Jon Stewart puts torture defender Dick Cheney in his crosshairs

Jon Stewart has weighed in on Dick Cheney’s defense of CIA torture, and the Comedy Central star is not pulling any punches. 

Describing the former Vice President’s justification of torture as “setting this nation’s moral bar at anything incrementally better than the most despicable thing that has ever been done to us,” the Daily Show host asked, “Is this man a righteous warrior or a psychopath?”

The long-awaited CIA torture report was published last week, detailing in more than 500 pages how prisoners were were beaten and “rectally hydrated” without medical necessity. One in 5 held were totally innocent, and almost no actionable intelligence was obtained as a result of any of the torture.

The response to the report has been sharply polarizing: John McCain, a veteran senator who was tortured himself in Vietnam condemned the practices detailed as “[damaging] our security interests, as well as our reputation as a force for good in the world.” Exiled whistleblower  Edward Snowden called it an “inexcusable crime.” 

Meanwhile, one Fox panelist said it would’ve been “immoral not to” torture, and Cheney himself stated bluntly that “the report’s full of crap” and that “torture is something we carefully avoided.”

Responding to Cheney’s comments on NBC’s Meet the Press, Stewart said, “It’s like this guy’s Vice President in a Cormac McCarthy novel.” 

Screengrab via Daily Show

Rob Price

Rob Price

Rob Price is a technology and politics reporter who served as the U.K.-based morning editor for the Daily Dot until 2014. He now works as the news editor for Business Insider, and his work has appeared in Vice, Slate, the Washington Post, and the Independent.