,” Uygur said.
Uygur also mocked GOP strategist Karl Rove’s argument that CIA operatives who waterboarded prisoners did so more humanely than the Japanese during World War II.
“You see that?” Uygur asked. “When we drowned our detainees, we did it slightly better than the Japanese. Are we not merciful?”
Watch Uygur’s commentary, as posted online on Monday, below.