On the latest episode of his YouTube commentary show The Trews, British comedian and social activist Russell Brand skewered Fox News’ coverage of the recently released Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture.
The report revealed that not only did torture not yield any actionable intelligence about ongoing operations against America and its interests, but that the Central Intelligence Agency lied about the effectiveness of torture in order to justify the continued use of “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
Brand began criticizing Fox News’ coverage of the report by noting the visuals they used to when discussing it:
“It’s so amazing,” he said, “that even as they introduce the item, the still [image] they show is of 9/11. The question is, ‘Is torture wrong?’ But when Fox News introduces this issue, they show you this image of smashed up Ground Zero from 9/11.”
“They’re establishing a correlation between 9/11 and torture, which is convenient to their narrative,” Brand continued.
He then showed a clip of former President George W. Bush calling the CIA torture operatives “patriots,” and said, “I suppose this report is terrifying to a huge and powerful agency like the CIA because it makes us question — or should make us question — the considerable clandestine power that these organizations hold, interestingly rendered by Fox News as, ‘We don’t want to get involved with what the CIA do, they’re bloody patriots!'”
Brand cut to a clip of former CIA director Michael Hayden claiming that the report “will be used by our enemies to motivate people to attack Americans and American facilities overseas, and I am genuinely concerned by that.”
“‘Genuinely concerned by that,'” Brand repeated mockingly. “How can someone go on the news as the former head of the CIA and say, ‘I am genuinely concerned’? Shouldn’t that be implicit if you’re the former head of the CIA speaking prior to the release of a 6,000 page document that reveals you were using illegal torture methods on detainees, many of whom you had no right to arrest?”
“The problem is,” he continued, “that we’ve created a climate in which torture’s considered acceptable. According to a recent Amnesty [International] report, television programs like the Fox creation 24 glamorize and justify the idea of torture — it helps us to accept that it’s a natural part of international espionage.”
“But look at some of the techniques they’re using! Electroshock, rape, waterboarding, mock executions!”
Brand jumped to a clip of KT McFarland, a former deputy defense secretary in the Reagan administration, saying that the report will have “two blockbusters, 1) that the United States intelligence committee committed torture on terrorist suspects, and 2) that the information gleaned from that torture was not effective. Neither of which is true.”
“No big deal!” Brand replied. “We’re been torturing people, and that’s terrible, but I suppose you did what you had to do. So what was the result of all this torture? It doesn’t work.”
“Isn’t it obvious that if rape is used to get information out of a person, then we’re already in Hell,” he concluded. “There’s no further down to go, no further we can decline.”
Watch the entire episode of The Trews below.